You get a Hail Mary!
You get Hail Mary!
You get a Hail Mary (but you’re the Patriots so yours only goes to the 10 yard line)!
Hail Marys so hot right now.
But what is the definitive Greatest Hail Mary of All-Time?
One might be tempted to say that these things are subjective. You can’t possibly quantify an undefinable quality like “greatest”. Well I say poppycock. Nonsense. Balderdash. This is the very reason Hi-Top was invented. To do the impossible. To impose our opinions upon the Internet and say we are right and you are wrong.
We are talking about Hail Marys so first off this has to be a game winning, game ending play. We are talking walk off or as close to it as possible. 1 or 2 seconds left okay fine but 25 seconds – that’s a no. Also it has to be a heave – 40-45 yards at least. Okay so that being said let’s get the obvious choices out of the way first.
The Magical Floutie:
This is perhaps the “most famous” Hail Mary but it is far from the greatest. The scramble and throw are good not great, it a fair distance but nothing crazy. The catch is where the Miracle in Miami faults. Gerard Phelan basically gets knocked over by the ball with a belly catch. No drama. No tip. No real effort at all. C+ at best. Moving on.
Atlanta Falcons 1983:
This here might be the most impressive Hail Mary of all time. This dude (Billy “White Shoes” Johnson) has to WORK to get into the End Zone. Alas the Falcons were probably like 2-8 or whatever and this game was utterly meaningless so…
Atlanta Falcons 1978:
Okay I really hope you watched that video cuz wowzer. This Hail Mary gets an intro from “American Hero” OJ Simpson and yes it’s ANOTHER Falcons Hail Mary but for anyone who grew up watching VHS NFL Films highlight videos rented from the local Video Store this one is instantly recognizable. And hey it’s from an actual meaningful game for the Falcons, yes they really did make the playoffs in the 70s. But even with all that being said it’s still not quite the “greatest”.
1980 Holiday Bowl Jim McMahon BYU:
This Hail Mary topped off what is often considered the greatest comeback in CFB Bowl history. BYU was down 38-19 to SMU in the Fourth Quarter before coming back to win 46-45. McMahon threw for 446 yards.
But the Number 1 Greatest Hail Mary of All-Time is undoubtedly…
Kordell Stewart Colorado 1994:
This was a heavy weight championship fight of a matchup between Colorado, who in 1994 were a Top Tier Powerhouse program and the vaunted Michigan Wolverines. It was a Nationally Televised game being called by the Greatest CFB Announcer Duo of All-Time Keith Jackson & Bob Griese. Basically every sports fan in America was watching this game. Then you have the play itself. It’s listed as a 64 yard TD reception but the throw was 75 yards. And the catch was absolutely electric. The play had everything you could possibly want in a Hail Mary and that is why Stewart to Westbrook in 1994 is the greatest Hail Mary of All-Time.