Well documented as one of the most remembered gaffes on an NFL field was the infamous wrong-way run by Minnesota Vikings defensive end Jim Marshall in 1964. In a game against the San Francisco 49ers on October 25, 1964, Marshall scooped up Billy Kilmer's fumble and raced to the end zone. Unfortunately for Marshall, he had run to the wrong end zone resulting in a safety for the 49ers.
"My first inkling that something was wrong was when a 49er player gave me a hug in the end zone," commented Marshall following the game.
While football fans easily recall Marshall's wrong-way run, it is not the only time a player has run to the wrong end zone. There are at least two other instances of players heading toward the wrong end zone.
On October 16, 1938, the Washington Redskins' Andy Farkas returned to his hometown of Detroit in a game that attracted the largest crowd in Detroit football history to that point. Farkas opened the scoring when he ran to the wrong goal line and hence gave the Lions a 2-0 lead. Fortunately for Farkas, he went from goat to hero as he led Washington to a 7-5 victory.
On the opening kickoff of the Baltimore Colts' 1947 debut in the All-America Football Conference, the Brooklyn Dodgers' speedster Elmore Harris returned the kick to his own 25-yard line before receiving a bone-crushing hit and losing the ball. The Dodgers' right guard, Harry Buffington scooped up the football, and in his excitement, raced 30 yards towards the goal line before realizing he went the wrong way. Just short of the end zone, he hurled the ball away but it hit some Colts' players before Baltimore fullback Jim Castiglia fell on it for an easy six points! The Colts went on to win the game, 16-7.
Road to the Championship
Cardinals owner Bill Bidwill hoists the George Halas trophy for the fans to see after the Cardinals defeated the Philadelphia Eagles in the NFC championship game.
John Elway who joined the Denver Broncos as the No. 1 pick in the 1983 draft, quickly developed an unique ability to rally his team to last-minute victories.