"The Greatest NFL Game of All Time"

is supposedly the 1958 sudden-death overtime championship game between Baltimore and New York.

I’ve heard Frank Gifford say, though, that it is a tainted victory, because there was a bad spot toward the end of regulation that gave an un-earned first down. Unitas would then go on to tie the game on that drive.

I’ve never seen this game. Does Gifford’s claim hold up, if you have seen it.

I heard this claim as well. However, footage of the play that I’ve seen is not nearly conclusive enough to make a good decision.

It kinda makes sense that there would be controversy, as you can’t have the “greatest” anything without it.

My personal “Best Game Ever Seen” was the Giants 20-19 victory over The Bills in the 1990 Supper Bowl.

The stakes were high - It was a championship game. The level of play was tremendous - no turnovers and very few penalties in the game. A clash of two different styles. Theatrical ending.

All that, and this time the right team won! :smiley:

Yer pal,

That was a great game, although I would be loath to let that “the right team won” comment pass by without a hearty “screw you.”

That having been said, I think the best game I’ve ever seen was the '92 wild card game between the Houston Oilers and the Buffalo Bills. This game still holds as the greatest comeback in the history of the NFL, as the Bills came back from a 35-3 halftime deficit to win by a field goal in overtime. But that’s because I’m biased toward the Bills, and I’m not old enough to have seen the game mentioned in the OP.

I know that NFL.com was doing a poll of the top 50 games of all time. I’m not sure if it’s up anymore, though.

Sports Illustrated just had a feature on it: the playoff game between Miami and San Diego in 1982(?). Read the account to see why.

That said, the Giants-Baltimore sudden death game is probably the greatest because not only was it a great game, but also because of it’s long-term effects. Pro football got scant attention before that; the game made it into a national game and led to the burst of expansion two years later. It showed that football had a mass audience, which allowed the AFL to get a TV contract and paved the way for the football boom of the 60s.

“East is east and west is west and if you take cranberries and stew them like applesauce they taste much more like prunes than rhubarb does.” – Marx

Read “Sundials” in the new issue of Aboriginal Science Fiction. www.sff.net/people/rothman

Must… resist… urge…

So what’s in your supper bowl tonight Satan ? :smiley:

Saying you lost a game on a bad spot of the ball by an official is a pretty slender reed to grab on to. Spotting the ball involves a lot of guesswork by the officials.

For example, running back plows into stacked up defensive line. 18 bodies collide in a small area. Then one official standing about 20 yards from the play runs in, points to a spot and says “He was stopped right there.”
And everyone accepts.

Unless the bad spot Gifford was talking about was an egregious error (like a player stepping out of bounds), I think he should just forget about it and move on.

The play Gifford complains about was a tackle made by Gino Marchetti a foot short of a first down that forced the Giants to punt and gave the Colts the opportunity to drive down the field to tie the game and send it to OT.

Gifford fumbled twice in the game, so perhaps he’s still a bit upset.


While a referee’s spot is open to interpretation on his part, what Gifford claimed was that they spotted the ball, then, as they were readying the chains, moved it back several feet for a reason he was not answered satisfactorily.

Yer pal,

Officials reposition the ball quite often. Usually, the umpire (the person in charge of spotting the ball), thinks it has rolled out of position. If someone moved the ball several feet (which is likely to be more than one yard if your description is right), then there would have to had been an explanation for it.

I still think Gifford is just being a bit of a sore loser.