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Thursday, July 17, 2014
Tyree helmet catch reaches the final four

By Dan Graziano
ESPN.com

ESPN's "Most Memorable Plays" series has reached the final-four stage, and all four of Kevin Seifert's No. 1 seeds are represented. That means that David Tyree's "helmet catch" play that helped lead the Giants to their Super Bowl XLII victory over the undefeated Patriots got more votes than DeSean Jackson's game-winning punt return did and is still alive in the hunt for the No. 1 spot.

However, this semifinal round is Tyree's toughest test yet, as he faces off against one of the iconic plays in NFL history -- Franco Harris' "Immaculate Reception."

Here's Kevin's breakdown of the matchup:
Harris vs. Tyree: Here we get into a philosophical question. Is something more memorable based on its singularity or its degree of difficulty? Harris won a playoff game by catching a wild carom of a deflected pass and taking off for the end zone before the Oakland Raiders knew what had happened. Tyree trapped a game-saving pass on his helmet, only after quarterback Eli Manning escaped a fierce pass rush, and held on after a violent hit in the Super Bowl. It's one of the most difficult pass receptions -- preseason, regular season or playoffs -- in NFL history. You didn't ask my opinion, but the unique nature of the Immaculate Reception seems to make it more memorable to me.

I revert to my argument from Wednesday. I'd give Tyree's play the edge as "most memorable" because, (A) more people saw it and, (B) it helped decide one of the most significant games in NFL history -- the one that denied the Patriots the opportunity to call themselves the greatest team of all time. Harris' play has lived on in NFL lore due, as Kevin points out, to its unique nature. But the fact that Tyree's came in a Super Bowl -- and that it came in that particular Super Bowl -- elevates it ever so slightly in my own mind.

Whatever Kevin and I think, you can watch all of the Final Four plays and vote for your finalists here.