The Hail Mary
Trailing with next-to-no time left, Dallas quarterback Roger Staubach must save the Cowboys' 1975 season in a divisional round playoff game against the Vikings. So he turns to a higher power: Staubach throws the ball up in desperation toward his go-to receiver, Drew Pearson. Knocked to the ground, the quarterback can’t see Pearson haul in the catch for a miraculous, game-winning touchdown. But his postgame reaction says it all: “I closed my eyes and said a Hail Mary,” he tells reporters. With his holy admission, he coins a term that's now synonymous with big-time plays. "Staubach introduced 'Hail Mary pass’ to the American lexicon," says Ray Didinger, an award-winning sportswriter and member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.