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Top 10 Televised Moments in Football

The history of playing football never stops at one season. Make sure to 'catch' this list of the Top Televised Moments in Football.

By Eric GreenPublished 5 years ago 7 min read

The National Football League has been the source of smiles, tears, excitement, and the occasional mix of all three for hopeful fans everywhere.

NBC was the first major broadcaster to cover an NFL game. Believe it or not, the game between the Philadelphia Eagles and the Brooklyn Dodgers (you may have to look them up, they were a real New York team) took place on October 22, 1939.

The top shows watched in the fall season are usually all NFL games. Super Bowl showdowns, that make up for a majority of this list of the top televised moments in American football, have an average viewership of 114 million viewers. Consider that football is a national sport and not necessarily viewed worldwide, and you will find that to be an absolutely absurd number.

Every single season up to this point has been filled with jaw-dropping catches, Hall of Fame inducted play-makers, and questionable play-calls. To see the best of the best moments (and the best of the worst moments), check out this list of the Top Televised Moments in Professional Football:

The Miracle at the Meadowlands refers to the fumble recovery by Philadelphia Eagles cornerback Herman Edwards on November 19, 1978 in a televised game against the New York Giants. The match-up was at Giants Stadium in the Meadowlands.

Why was this miraculous? Because the Giants were supposed to win that game: they were ahead. All they had to do was run out the time, a total of a couple seconds. Not only did they have the ball, but the Eagles had zero timeouts left. Quarterback Joe Pisarcik needed to kneel with the ball, and run out the clock.

What actually happened: Pisarcik messed up a handoff to fullback Larry Csonka. Edwards plucked the ball off the ground and ran 26-Yards for the winning score.

Every kicker in football wants an opportunity to be "Super Clutch" in a televised game, especially the Superbowl. Adam Vinatieri won this title in the Superbowl XXXVI game in the Superdome in New Orleans. What's even better? Being a player of the underdog team in a match versus the defending champions, the Rams.

Those obsessed with the New England Patriots winning streak already know that this was the first win in the Tom Brady-Bill Belichick era, on February 3rd, 2002.

This was only the first Super-Bowl winning kick of Vinatieri's career, but it marked him as one of the best kickers in the televised history of the NFL.

The Ice Bowl earned its name after two of the best teams in the NFL played in the most frigid conditions imaginable. The Dallas 'Boys were in a match up versus the Green Bay Packers in what was also formally recognized as Brett Favre's last game as Packer. On top of all that, the Ice Bowl featured two of the league's Hall of Fame coaches facing each other.

This was one of the most televised moments in football because it was actually a rematch from a heated game the previous season. American fans were praying that the NFL championship match up.

It was a surprising and infamous call for the Packers, who were losing 17-14. With 13 seconds on the clock, Bart Starr successfully completes the quarterback sneak. Crowd rushes the field. End zone, end game. The NFL Network labeled this number one on its formal list of the "Top 10 Gutsy Calls."

Joe Montana was the greatest 49ers quarterback who ever lived. And "The Catch" was perhaps the most relished catch in NFL history. The 49ers would never play football the same after this 1981 NFC Championship Game versus the Dallas Cowboys at Candlestick Park.

There were 58 seconds left in the game. San Francisco wide receiver Dwight Clark, one of the league's leading wide-outs, leaps into the air, making a grab in the back of the endzone. Winning the game was cake for the 49ers because of this play.

Joe Montana always seems to play a large role in the top televised moments in football.

"No good...wide right!" declared television commentator Al Michaels as the referees made the signal. Scott Norwood's missed 47-yard field goal would forever make the list of the worst moments in Superbowl History.

Do you remember where you were for this tragic moment? On January 27, 1991, eight seconds were left in the match up between the Buffalo Bills and the New York Giants. Down by one, the Bills did what we all assumed was the right move, electing for a field goal at the 47 yard line. His statistics in the league were 1 of 5 for field goal attempts of more than 40 yards on grass.

His kick was way wide right. To this day, "Wide Right" jokes are still made about the Buffalo Bills and Scott Norwood.

Here is one of those televised games you had to have heard of in the past couple years. Odell Beckham Jr. said himself that everything was different after catching the ball in the air reaching behind him, fully extended. The rest of the league thought so, too.

The Giants lost that game 31-28, but the catch led to an insane amount of publicity for the team and the wide-out, reaching over 460,000 mentions on social media only hours after the end of the game.

This catch, in a match up versus the Dallas Cowboys, was called "the catch of the year." And he has been known as "that clutch one-hand catcher" since.

I will not be getting rid on my OBJ Jersey anytime soon, and neither should you.

Super Bowl XXII was one of the most dramatic televised games the league has ever seen. Once again, Joe Montana is its leader and its star.

This was a major part of the 49ers 5-Super Bowl run from 1981 to 1994. Yet, the San Francisco 49ers were coming off three disappointing playoff seasons since winning a Super Bowl.

What made the end of this game so unbelievable is that Montana had the last laugh in that match up against Cincinnati's defense. The last thing people witnessed was a game-winning 92-yard drive. We're talking 92 percent of the entire field here, folks. The cherry-on-top was this 10-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver John Taylor, with only 34 seconds left in the game.

Kick off returns are always entertaining to watch. This is why the NFL's new rule to reduce kickoff returns backfired in the preseason.

The Music City Miracle became famous because it involved a jaw-dropping show of athletic ability, and it was shrouded in controversy. This one of the top ten televised moments in football marked the end of the Wild-Card playoff game between the Tennessee Titans and the Buffalo Bills at (what was formally known as) Adelphia Coliseum.

The Bills had risen with a 16-15 lead with only 16 seconds remaining in the game. Titans tight end Frank Wycheck threw a forward pass across the field to Kevin Dyson on the kickoff return. Mind you, this practically unheard of in a professional football league.

Dyson runs 75 yards to bring the score to a 22-16 victory. Cue the controversy.

Prepare to be taken back to the time when the New York Giants played at Yankee Stadium in New York City. As if that wasn't nostalgic enough, the Baltimore team was the Colts. This rightfully became known as "The Greatest Game Ever Played," even if it was at the beginning of the era of televised NFL games.

Colts' Fullback Alan Ameche punched through the line on a one-yard, game winning touchdown after 8 minutes and 15 seconds of overtime. The Colts were the winning team at the end of the long rumble.

Pure, unadulterated excitement. Turnover count was over 3 for both teams. The game featured 17 future Hall of Famers. It's no wonder why this game was immortalized in the sports universe.

There comes a time in every true football fan's life when they must choose one, yes only one, of their favorite catches in televised game history. The David Tyree Helmet Catch was cemented as one of the NFL's greatest, and it is my favorite without question.

The Helmet Catch was executed by current New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning, and was completed by the league's top wide-out at the time, David Tyree. It took place in the final two minutes of Super Bowl XLII in February 2008. Even better: it was a match up against sworn enemy of the Giants, the New England Patriots.

It was called "the greatest play the Super Bowl has ever produced" by NFL Films' Steve Sabol. It would later be referred to as "The E(li)-Macculate Connection" and "The Escape and the Helmet Catch."

Want to know how many times I re-watched this catch in slow motion on repeat? The data is in the process of being calculated, because I will be forever re-watching this heroic display of athletic ability.

Also, it looks physically impossible: hence the name, "The Immaculate Reception." December 1972 was a fascinating time for American Football: famed Quarterback Terry Bradshaw was still a major asset for the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Steelers were down in the AFC Divisional playoff game against the Oakland Raiders.

Believe it or not, the pass was deflected by a Raider on the opposite team and caught by running back Franco Harris, who ran it into the end zone. The Steelers came out on top with a 13-7 victory.

You simply cannot make this stuff up. And since there is physical video evidence of these top moments in televised football, we luckily do not have to.


About the Creator

Eric Green

Productive achievement is mankind's most noble activity.

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