When incredible plays and miracle finishes become kind of irrelevant

When Stefon Diggs hauled in a pass from Case Keenum just over a week ago and raced into the end zone to lift the Minnesota Vikings to a miracle win, sending them to the NFC Championship game, it felt like the Vikings were a team of destiny, and that the play by Diggs and Keenum was one of the all-time greats in the history of the NFL.

But that didn’t turn out to be the case (no pun intended). Because in the NFC Championship game the Vikings were walloped from start to finish, 38-7 by the Philadelphia Eagles.

And in the aftermath of that game I wonder, does this huge loss take away from how great the Diggs catch was?

And sadly, for Vikings fans and really just fans of crazy finishes in general, the answer is yes. In the moment and without context for what happened after, the Diggs catch might be the wildest ending to an NFL game this side of the Immaculate Reception. But the catch happened in their first playoff game, in the second round. They still had to win two more games after to win the title and cement that catch as the thing that sent them to a title. Needless to say, that didn’t happen. Unlike the Vikings, the Steelers did go on to win the Super Bowl following the immaculate reception, which is why that play lives on in NFL lore. UPDATE: Fan of the page and Pittsburgh Sports Reporter Matt Gajtka points out that the Steelers DID lose after that game, falling to the undefeated Dolphins the next week ADD THEM TO THE LIST OF IRRELEVANT PLAYS! For fans outside of Minnesota and New Orleans, the Diggs catch is something that will always be remembered and cherished or hated, but for the rest of the NFL, it was a wild finish that only led to the team getting crushed next week.

But what are some other wild or miracle finishes that also don’t stand up to the test of time? Here’s a few we at HST were able to come up with off the top of our heads.

Steve Yzerman 2OT goal, 1996

I’m going to get roasted for this like no other, but let me explain why. To this point in his career Yzerman was the guy who couldn’t win the big one or step up in the big moment, and he finally did in this game with a 60-foot dart to the corner, and one of the all-time great camera shots, which is amazing on 1996 SD technology.

But like the Vikings win, this came in the second round of the NHL playoffs, and despite having the best record in the league that year, by a mile, the Wings were then dumped in the Western Conference Finals by the Colorado Avalanche. Again, great moment, great goal, but it didn’t lead to anything. Except maybe the greatest modern rivalry in hockey after Kris Draper had his face stapled to the boards, but for the Wings, they didn’t win a thing because of this goal.

Matt Cooke goal with 6 seconds left in Game 7, 2004

Submitted by our own Chase Ruttig, this one was a wild finish between two Canadian rivals in a Game 7. The Canucks have been arguably the most tortured Canadian team in the NHL, and looked like they had found a miracle when Cooke poked home a rebound to send the game to overtime.

But just over a minute into the overtime period Martin Gelinas “fired” home a shot that knuckled and fell over the line to squash any hopes Canucks fans had of advancing in that series, despite them being the higher seed.

Carlton Fisk home run, 1975 World Series

If this was any team but the Red Sox, nobody would care or remember this home run. But because a Hall of Fame catcher hit a walk-off homer in the World Series for the then-most tortured team in baseball, it still lives on. If you had no clue about baseball or what came after you would think this is the most iconic moment in baseball history. In every MLB or World Series promo there’s Fisk in slow-motion, waving his arms to try and will the ball fair.

But it was in Game 6. It sent the series to a Game 7 where, SPOILER, the Reds rallied from an early 3-0 hole to take Game 7 and the series, both by a 4-3 margin. Great moment, but it doesn’t mean a thing if you don’t win the ring. Sorry Carlton.

Chauncey Billups half-court miracle, 2004

This was an incredible run up the court, and then he banked it in to force overtime against the then-New Jersey Nets, sending the Pistons fans at the Palace of Auburn Hills into a frenzy. But then the Pistons couldn’t take the moment from that shot and win the game, falling in the overtime period.

Now, Billups and the Pistons probably don’t care that they lost that game because they eventually did go on to win the series and later the NBA Title that year, but had they been able to pull out the win on that night against New Jersey, this would be one of the all-time talked about shots in NBA history.

Tim Tebow overtime win over the Steelers

This one is doubly bad for so many reasons. The Broncos did not win the Super Bowl with Tebow, and the real miracle was that he was able to hit a receiver in stride for once.

This was also the throw that gave us Tebowmania in the NFL, where people were convinced Tebow was a good NFL quarterback because he “just wins” and “finds a way” despite him not being able to throw a pass at all. Seriously, if this ball gets batted down or is a foot behind the receiver, we never hear another thing about Tebow in the NFL. But because he completed a simple slant route at the right time, we still see the play and have to hear about Tebow in the NFL forever.

And here are some that readers on Twitter have mentioned:


Any others that you remember or think are worth mentioning?


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