Was David Tyree's Catch the Greatest Play in NFL History?
You know March Madness has arrived when national and local websites launch zany brackets in efforts to decide who or what is the best of all time. TheScore.com, for example, had a "greatest sports video game" bracket last year, while you're still welcome to take part in this website's bracket-style quest to determine the best barbecue restaurant in Alabama.
NFL.com is in on the action this year with a 64-slot bracket to determine the greatest play in NFL history. While 15 of the 64 plays in the tournament were made by teams from the NFC East, the only top-seeded play involving the division is this one...
David Tyree's Super Bowl catch—and I hate calling it that, because the play was about so much more than just the reception at the end—is the No. 1 seed in the "Swann Division." In the opening round, that play faces Darrell Green chasing down Tony Dorsett in Green's first NFL game.
That'll be a walk in the park, but later it will have its hands full with "The Immaculate Reception," "The Music City Miracle" and "The Catch."
The Music City Miracle was pretty incredible, but it took place in the Wild Card Round and wasn't really an amazing athletic feat. It was well-executed, but Frank Wycheck and Kevin Dyson were just doing their jobs. The Immaculate Reception involved a lot more luck, and both of those plays are still controversial in terms of legalities.
There's no doubt about the two top-seeded catches, but I still don't think you can compare Dwight Clark's game-winning touchdown reception in the 1981 NFC Championship Game to the one Tyree made.
Those two plays have a lot in common, though. First, neither team would have won the Super Bowl if not for the plays. Second, they required remarkable acts from both the quarterback and the receiver.
With that being said, the Tyree play took place in the Super Bowl, not the conference title game. Furthermore, the grab itself was more ridiculous than Clark's, in my humble opinion. You be the judge...
By the way, Eli Manning's remarkable 38-yard completion to Mario Manningham late in Super Bowl XLVI made the bracket, but only as a No. 15 seed. I really think that play deserves more credit. Unbelievable throw and catch and they probably don't win that game if it doesn't happen.
The next highest-ranked NFC East play is the Roger Staubach-to-Drew Pearson Hail Mary from the 1975 playoffs, which is sixth in the "Payton Bracket."
What do you guys think?
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