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#triviatuesday - What pro-football quarterback is widely known for saying a familiar prayer while throwing the winning pass that sent the Dallas Cowboys to an NFC Championship Game?

Football season’s over, but we can’t resist asking the following TRIVIA TUESDAY question:

What pro-football quarterback, who turns 77 years old today (*), is widely known for silently saying a familiar prayer while throwing what would become the winning pass that sent the Dallas Cowboys to an NFC (National Football Conference) Championship Game?

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While it wasn’t the first time the Roman Catholic prayer, “Hail Mary,” was referenced in football history, the prayer and phrase, “Hail Mary Pass” is  often associated with legendary Dallas Cowboys quarterback Roger Staubach, a Roman Catholic who was born in Cincinnati on this date in 1942.(*)

On the website, “Aleteia,” reporter Philip Kosloski recalls the momentous scene on a “cold December Sunday at Minnesota’s Metropolitan Stadium in 1975” when the “[Minnesota] Vikings were on the verge of winning an NFC divisional playoff game against the Dallas Cowboys...:”

“...There were 24 seconds left and Cowboys’ quarterback Roger Staubach needed a miracle if he had any hopes of winning the game. On a fourth down play that looked hopeless, Staubach launched the ball up in the air towards wide receiver Drew Pearson. Against all odds, Pearson caught the 50-yard throw and walked right into the end zone to win the game for the Cowboys, stunning the Minnesota crowd and sending the Cowboys to the NFC Championship game...

Staubach said to reporters after the game, ‘I just closed my eyes and said a Hail Mary,’ praying that Pearson would catch the ball and score a touchdown. Ever since Staubach mentioned his last-minute prayer, football teams at every level have called plays where the quarterback lofts up the football for anyone to grab in the end-zone a “Hail Mary” pass…” (**)

Actually, the term, “Hail Mary Pass,” is traceable to the 1930s. It was often used publicly by two members of the University of Notre Dame football team’s “Four Horsemen,” Elmer Layden and Jim Crowley.” Basketball has a similar phrase. (***)

In his 2012 book about the Dallas Cowboys, author Joe Nick Patoski recalled that :

“...Roger Staubach was the greatest leader the Cowboys had ever known, the one who took the team to Super Bowls and brought home trophies twice…” (****)

Thanks to Staubach, we learn that in football as in life, sometimes a last-chance effort becomes the best chance.

 

 

Sources:

(*)
From “The 2018 Chase’s Calendar of Events.” The 2019 edition is now available for checkout at MidPointe Library.

(**)The “Aleteia” website:

https://aleteia.org/2017/01/10/how-roger-staubachs-prayer-became-the-first-hail-mary-pass/

 (***)Wikipedia: “Hail Mary Pass”

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hail_Mary_pass

 (****)“The Dallas Cowboys -- The Outrageous History of the Biggest, Loudest, Most Hated, Best Loved Football team in America” by Joe Nick Patoski, published in 2012 by Little, Brown and Company. Available for checkout at MidPointe Library.

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