“The Catch”



This is one of the most iconic images ever taken in American football.  It features Dwight Clark of the San Francisco 49ers catching the winning touchdown pass from QB Joe Montana against the Dallas Cowboys in the NFC Championship game on January 10, 1982.  This touchdown catch tied the game at 27 with under a minute remaining in the final quarter, and the extra point put the 49ers in the lead.  The Niners eventually won the game and their first Super Bowl two weeks later.  This catch marked the end of Cowboy’s domination of the NFC and began the era of the 49ers.


How have sports and the ways they are portrayed affected the lives of Americans?  What kind of sentiment is invoked when a once-in-a-lifetime photo like this is captured?



2 thoughts on ““The Catch””

  1. American sports have proven to be nothing short of an integral part of our modern day culture. Asking someone “did you catch the game last night” has become more than just a conversation starter; it is now a common statement that almost everyone in the nation will have some kind of response to. When an image like this is created, a moment in American history has been preserved. Pictures like this create a rallying point for fans to come around and celebrate for years to come. Pictures like this are the kind that are hung in sports bars and man caves so that they can be viewed by the masses, thereby preserving their memory for years to come.

  2. The fact that one of the most popular magazines in the US is called “Sports Illustrated” acts as a good indication of two things: 1) sports and photography are deeply intertwined and 2) fans love great sport photos. Images of exciting, dramatic, or any otherwise emotion-invoking moments in sports have provided us with some of the most recognizable photos in pop culture. Sports photography captures the brief moments in time that we watch the game for or read the paper the next day to hear about. When one sees a picture such as this one, they are transported back to when they jumped off the couch at this moment while watching it live. Photography in moments like this — ones that are iconic and meaningful — encapsulates the emotion and excitement of the event.

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