August 03, 2010

David Tyree Retires from NFL: New York Giants receiver David Tyree retired Friday with 54 career receptions, 650 yards and four touchdowns. He will be remembered for his final catch, a 32-yard fourth quarter snag of a desperate Eli Manning heave that helped the New York Giants defeat the New England Patriots in Super Bowl 0x2A. Steve Sabol of NFL Films calls it the best play in Super Bowl history, but Yahoo blogger Chris Chase questions its all-time greatness.

posted by rcade to football at 11:20 AM - 10 comments

I don't know whether it's the all time greatest SB play, but it came in the midst of a sequence that was eerie and other worldly.

When the drive started, the Giants, and Manning specifically, looked shaky. It seemed as though a mistake like a fumble or interception was imminent. The Pats were responding well defensively and pouring on the pressure.

Then Asante Samuel let a sure pick fly through his gloves on the sideline. (To me, I still think that play is the key to the whole thing). It was not a well-thrown ball by Manning. Samuel stared at his gloves in disbelief.

Then, Manning somehow escapes the Pats rush to throw to Tyree. I still don't know how he got out of that rush. They were over the top of him like a tidal wave and I was thinking he was going to get injured on the play.

The throw to Tyree was also not a well-thrown ball. Why Harrison doesn't strip the ball away from Tyree is unexplainable given the ball's location and proximity once Tyree got his hands on it and Harrison's strength and skills.

Every time I watch that drive, it seems like there's an unseen hand guiding the outcome. It is surreal. I have not had an experience like that as a viewer of a sporting event very often.

posted by beaverboard at 11:56 AM on August 03, 2010

Super Bowl 0x2A?

What a nerd.

posted by mr_crash_davis at 12:11 PM on August 03, 2010

isNerd() = 1

posted by rcade at 12:57 PM on August 03, 2010

The throw to Tyree was also not a well-thrown ball.

It was a weak pass. I think fatigue is what kept the Harrison from knocking it away or intercepting it.

I didn't know that was Tyree's last catch in the league. That makes it more epic.

Love the Buck/Aikman call. Football is coming.

posted by rcade at 01:01 PM on August 03, 2010

T'was epic. But was it more epic than Santonio Holmes last-play-of-the-Super-Bowl tippy-toe touchdown?

I submit it was not.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 07:19 PM on August 03, 2010

T\'was epic. But was it more epic than Santonio Holmes last-play-of-the-Super-Bowl tippy-toe touchdown?

I submit it was not.

Weedy, I would have to argue that the Tyree catch was epic in that it prevented the patriots having a 19-0 season. : )

posted by steelergirl at 09:54 PM on August 03, 2010

I should have said "was instrumental in that it prevented the...

posted by steelergirl at 10:18 PM on August 03, 2010

rcade, in what obscure programming language is that a valid line of code?

billsaysthis ={:since => :forever});

posted by billsaysthis at 01:12 PM on August 04, 2010

Oops. I used the assignment operator instead of the equality operator.

posted by rcade at 01:44 PM on August 04, 2010

Tyree's catch is the greatest play in Super Bowl history because it's the ultimate David Beats Goliath moment. It took great efforts on both ends of the play. Eli Manning scrambled out of an almost-sure sack, reminiscent of another guy who used to wear #10 for the Giants. Tyree's catch was all determination, catching a ball with his freaking helmet that most guys wouldn't have caught.

Yahoo blogger Chris Chase's objections are factually correct, but miss why it's the greatest play. There are moments in sports where a team is so close to winning they think they know they're going to win, everybody thinks they're going to win, and if that moment gets away from them it's psychologically devastating and practically impossible to recover from.*

On this play, the Patriots had Eli Manning cornered and were going to sack him, making it 4th-and-15+ and having to score a touchdown on a Hail Mary. "We're going to win the Super Bowl." The Giants scored the winning touchdown later, but they beat the Patriots on that play.

Jay's comment on the Fifth Down post sums it up pretty well:

"1. manning's escape was pretty amazing itself. he was wrapped up at around the 35-40 yard line, and if he's sacked it's now 4th and 15 or 4th and 20.
2. he caught it against his HELMET.
3. with ONE HAND.
4. in the super bowl.
5. against the (formerly) undefeated patriots, who it was widely believed could not be beaten.
6. david tyree isn't dwight clark, franco harris or bart starr. he's david tyree - a great all-around athlete with amazing hands, a guy that wasn't fast enough to be any more than a utility guy - a jack of all trades whose value to the team lay primarily in the fact that his special teams play and devotion to the game were unparalleled. david tyree wasn't even really supposed to be playing a receiving role for that giants team - if jeremy shockey hadn't been injured, it's doubtful tyree even gets a shot."

* Other examples:

- The Vikings missing a a 38-yard field goal in the 1998 NFC Championship.

- The San Francisco Giants blowing a 5-0 lead in the bottom of the seventh in Game 6 of the 2002 World Series, with a 3-2 series lead.

- The Boston Red Sox blowing s 5-2 lead in the bottom of the eighth in Game 7 of the 2003 ALCS.

Fun fact: I was rooting for the eventual losers in all examples. I love sports, yay.

posted by kirkaracha at 02:15 PM on August 04, 2010

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