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Saleem Choudhry - Researcher
Saleem spends his days gathering, interpreting, and disseminating information about the game of pro football. He now shares in his blog some of the more unique stories and facts that he has uncovered while working with the Hall’s vast collection of more than 18 million pages of documents.
Dallas Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett has taken a great deal of heat from the media and from Cowboys fans after his team’s 19-13 overtime loss to the Arizona Cardinals last weekend. Much of the furor has been over Garrett’s decision to call a timeout right before his kicker Dan Bailey booted a 49-yard field goal and what would have been the game-winner at the end of regulation. The timeout essentially “iced” his own kicker. Baily then missed the game-winning kick after the controversial timeout and the rest, as they say, is history.
One of the things that I love about the NFL is that something crazy happens every week. Think about it, would the game be as popular as it is if every game played out as predicted or planned each week? No way.
Garrett’s timeout actually reminded me of one the wildest endings in NFL history. The New Orleans Saints were trailing the Jacksonville Jaguars by a touchdown with only seven seconds remaining in the game on Dec. 21, 2003. Backed up on their own 25-yard line, many thought that the Saints would attempt a deep “Hail Mary” pass. Aaron Brooks, the Saints quarterback, thought otherwise and completed a pass to Donte Stallworth at the 50-yard line.
The Saints obviously needed to advance further than the 50. A desperate Stallworth broke a few tackles and cut across field and then lateralled to Michael Lewis at the Jaguars' 33. Lewis ran a few yards before shoveling the ball to Deuce McAllister, who again lateralled to Jerome Pathon, who caught the ball in stride and raced the final 21 yards for an incredible touchdown. All the Saints had to do was kick the extra point and the game would move on to overtime.
Can you see where this is going? As you might have guessed, the Saints kicker John Carney missed the extra point and Jacksonville was able to preserve a 20-19 victory.
You never know what is going to happen in an NFL game. I cannot wait to see what will happen this weekend.