Breaking Down Eli Manning to David Tyree

at FanHouse, I used 11 Getty Images pictures to share my thoughts about that wild Eli Manning-to-David Tyree play in the final minute of the Super Bowl.

My only question: What do we call this play? The best name I've heard so far comes from Dov Kramer, producer at Sports Radio 66, WFAN, who called it The Flee to Tyree. Any other ideas?

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Comments

104 comments, Last at 26 Mar 2008, 4:11pm

1 Re: Breaking Down Eli Manning to David Tyree

Given the effect that it had on certain businesses, in a certain town, sorta' wedged between the borders of California, Arizona, and Utah, I'd say "bookslayer" might be apt.

Losing the spread wagers was bad enough, but the moneyline beating had to make things really painful.....

3 Re: Breaking Down Eli Manning to David Tyree

The Heave might also be good, but that doesn't really reflect the two greatest aspects of the play: the broken tackle or the amazing catch.

5 Re: Breaking Down Eli Manning to David Tyree

My favorite choice is another one that somebody already proposed in a different thread, namely "The Perfect Catch", as in the perfect catch to end the perfect season.

7 Re: Breaking Down Eli Manning to David Tyree

Re 4: I agree, "The Play" is not cool, especially because (as I said in another thread), that term should forever belong to the ending of the Cal-Stanford game.

8 Re: Breaking Down Eli Manning to David Tyree

Heh, The Perfect Catch is...will I get run off the site on a rail if I call it "catchy?"

And yeah, that's why "The Play" is off limits. There's some history you don't touch.

14 Re: Breaking Down Eli Manning to David Tyree

I want to know what Eli saw as he was launching the ball. Many seconds had passed before the ball was thrown and a long also passed while the ball was in the air. Where were the receives and the secondary? You can't tell from any of the angles shown in TV.

15 Re: Breaking Down Eli Manning to David Tyree

I don't remember which poster it is, but whoever you are, we don't need to hear about how inaccurate "catching the ball at the highest point" is. We all know it should be "catching the ball at the highest point possible" and we all accept that. :-p

16 Re: Breaking Down Eli Manning to David Tyree

The Flee to Tyree is pretty good (it's got the alliteration going), but it's not generic enough - "The Catch", "The Immaculate Reception", "The Music City Miracle", "4th and 26", "The River City Relay", "The Tackle" are all generic names - nobody's names are mentioned in any of them, no teams are mentioned in any of them, etc.

So "The Great Escape" fits better for me.

Obviously, football's going to run out of names like that, but hey, not there yet.

Someone needs to kick Gregg Easterbrook's butt for suggesting "The Play." That's a terrible name - it tells you absolutely nothing.

17 Re: Breaking Down Eli Manning to David Tyree

excellent break-down of the play, and kudos for giving a section to a referee for doing his job well.
This play is still so amazing and improbable (if that's the correct word) that I just can't be upset.

Now think of a good name before Best Damn Sports Show butchers it! I'm helping support The Great Escape.

18 Re: Breaking Down Eli Manning to David Tyree

Great study of a great catch. The greatest catch in SB history?
.....Hmmmmm....
I put it 2nd behind Swann's sideline catch over the defender vs the Cowboys. I'm still not sure how, but Swann seemed to change direction in mid-air, leaving the field of play in bounds, landing in bounds, but being out of bounds, and over the head of the defender at the height of the jump.

Tyree defied Harrison, no mean feat, but Swann defied Newton.
and yes, I am a Steeler fan.

20 Re: Breaking Down Eli Manning to David Tyree

#15: The reason "catching the ball at its highest point" sounds stupid is because it's actually "catching the ball at the highest point" - as in, the highest point of your jump.

Somehow that phrase gets botched all the time. I have no idea why. "At its highest point" makes no sense. Why would you care about getting the ball at its highest point? Its highest point could've been thirty yards away.

Catching the ball at the highest point of your jump, however, is true in virtually every sport with a jump catch (soccer, rugby, basketball) because then you're not wasting any of your leaping ability.

22 Re: Breaking Down Eli Manning to David Tyree

5:

How about "The Imperfect Catch?" It captures the ending of the perfect season, and, of course, that catch was pretty "imperfect" from a fundamental standpoint. Not that that's stopped me from watching it about sixty times...

24 Re: Breaking Down Eli Manning to David Tyree

And to think, if only Rodney Harrison had taken something to enhance his strength, Tyree wouldn't have held on.

Some of those names are nice, but I would really, really appreciate it if people would refer to the whole series as "The Drive". Please?

26 Re: Breaking Down Eli Manning to David Tyree

Given what it did to the Pats, and given what Harrison almost did to Tyree, I kinda like The Backbreaker.

Although, admittedly, it leaves out the Manning part of the equation.

27 Re: Breaking Down Eli Manning to David Tyree

I feel that the great moment from the M*A*S*H movie cannot be overlooked, re Rich Seubert: "Sixty-nine is divine! Hey hey, ho ho!"

30 Re: Breaking Down Eli Manning to David Tyree

I agree that although everyone knows what "at its highest point" means, it is technically inaccurate, and therefore I have tweaked the phrasing.

36 Re: Breaking Down Eli Manning to David Tyree

Glenn- it's for Super Bowl 42. This way it mentions the catch (something The Great Escape doesn't do), which, honestly, was the more impressive half of the play. And it memorializes the stage that it was made on.

37 Re: Breaking Down Eli Manning to David Tyree

I think the word "Miracle" needs to be in there to convey how amazing/unlikely that play really was and how desperate we* were at the time. "Catch 42" makes it sound like a great catch - which it was - but it was great more in the "holy s--t did that happen" sense (like the Music City Miracle) than great in the Montana-to-Clark sense. Final Minute Miracle? Tyree Miracle?

*Yes, I say "we" when I refer to the Giants

38 Re: Breaking Down Eli Manning to David Tyree

And I haven't seen this mentioned anywhere else, so I'll say it here. While I was watching that play develop, I was thinking, "Holy crap, Eli looks like Donovan McNabb there." The whole series reminded me very much of The Scramble (except, of course, Freddie Mitchell didn't catch the pass on his helmet and is now out of football).

41 Re: Breaking Down Eli Manning to David Tyree

#40- When he says The Scramble, he might be talking about the play in Dallas a few years ago....

The play will most likely just be known as the Tyree Catch.

42 Re: Breaking Down Eli Manning to David Tyree

Re 41 - Yes, I was referring to that play in Dallas in 2004 on MNF where McNabb got out of like 3 sacks and ran around for over 14 seconds, AKA "The Scramble."

FWIW, I'm a woman, not a guy.

43 Re: Breaking Down Eli Manning to David Tyree

#25 - you beat me to it, you bastard.

I think 'The Great Escape' has the best ring to it, but it really doesn't do justice to half of the play.

44 Re: Breaking Down Eli Manning to David Tyree

#14-

That's something I've wondered too. From the pictures in MDS' piece, it seems to suggest that Tyree must have been pretty open when Manning threw the ball because of the side angle at which Harrison came at the play (as opposed to being in front of Tyree), and the fact that he's the only defender close enough to make a play even though the pass was in the air a long time. How he got to be so open is the mystery, and probably a pretty interesting one.

46 Re: Breaking Down Eli Manning to David Tyree

re 15:

speak for yourself. i find that to be the single most infuriating phrase/cliche in all of sport. i get an aneurysm every time i hear it.

47 Re: Breaking Down Eli Manning to David Tyree

I'd go with "The Imperfect Catch" (because it was caught against the helmet and helped end the perfect season) or, my favorite I've heard so far, "The Hat Trick."

48 Re: Breaking Down Eli Manning to David Tyree

Re 42:

Oops, my bad. Whenever I read about Freddie Mitchell doing anything useful, I assume it's 4th and 26. With Mitchell responsible for 2 of the most memorable plays with McNabb's Eagles, maybe they should keep him on the roster, but just play him when they need something magic to happen.

50 Re: Breaking Down Eli Manning to David Tyree

Awesome link. Could also name it after the first comment out of Aikman's mouth when he saw the replay of Tyree: "Oh my god!"

51 Re: Breaking Down Eli Manning to David Tyree

I like The Escape or The Great Escape, but I also heard some people refer it to "The Helmet Catch". I like that one too.

52 Re: Breaking Down Eli Manning to David Tyree

I seem to be the only Pats fan chiming in on this, but I would vote for "The Great Escape", given that my first vote of "Frikkin no-good SACK-THE-B***ARD! no-way-that-happened how-the-heck-was-that-a-catch it-must-have-touched-the-ground I-can't-f***in-believe-that" is a bit too long for a catchy name, and my second thought..."The Helmet Catch", is pretty lame and unoriginal.

Still, with all those pictures, you don't have the most significant one...the one showing the ball come within about 1" of the ground and yet not...quite...touch... Ahhhg, pain...

53 Re: Breaking Down Eli Manning to David Tyree

Someone on a different thread suggested "The Hat Trick", which I thought was pretty fantastic... Catch 42 is pretty good, too, though.

55 Re: Breaking Down Eli Manning to David Tyree

hah! I like it even better- The Giant Snatch!

but yeah- given that Tyree will likely enjoy a special teams gunner/marginal reciever-type career, I can totally see 20 years from now this being refered to as the Tyree Catch.

56 Re: Breaking Down Eli Manning to David Tyree

54, yeah, but let's get back to the super bowl discussion.

This is a tough one to name appropriately--taking The Drive and Immac Reception as baselines, those phrases boiled their respective events down to their essence: the throw, the weird carom etc did not matter in the Immac Recep--it was all about the unlikely catch. The Drive--who remembers about the catches and runs, the penalties and blocking--It was all about putting together all the little pieces to form a perfect whole. Like composing a symphony.

So what can convey the amazing escape and improbable catch in just a couple words? Shit, that's why I quit writing for a living and went into real estate. Backbreaker certainly comes close except its descriptive contribution is nil. Heartbreaker? Nah. Hat trick is amusing, but... no. Escape and Helmet Catch only get half, but they do get their halves right. Flee to Tyree gets each half mentioned, but not very satisfactorily. And "Two Guys Pulling One Out of Their Asses" sounds more like East Village performance art than an immortal football play.

I dunno, in the end, Helmet Catch might end up being the most descriptive and easily recognizable in 10 years. Or anything with the word snatch in it.

Is there a name in the Philly/NYG fan lexicon for Randall Cunningham's MNF TD throw from about the 7 yard line when Pepper Johnson flew in and rammed him in the thigh pads, nearly decked him, but RC kept his balance with his free hand, stood up, and tossed a TD. I'd peg that as about 1990. Still in my list of top 5 most amazing plays.

60 Re: Breaking Down Eli Manning to David Tyree

I'll put in a vote for "Catch-42".

Up to the catch itself, the play was a protection breakdown, a scramble out of a shirt-tackle, a split-second decision to throw long rather than to go for the first-down, and an inaccurate, lofted, Hail-Mary throw into traffic. All of that is exciting, but little of it is praise-worthy or particularly amazing. (Evading the shirt-tackle was nice, true, but it happens so often it isn't worth being a Named Play. Tyree stayed "alive" through the whole scramble - also excellent, but not worth naming in itself.)

On an off-target throw, in traffic, Tyree leapt at exactly the right moment to full extension to catch the ball. He maintained his concentration while the ball slipped against his helmet, and while defenders simultaneously hyperextentended his back and pulled at the ball. He got both hands on the ball, fell to the ground, and held the ball away from the defenders and off the ground, completing the catch.

"That's some catch, that Catch-42."

"Yep, It's the best there is."

If you insist on naming the play after Eli, a good name would be "Wing and a Prayer". Because that was his contribution.

61 Re: Breaking Down Eli Manning to David Tyree

Is it just me or was the play (at least the QB part) eerily reminiscint of Steve McNair on the second-to-last play of the loss to the Rams. (Play before the Dyson tackle.) Don't remember who it was thrown to, but I recall thinking that, given the circumstances (Super Bowl at stake, etc.), that was the greatest play I'd ever seen live. Of course, the Rams winning relegated it to forgotten status by the post game show...

63 Re: Breaking Down Eli Manning to David Tyree

Catch-42. Genius.

To make a play that great you have to have an inaccurate QB throwing to a not-top-notch receiver, but to make the play you need to be a really good qb and a great receiver.

66 Re: Breaking Down Eli Manning to David Tyree

To me its "the grab".

Alot of the other great catches were about grace. This catch was about brute strength. Tryee's hanging onto the ball while a very angry individual is trying to break his back. Thats a feat of strength.

68 Re: Breaking Down Eli Manning to David Tyree

Catch-XLII also has my vote. Or, if you wanted integrate miracle, I guess you could go with Miracle on XLIInd. That seems a little to convoluted though.

69 Re: Breaking Down Eli Manning to David Tyree

While the play was happening I was on the phone with a working friend who couldn't watch the game. My exact words "Oh my God he got away, Oh my God he caught it., so with a tip of the hat to #50 and to Troy Aikman, I propose "Double Oh my God!"

70 Re: Breaking Down Eli Manning to David Tyree

I like something like "The Grasp" or "In the Grasp". It includes the possible in the grasp call and the grasp made by Tyree.

71 Re: Breaking Down Eli Manning to David Tyree

> the one showing the ball come within about 1″ of the ground and yet not…quite…touch

I think the tip of the ball might very well have touched the ground (that's what appeared to be the case on my DVR replay), but Tyree had two hands on the ball and solid control by that point. That'd still be a catch per the rule change on "complete control" after Ike Hilliard's overruled "catch" against the Rams in the 1999 NFCCG.

73 Re: Breaking Down Eli Manning to David Tyree

63: Catch-42 isn't mine. Are-tee (#21) proposed Catch-XLII - with roman numerals so you know where the 42 comes from. I'm not certain it started with Are-tee.

Catch-42 seems very fitting. And I really wish Eli had shown up for his MVP award naked.

75 Re: Breaking Down Eli Manning to David Tyree

That’d still be a catch per the rule change on “complete control” after Ike Hilliard’s overruled “catch” against the Rams in the 1999 NFCCG.

Bert Emanuel, not Ike Hilliard.

76 Re: Breaking Down Eli Manning to David Tyree

#56 writes: the throw, the weird carom etc did not matter in the Immac Recep–it was all about the unlikely catch.

Not quite. The Immaculate aspect referred to whether the ball touched Jack Tatum or not, since if had gone from Fuqua to Franco without a defender touching it, the pass would have been incomplete by rule.

77 Re: Breaking Down Eli Manning to David Tyree

"Catch 42", by all means.

I also love the "Immaculate Helmet" and the "Giant Snatch".

But let me suggest others: the "Surrogate Helmet", the "Helmet of Hamlet" (because it sounds so cool, because it was a "to be or not to be moment") "Belichik's Bane", and "Meltdown in Arizona".

78 Re: Breaking Down Eli Manning to David Tyree

How about "The Improbable Reception"?

I remember standing up watching Eli escape (when did he learn to do that?)and then not sitting down again until the knee after the Pats gacked. What an enormously satisfying victory. Right up there with SB XV.

79 Re: Breaking Down Eli Manning to David Tyree

> Bert Emanuel, not Ike Hilliard.

Correct, Emanuel (I don't know where I came up with Hilliard except that he's a Buc now). That was one of those plays where the ruling was technically correct to the letter of the law (the ball cannot touch the ground through any part of the catch process, including the player's contact with the ground), but where a bad rule was only exposed due to the advent of super-slow-motion replay. For 80 years that would have been a catch to the naked eye, and the same is true of Tyree's catch.

80 Re: Breaking Down Eli Manning to David Tyree

I think I'm sticking with The Broken Play. It pretty much captures everything. Whenever someone mentions success from a broken play, it conjures up images of a quarterback scrambling like crazy away from heavy pressure and then hitting an open man on a route that wasn't drawn into the play. Plus, it's succinct and fits with other classics like The Catch, The Drive, etc.

81 Re: Breaking Down Eli Manning to David Tyree

At PFT, Florio mentions that one of his readers proposed "The Shawshank Reception". I like it for the very simple fact that it would drive Simmons absolutely crazy.

84 Re: Breaking Down Eli Manning to David Tyree

Bobman #56:

Is there a name in the Philly/NYG fan lexicon for Randall Cunningham’s MNF TD throw from about the 7 yard line when Pepper Johnson flew in and rammed him in the thigh pads, nearly decked him, but RC kept his balance with his free hand, stood up, and tossed a TD.

I think you are confusing two similar Cunningham plays, one against the Giants while escaping Carl Banks by holding himself up with one hand and another against Bruce Smith of the Bills ducking a sure sack.

The play against the Giants was a short one and is called "The Flip".

I've always heard the Bruce Smith play called "Cunningham's Escape".

That is known as "Cunningham's Escape" anytime I've heard of it.

85 Re: Breaking Down Eli Manning to David Tyree

Pat #16:

The Flee to Tyree is pretty good (it’s got the alliteration going), but it’s not generic enough - “The Catch”, “The Immaculate Reception”, “The Music City Miracle”, “4th and 26″, “The River City Relay”, “The Tackle” are all generic names - nobody’s names are mentioned in any of them, no teams are mentioned in any of them, etc.

What about "Ghost to the Post" for the play to Casper? "The Flee to Tyree" fits right in with that and is a pithy summarization.

86 Re: Breaking Down Eli Manning to David Tyree

"The Play" is the Stanford Band Play.

"The Catch" is Montana to Clark.

"The Drive" is Elway's 98 yarder against the Browns.

Those are all taken. Come up with something new and don't do a take-off on "The Immacualte Reception" or similar.

89 Re: Breaking Down Eli Manning to David Tyree

So here's a question. On ESPN a number of months ago, or maybe it was on NFLN, they ran a list of the "FIVE MOST MEMORABLE FOOTBALL PLAYS OF ALL TIME". Not surprisingly, their list consisted of:

1) The Play (Stanford Band Play)
2) The Catch (49ers)
3) The Music City Miracle (or, if you're a Bills fan, the Music City Foreward Pass)
4) The Immaculate Reception
5) Doug Flutie's Hail Mary

Now I'm sure you can quibble with this list, and maybe you want to include some of your own favorite memorable plays instead of some of these.

But what I wonder...does the "Flee to Tyree" or "Catch 42" or "The Great Escape" or whatever you want to call it, crack this list? And if so, how high? Is it a top 5 most memorable play?

90 Re: Breaking Down Eli Manning to David Tyree

What about “Ghost to the Post” for the play to Casper? “The Flee to Tyree” fits right in with that and is a pithy summarization.

Except his name wasn't Ghost, it was Casper. (Yes, his nickname was 'Ghost', but 'Ghost' is a normal non-proper noun).

Note that "Music City Miracle", "River City Relay" both avoid using the actual names. So did "Ghost to the Post." The main problem with "Flee to Tyree" is the fact that people won't easily remember "Tyree."

Then again, maybe it's allowed, because history won't likely remember him for anything else, either.

91 Re: Breaking Down Eli Manning to David Tyree

Re 89:

I don't think it cracks the top 5. All those plays were basically the last play of the game, a real do or die situation. The Great Escape was on 3rd down with over 50 seconds left in the game. A great in clutch time, but not quite as "clutch" as the other plays on the list.

I'm not even sure it beats Boise State's hook and ladder.

93 Re: Breaking Down Eli Manning to David Tyree

OOoo I got one - "Runnin down a dream" If they dont remember Tyree theyll surely remember Tom Petty.

But seriously I like The Great Escape.

94 Re: Breaking Down Eli Manning to David Tyree

Come on, it justi hit me as bullet. We must also name the drive: it was the "Unstoppable Drive"!

I simply can listen the voice of any NFL Film: "When Tom Brandy found Randy Moss in the endzone with 3' left on the fourth quarter, the filling was that finally the heavily favority Patriots have secured their victory. Giants only hope was that their offense, leaded by Eli Manning, performed a 'Unstoppable Drive'. And so it did..."

I also appologize for every single grammar mistake I've made.

96 Re: Breaking Down Eli Manning to David Tyree

My vote is for Catch-42, followed by Immaculate Helmet and Giant Snatch (although I'd avoid this one for obvious sexual underpinnings).

For those that wondered what Manning saw when he escaped Jarvis Green and Thomas' grasp; he goes on to say he saw Tyree's helmet and heave-ho'ed in Tyree's direction (see attached link at 04:13)

97 Re: Breaking Down Eli Manning to David Tyree

Hat Trick. By far the most memorable sight in the whole superbowl was Tyree holding the ball on his helmet, the nickname has got to refer to that.

98 Re: Breaking Down Eli Manning to David Tyree

What about the Scud? It was an improbable launch that had a low chance of hitting it's target but it got by a Patriot and boom.

99 Re: Breaking Down Eli Manning to David Tyree

Humorously intended, I think Ray Finkle's mother sums the play up best for me.... Eli Manning should die of gonnorhea and rot in hell. Would you like a cookie, son? no but seriously, I'm supporting Great Escape. I know it doesn't describe Tyree's half, but I'm supporting it until I hear something better. I also like the sound of Catch 42, but Eli and Tyree were only "damned if they DON'T" and I don't think Heller would have considered either of them crazy.

101 Re: Breaking Down Eli Manning to David Tyree

This is probably too nerd for the mainstream, how about "Grabby and Squeezey"?

The poll question on NFL.com is what the name should be. The choices are:

1. Catch 42
2. The Giant Catch
3. Helmet Catch
4. Prayer and Snare
5. Miracle in Glendale
6. The Glendale Grab

Prayer and Snare isn't half bad, but "The Giant Catch" is leading for some inexplicable reason.

102 Re: Breaking Down Eli Manning to David Tyree

#14: "Many seconds had passed before the ball was thrown and a long [time] also passed while the ball was in the air."

That gives me an idea: How about calling it "The New York Minute"?

104 Re: Breaking Down Eli Manning to David Tyree

Don't ask me why 7 weeks later, on the 112th viewing of this play, but check out the nfl.com video starting at 15:09 (http://www.nfl.com/videos?videoId=09000d5d80690393): quite clearly there is Shaun O'Hara's left arm draped around Richard Seymour (who then proceeds to block Jarvis Green's path to Manning as he made his final escape into the flat). Understandable how the refs might have missed this during such a long and chaotic play (O'Hara probably held him for about a second and then quickly got back into position in front of Seymour), but I'm amazed that after all this time and scrutiny I hadn't heard anyone mention this or notice it myself.