What’s Hail Mary in Football?

Vannessa | 07 - 09 - 2020
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A long forward throw that’s usually made in a desperate attempt to win is called the Hail Mary Pass. The usage of this term dates back to 1975 during the NFL divisional playoff game at Minnesota. Football legend Roger Staubach of the Dallas Cowboys was the first to make this long pass to Drew Pearson during the match against Minnesota Vikings. There were only 24 seconds left when Staubach decided to make this brilliant move. 

Origin of Hail Mary Pass

Not only did the Cowboys win the match, this 50-yard pass later became a key strategy among several football teams in the US. When the sportswriters interviewed Staubach about his legendary past, he said, ”Well, I guess you could call it Hail Mary. You throw it up and pray”. Actually, these long touchdown shots did exist before Staubach but weren’t given a name. 

Though the total success rate of a Hail Mary Pass is only 10%, it is extremely popular among the American footballers as a trump card to win the game when every other attempt fails. While the shot was a random one when it was first made, it has now become a strategy players started practising for. The 79-yard throw by Brett Favre to Darryl Tillman during the 1989 Southern Mississippi Vs Louisville match is considered the longest Hail Mary Pass in college football leagues. 

1. What Does the Expression Hail Mary Mean?
  • A. Push Pass
  • B. Wall Pass
  • C. Backward Pass
  • D. Long Desperate Pass

Best NFL Hail Marys

Here are some of the note-worthy passes in the history of National Football League Matches.

  1. Quarterback Tommy Kramer to Ahmad Rashad (Minnesota Vikings Vs Cleveland Browns) in the year 1980
  2. Quarterback Doug Flutie to Gerard Phelan (Boston College Eagles Vs Miami Hurricane) in the year 1984Michigan Wolverines
  3. Kordell Stewart to Michael Westbrook ( Colorado Buffaloes Vs ) in the year 1994
  4. David Gerrard to Mike Thomas (Jacksonville Jaguars Vs Houston Texans) in the year 2010
  5. Russell Wilson to Golden Tate (Seattle Seahawks Vs Green Bay Packers ) in the year 2012

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