The Helmet Catch (New York Giants vs. New England Patriots, Super Bowl XLII)
It’s the play that defined the first Super Bowl between the Giants and Pats, and arguably one of the most amazing sequences in sports history. With 1:15 remaining in the fourth quarter and the Giants down 14-10, Eli Manning negotiated a 3rd and 5 from the Giants’ 44-yard line by evading three tacklers, and then launching the ball down the middle of the field. Going up (and coming down) with the pigskin was David Tyree, who infamously caught the ball against his helmet, with defender Rodney Harrison clinging onto him, to boot. Four plays later, Manning found Plaxico Burress for a 13-yard score, which inevitably won the game. Tyree never played another NFL snap, although he did co-author the concisely titled memoir, More Than Just the Catch: A true story of courage, hope and achieving the impossible.