The Immaculate Reception: Franco Harris' Miracle Catch
In 1972, the Pittsburgh Steelers faced the Oakland Raiders in the AFC Divisional Playoff game. With just 22 seconds left on the clock and the Steelers trailing 7-6, a seemingly impossible play occurred. Quarterback Terry Bradshaw threw a pass that ricocheted off an opposing player and was miraculously caught by Franco Harris. Harris then sprinted down the field for a game-winning touchdown, and the play became known as the "Immaculate Reception."
This iconic photo captures the moment just before Harris catches the ball, surrounded by confused players and officials. The image encapsulates the chaos and disbelief of the moment, as well as the excitement that followed. It remains a symbol of NFL history and a testament to the incredible athleticism and determination of its players.
The Catch: Dwight Clark's Game-Winning Touchdown
The 1981 NFC Championship game between the San Francisco 49ers and the Dallas Cowboys was a nail-biter, with both teams fighting for a chance to play in the Super Bowl. With less than a minute left in the game and the 49ers trailing 27-21, Joe Montana threw a desperate pass to wide receiver Dwight Clark. Clark leapt into the air and managed to snag the ball with his fingertips, securing a touchdown and a victory for the 49ers.
The iconic photo of this moment shows Clark stretched out in mid-air, just barely grasping the ball. This image has come to symbolize the heart-stopping excitement of football and the incredible athletic feats that can change the course of a game. "The Catch" remains one of the most celebrated plays in NFL history, and this photo will always remind fans of the sheer determination and skill of the players on the field.
Wide Right: Scott Norwood's Missed Field Goal
Super Bowl XXV between the New York Giants and the Buffalo Bills was a close game, with both teams vying for victory. With just seconds left on the clock and the Bills down by one point, kicker Scott Norwood attempted a 47-yard field goal to win the game. Unfortunately for the Bills, the kick went wide right, and the Giants claimed victory.
The iconic photo from this moment shows Norwood watching in despair as his kick sails past the goalpost. This image represents the agony of defeat and the thin line between victory and heartbreak in the NFL. While it may be a painful memory for Bills fans, the photo serves as a reminder of the high stakes and intensity of professional football.
The Helmet Catch: David Tyree's Improbable Reception
Super Bowl XLII featured a thrilling matchup between the undefeated New England Patriots and the underdog New York Giants. Late in the fourth quarter, Giants quarterback Eli Manning escaped a near-sack and launched a pass down the field. Wide receiver David Tyree, with Patriots safety Rodney Harrison draped all over him, somehow managed to secure the ball against his helmet as he fell to the ground, completing one of the most improbable catches in NFL history.
The iconic photo of this moment shows Tyree, helmet pressed against the ball, as he maintains possession amidst a sea of players. This image has come to symbolize the incredible athleticism and determination of NFL players, as well as the unpredictable nature of the game. The Helmet Catch remains a defining moment in Super Bowl history and will forever be remembered by football fans everywhere.
Philly Special: Nick Foles' Trick Play Touchdown
Super Bowl LII saw the Philadelphia Eagles face off against the New England Patriots. In one of the most memorable plays in Super Bowl history, backup quarterback and unlikely hero Nick Foles caught a touchdown pass from tight end Trey Burton on a trick play dubbed the "Philly Special." This daring and unexpected move helped secure the Eagles' first-ever Super Bowl victory.
The iconic photo from this play shows Foles wide open in the end zone, hands outstretched, as he catches the pass. This image captures the excitement, creativity, and boldness that defines professional football. The Philly Special is a testament to the unpredictability and excitement of the NFL, and this photo will always remind fans of the incredible moments that can occur on the game's biggest stage.
The Lambeau Leap: A Time-Honored Tradition in Green Bay
In 1993, Green Bay Packers safety LeRoy Butler made history when he returned a fumble recovery for a touchdown and then leapt into the stands to celebrate with fans. This iconic moment, now known as the "Lambeau Leap," has become a cherished tradition in Green Bay, with players jumping into the arms of their fans after scoring a touchdown at Lambeau Field.
Photos of the Lambeau Leap capture the joy and camaraderie between players and fans, showcasing the unique connection between a team and its supporters. These images serve as a reminder of the special bond that exists between the NFL and its fans, and the powerful emotions that the game can inspire. The Lambeau Leap will forever be a cherished part of NFL history and a symbol of the passion that defines the sport.