Another last-minute “Hail Mary” pass seals another game


I’m not much of a football fan, at least not in America.  I played English-style rugby, where the object is to play the ball.  As far as I can tell, in American football the object is to fold, spindle and mutilate everyone on the field except the guy with the ball!  Yeah, I know, that’s not accurate – but it still looks that way to the rest of the world.

Be that as it may, I do enjoy some of the come-from-behind, underdog-beats-top-dog moments that one sees from time to time.  The most recent was last weekend, in the college football match between Jacksonville State University and Florida State University.  It was won after the clock had counted down to zero, by a “Hail Mary” pass from Jacksonville’s quarterback.  (For the benefit of overseas readers, in American football, the game isn’t over when the clock reaches zero, but when the play in progress at that moment is complete and the ball goes “dead”.  Only then will the game end.)

(If the video below won’t play, see its page on YouTube.)

That play reminded me of the famous “Miracle in Miami” in 2019, when the Miami Dolphins defeated the New England Patriots with a “Hail Mary” pass, also in the dying moments of the game.  (Video link here if it doesn’t play.)

Full marks to Jacksonville last weekend, and to the Dolphins in 2019.  It’s plays like those that make the game memorable.  Sadly, the NFL has become so politicized that many (including myself) no longer watch its games;  but college football is still focused on sport rather than politics, and is gaining many viewers as a result.



  1. FWIW Rugby has the same rule about completion. I'm fairly sure one of the games in the Japan Rugby World Cup was won through a try scored that way

  2. Even better, I have a vague memory (may have been a high school game) of then having to kick the extra point even if the clock ran out during the final play touchdown.

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