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Wide Right (Buffalo Bills)

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Title: Wide Right (Buffalo Bills)  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Super Bowl XXV, Buffalo Bills, New York Giants, Final play of Super Bowl XXXIV, Bruce Smith (defensive end)
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Wide Right (Buffalo Bills)

Wide Right
Tampa Stadium, the site of Super Bowl XXV
1 2 3 4 Total
BUF 3 9 0 7 19
NYG 3 7 7 3 20
Date January 27, 1991 (1991-01-27)
Stadium Tampa Stadium
Location Tampa, Florida
Referee Jerry Seeman
Attendance 73,813
Favorite Bills by 7
Network ABC
Announcers Al Michaels, Frank Gifford and Dan Dierdorf

Wide Right was sportscaster Al Michaels' description of kicker Scott Norwood's missed 47-yard field goal attempt at the end of Super Bowl XXV on January 27, 1991. This phrase has since become synonymous with the game itself.


  • The field goal attempt 1
  • Aftermath 2
  • Notes 3
  • See also 4

The field goal attempt

With eight seconds left in the game, Norwood's Buffalo Bills trailed the New York Giants 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.[1] Bills head coach Marv Levy also noted that fewer than 50% of such attempts succeeded.[2] In fact, during his career, Norwood was 1 of 5 for field goal attempts of more than 40 yards on grass, and with his longest field goal being 48 yards in that season (which is unusually short by modern NFL standards).[3]

The kick, although it had sufficient distance, passed about a foot to the right of the righthand goalpost and the field goal attempt failed. Sportscaster Al Michaels announced the occurrence to a stunned television audience.

The New York Giants took possession with four seconds left and ran out the clock for a 20–19 victory, making this Super Bowl the closest ever.


The Bills were given their first of four straight Super Bowl losses, and this loss was the closest the team got as the next three Super Bowls ended with the Bills losing by considerable margins (13, 35, 17, respectively). 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 an even greater significance.[4]

Norwood himself would kick for one more season with the Bills before being replaced by Steve Christie for the 1992 season.


  1. ^ ABC Sports commentary of Super Bowl XXV
  2. ^ Thirteen years after missing a Super Bowl-winning field – 07.12.04 – SI Vault
  3. ^
  4. ^ Thirteen years after missing a Super Bowl-winning field – 07.12.04 – SI Vault

See also

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