What the actual Hell is this? I appreciate that Gil Brandt is in the NFL Hall of Fame and the closest I’ve ever come to being on “Blue Ribbon” anything was the time I drunkenly sang “Black Velvet Band” at Mr. Dooley’s on St. Paddy’s Day, which is off by several gradients on the color spectrum and doesn’t count. So I’m hardly qualified I guess to disagree with these knowledgeable experts on the topic of great plays. But seriously, how can anybody get this so horribly, horribly wrong?
Malcolm Butler’s interception is the 27th best play of all time? Is this a joke? Are they honestly planning on rolling out 26 better plays, or are they just messing with us? I’m holding out hope that this is just a feint and they’ll come back further down the list and say, “j/k about Butler lol” and put him in the Top 5 but they don’t want to give the obvious choice now to build suspense or something.
To put this in perspective, No. 28 was a run by Barry Sanders in the playoffs:
Which is all well and good since he’s arguably the best running back of all time, this helped knock the Cowboys dynasty of the early 90s out of the playoffs and any postseason win by one of the oldest franchises – who haven’t had many – is pretty significant.
But No. 29 is that same damned catch by Odell Beckham Jr. that no one has been able to shut up about since:
You know the one. The one from a game the Giants lost on the way to a 6-10 season. Meaning that if OBJ had dropped the pass, caught it two-handed or never got out of bed that day, would’ve had zero impact on the history of the league.
But what Malcolm Butler did was not only a great individual play, it was probably the most significant single play of all time. For sure it was the most impactful of the Super Bowl Era. Was it as athletic as Sanders’ run against Dallas or as impossibly acrobatic as Beckham’s catch? Not at all. Though it took a lot of both. Plus concentration. Timing. Focus. Toughness. And all the DNA encoded in the Clutch Gene to pull it off with a championship on the line.
But the question is are these Blue Ribbons going for Artistic Impression scores? Or are they going for what they said the list is: Greatest Plays? Because by that definition, there has been nothing like it. In one instant, the world changed forever. One Dynasty was rebooted after lying semi-dormant for 10 years. While another almost-dynasty died in infancy. The Patriots just kept going back to Super Bowls and winning most of them, while the Seahawks crumbled. Their morale crushed under the weight of their coaches’ decision-making and their own not-good-enoughishness.
For that reason alone, it’s more of a “Great Play” than any of the obvious ones that will undoubtedly top this list, like The Catch, The Immaculate Reception or The Holy Roller. And any list that has it ranked this low is already discredited.
I just found out about this list, and for me it’s over before it even began. Unless somewhere the Top 10 they make room for The Tuck Rule, any of Adam Vinatieri’s greatest kicks or The Buttfumble. If the “experts” include those, they might win me back.