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Wide Right (Buffalo Bills)

Wide Right (Buffalo Bills)

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Wide Right or 47 Wide Right describes kicker
Placekicker
Placekicker, or simply kicker , is the title of the player in American and Canadian football who is responsible for the kicking duties of field goals, extra points...

 Scott Norwood
Scott Norwood
Scott Allan Norwood is a former American football placekicker in the NFL who played for the Buffalo Bills. Norwood was an integral part of its offense during the late 1980s and early 1990s, and kicked in Buffalo's first two Super Bowl appearances...

's missed 47-yard field goal
Field goal (football)
A field goal in American football and Canadian football is a goal that may be scored during general play . Field goals may be scored by a placekick or the now practically extinct drop kick.The drop kick fell out of favor in 1934 when the shape of the ball was changed...

 attempt at the end of Super Bowl XXV
Super Bowl XXV
Super Bowl XXV was an American football game played on January 27, 1991 at Tampa Stadium in Tampa, Florida to decide the National Football League champion following the 1990 regular season. The National Football Conference Champion New York Giants defeated the American Football Conference ...

 on January 27, 1991.

The field goal attempt


With eight seconds remaining in the game, Norwood's Buffalo Bills
Buffalo Bills
The Buffalo Bills are a professional football team based in Buffalo, New York. They are currently members of the East Division of the American Football Conference in the National Football League...

 trailed the New York Giants
New York Giants
The New York Giants are a professional American football team based in East Rutherford, New Jersey, representing the New York City metropolitan area. The Giants are currently members of the Eastern Division of the National Football Conference in the National Football League...

 by a single point. They chose to try a 47-yard field goal, which would win the game and the championship for the Bills. However, 47 yards was considered near the limit of Norwood's kicking range, particularly on a grass field, according to comments during the original game broadcast. Bills head coach Marv Levy
Marv Levy
Marvin Daniel Levy is a former American and Canadian football coach, front office executive and author.He is a former professional football coach, in the CFL as head coach of the Montreal Alouettes , and in the NFL as head coach of the Kansas City Chiefs and the Buffalo Bills , coaching the Bills...

 also noted that fewer than 50% of such attempts succeeded. In fact, during that season, Norwood was 1 of 5 for field goal attempts of more than 40 yards on grass, with his 1 success being 41 yards.

The kick sailed right of the uprights and the field goal attempt failed.

The New York Giants
New York Giants
The New York Giants are a professional American football team based in East Rutherford, New Jersey, representing the New York City metropolitan area. The Giants are currently members of the Eastern Division of the National Football Conference in the National Football League...

 took possession with four seconds left and ran out the clock
Running out the clock
In sports, running out the clock refers to the practice of a winning team allowing the clock to expire through a series of pre-selected plays, either to preserve a lead or hasten the end of a one-sided contest.- American football :...

 for a 20–19 victory, making this Super Bowl
Super Bowl
The Super Bowl is the championship game of the National Football League , the highest level of professional American football in the United States, culminating a season that begins in the late summer of the previous calendar year. The Super Bowl uses Roman numerals to identify each game, rather...

 the closest ever.

Aftermath


The Bills were given their first of four consecutive Super Bowl losses, and this loss was the closest the team got as the next three Super Bowls ended with the Bills losing by thirteen or more all three times. The city of Buffalo had not won a major sports championship since 1965 (the third-longest such streak of futility for any city that has at least two major sports franchises, after San Diego (1963) and Cleveland (1964)), so Norwood's unsuccessful attempt had even greater significance.

Norwood himself would kick for one more season with the Bills before being replaced by Steve Christie
Steve Christie
Geoffrey Stephen Christie is a former Canadian American football placekicker in the National Football League, who, as a member of the Buffalo Bills, became known for his ability to kick clutch field goals, even in poor weather.-Early career:Christie, who grew up in nearby Oakville, Ontario,...

 for the 1992 season. While Norwood's career would largely be associated with the miss, many Bills fans still ranked him highly for the totality of his accomplishments with the team and his character before and after Super Bowl XXV, which paralleled the city of Buffalo's industrial decline
Rust Belt
The Rust Belt is a term that gained currency in the 1980s as the informal description of an area straddling the Midwestern and Northeastern United States, in which local economies traditionally garnered an increased manufacturing sector to add jobs and corporate profits...

 and its resurgence by diversification and cleaning up.

See also

  • Buffalo '66
  • The Comeback
    The Comeback (American football)
    The Comeback was a NFL playoff game between the Buffalo Bills and the Houston Oilers played January 3, 1993. It featured the Bills recovering from a 32-point deficit to win in overtime, and it remains the largest comeback in NFL history...

  • National Football League lore
    National Football League lore
    National Football League lore is a collection of information that NFL fans retain and share.Since the NFL was founded in 1920, it has grown from an informal network of teams based mostly in small towns and cities into the most popular and successful sports league in the United States...