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Best Play in the History of the NFL?

Originally posted by BayArea:
Joe was dead to rights and put a perfect throw where only Clark could get to it while hyperventilating and starting a dynasty. Think in that 15 second moment had he thrown a bad pass we don't win the superbowl and we might not have won the other 3 in the 80's.

The helmet catch is lame because it didn't signify anything but a superbowl win. The catch signified the start of a franchise that would dominate a decade. The immaculate reception was pure luck. Young's run was sweet but nothing was on the line.

I'm going with The Catch myself, but actually there was something on the line with Young's run. Without it, they very well could have lost that game and been 5-4 instead of 6-3...then they lost the next 2. Remember the pressure the 49ers and especially Walsh were under to win after 3 straight seasons of zero wins in the playoffs. Walsh was also under pressure to make the switch to Young...a loss vs. Vikings and that midseason skid could arguably have ended up with the benching of Montana. So in an ironic way, Young's run might have "saved" Montana and kept Young as the backup until '91. I know it's conjecture, but not just by me, these were points of discussion back at that time.
Wow!!!

Don't forget the Elway drives in the late 80s in the AFC Champ games.
When measuring the single greatest play, one should not take into account the impact it had on the bigger picture of NFL history and such, simply the greatness of the play itself.


Garrison Hearst 96 yards to win it in OT opening day 1998. Never seen anything like it.
Randall Cunninghams 95yard TD pass to Fred barnett was pretty awesome
or yeah any number of Barry Sanders plays
Originally posted by BayArea:
http://www.nfl.com/bracketology

So really how does the catch not take the cake? Made it to the second round easily but it looks like the Giants helmet catch in 07' is getting the overwhelming vote. Being the homer that I am I have Young's epic TD run against the Vikings as #2.

So does the catch that kick started our dynasty run live up to the best play of all time?

there are more young'n patriot homers that use the internet than old time niner fans that use the internet.
Originally posted by GNielsen:
Originally posted by cciowa:
in the history of the nfl? probably the immaculate reception

I wouldn't even put it in the top 20 because it's just pure luck - not really a lot of skill involved in that play other than that of the Raider defensive backs knocking the pass away.

See - even CC agrees with me
well, you are probably right i was just trying to think outside the box. I always try to go old school. i think earl campbell did have an amazing run on monday night football years ago. then of course there is the music city miracle. the best catch i ever saw was a old lynn swann catch in one of the dallas steelers super bowls of the 70's


G - you and I rarely disagree, but the bracket isn't "The Most Skillful Play of All Time". Heck, if we want to go that way, I'd have to rank Lynn Swann's Super Bowl catch over the Cowpukes Washington in the top 3.
[ Edited by Beeker on Mar 26, 2013 at 2:56 PM ]
Originally posted by cciowa:
Originally posted by GNielsen:
Not trying to diss your pick. It's an amazing play. For old school, I have to say Marcus Allen reversing field on the Redskins and going all the way in that '83 Super Bowl is pretty sensational. And, I have to point out the Jim Marshall running 60 yards the wrong way for a safety because I was actually at that game at Kezar.
and then one of the niners, charley kruger? running up to him and thanking him for scoring for us!! hey is kezar open as a museum or anything like that? do they play jr college or high school games there? it is fun to go old school,. i think its good for the kids who are here

Kezar was torn down - it was damaged badly during the Loma Prieta earthquake in 89. There is a modest track and field stadium there now.

Demolition and reconstruction


With pending demolition, the bleacher planks of Kezar Stadium were sold off to fans at a party in April 1989.[5] In June, the stadium was demolished and rebuilt with a much smaller seating capacity of 10,000. The upgrades included an eight-lane, all-weather track and a grass athletic infield suitable for soccer, football, and lacrosse.[6]

The field and track configurations remained the same. A replica of the original concrete arch bearing the name "Kezar Stadium" was built on the west side of the stadium as a tribute to the original structure. A plaque of NFL Hall of Famer Bob St. Clair, a San Francisco native who played 11 seasons (1953–63) at Kezar Stadium, is built into the replica arch.
Soccer and other sports
With the 2006 West Coast expansion of Major League Lacrosse, Kezar Stadium once again became a home to a professional team, the San Francisco Dragons. In October 2006, United Soccer Leagues (USL) and Spanish football club Deportivo Alavés announced that the new pro soccer team, named California Victory, played their 2007 home games at Kezar. The Victory played in the USL's First Division, one level below Major League Soccer. However, Alaves later withdrew their support and the team folded.

In 2004 it served as the home of the San Francisco Freedom, the city's Pro Cricket team.

Sacred Heart Cathedral Preparatory, a nearby Catholic high school uses the field for their home football games. Mission High School also uses the field for home games and the annual Battle of the Birds game between George Washington and Lowell is also played at Kezar every year. Kezar has also been the host of several Northern California Semi-pro football championship games.

In 2010, 2011, and 2012 Stanford University held its spring football game at Kezar. For the 2012 and 2016 San Francisco Olympic bids, Kezar was designated to host field hockey had San Francisco been chosen in either year.
[ Edited by Beeker on Mar 26, 2013 at 2:59 PM ]
If the question is asked next year the answer will be Colin Kaepernick firing a rocket slant that bounces off the receivers helmet back into Kaepernick's hands. He catches it four yards deep in the end zone and proceeds to run 104 yards for a touchdown juking numerous Seahawk players on the way!
Originally posted by captveg:
Without any homerism, if you put The Catch and The Helmet Catch up against each other, I gotta admit that the latter is slightly more impressive. SLIGHTLY.

The tie breakers are:

Super Bowl > Conference Championship
Difficulty of helmet catch > difficulty of the catch (very slight, but still)
Manning's scrambling > Montana's scrambling (again, very slight)

The Catch has the advantage of being a scoring play instead of just a drive continuing play that led to a score.

And the "launching of a dynasty" thing, but these Giants are still around and have won just as many SF did in the first six years (2 for SF 1981-1986, 2 for NYG 2007-2012), so it's not THAT assured that this is a pro-The Catch point.

Otherwise, they are pretty even.

wasn't the helmet catch 4th down also?
  • cciowa
  • Veteran
  • Posts: 26,553
Originally posted by Beeker:
Originally posted by cciowa:
Originally posted by GNielsen:
Not trying to diss your pick. It's an amazing play. For old school, I have to say Marcus Allen reversing field on the Redskins and going all the way in that '83 Super Bowl is pretty sensational. And, I have to point out the Jim Marshall running 60 yards the wrong way for a safety because I was actually at that game at Kezar.
and then one of the niners, charley kruger? running up to him and thanking him for scoring for us!! hey is kezar open as a museum or anything like that? do they play jr college or high school games there? it is fun to go old school,. i think its good for the kids who are here

Kezar was torn down - it was damaged badly during the Loma Prieta earthquake in 89. There is a modest track and field stadium there now.

Demolition and reconstruction


With pending demolition, the bleacher planks of Kezar Stadium were sold off to fans at a party in April 1989.[5] In June, the stadium was demolished and rebuilt with a much smaller seating capacity of 10,000. The upgrades included an eight-lane, all-weather track and a grass athletic infield suitable for soccer, football, and lacrosse.[6]

The field and track configurations remained the same. A replica of the original concrete arch bearing the name "Kezar Stadium" was built on the west side of the stadium as a tribute to the original structure. A plaque of NFL Hall of Famer Bob St. Clair, a San Francisco native who played 11 seasons (1953–63) at Kezar Stadium, is built into the replica arch.
Soccer and other sports
With the 2006 West Coast expansion of Major League Lacrosse, Kezar Stadium once again became a home to a professional team, the San Francisco Dragons. In October 2006, United Soccer Leagues (USL) and Spanish football club Deportivo Alavés announced that the new pro soccer team, named California Victory, played their 2007 home games at Kezar. The Victory played in the USL's First Division, one level below Major League Soccer. However, Alaves later withdrew their support and the team folded.

In 2004 it served as the home of the San Francisco Freedom, the city's Pro Cricket team.

Sacred Heart Cathedral Preparatory, a nearby Catholic high school uses the field for their home football games. Mission High School also uses the field for home games and the annual Battle of the Birds game between George Washington and Lowell is also played at Kezar every year. Kezar has also been the host of several Northern California Semi-pro football championship games.

In 2010, 2011, and 2012 Stanford University held its spring football game at Kezar. For the 2012 and 2016 San Francisco Olympic bids, Kezar was designated to host field hockey had San Francisco been chosen in either year.
thank you. that is great history. when the niners moved into the stick in 1970 or 71 I guess that was quite the upgrade , even with the harder than concrete turff
Originally posted by babarvaart:
or yeah any number of Barry Sanders plays

I'll have to agree with any one of maybe 10 or 15 Barry Sanders runs. Guy was a human highlight reel.
I HATE THE GIANTS but David Tyrees catch is what it took to slay the mighty Patriots that year and they were mighty that year...( yeah and a badass Dline dont hurt either). i think it has to be #1 ..
  • Garcia
  • Veteran
  • Posts: 29,801
obviously its going to be the catch v music city miracle.


hands down the catch is the best because it was more than a catch, it symbolized the beginning of an era.