Sunday, January 17, 2010

Hail Dummy

Heard talk of Roger Staubach (who I once saw in the food court of the Danbury Fair Mall shooting a commercial) inventing the term "hail mary pass" in 1975. Did a little research and found that it was used before that Vikes-Cowboys game, but I also saw that Staubach himself said it the previous pre-season, so maybe he did coin the phrase. But who cares about that--while researching, I came across this pic of a kicker practicing field goals with a big dummy simulating the defense:

Drew Pearson pushed off on Nate Wright in that 1975 game. I pray the Dallas Cowboys never win another postseason game in my lifetime.
With you on that one! (Sorry I mentioned that game without mentioning the push off.....)
That's not just any kicker, that's Pete Gogolak, who was one of the pioneers of soccer-style placekicking in the AFL and NFL after introducing it at Cornell. I think he's still the Giants' all-time leading scorer. His younger brother Charlie kicked for the Patriots.

The first time I heard the expression "Hail Mary pass" was the season before the Dallas/Vikes playoff game, ironically involving the Cowboys' back-up quarterback, Clint "The Mad Bomber" Longley, when he came in for Staubach (who had suffered a concussion) and threw a 50-yd game winner to Pearson against the Redskins on Thanksgiving Day, 1974. I'm pretty sure the announcers referred to it as a Hail Mary. I was something of a Dallas fan way back then.
The Gogolaks was before my time and I don't know as much about football hist. as I do about baseball so I really don't know them at all. Like, I know the stars of the 70s but not the other guys.

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Location: Rhode Island, United States