“Rob Gronkowski’s catch definitely was not the first for us to see”
New York sports fans were in for a real treat at the Tribeca Film Festival event “THE GREATEST CATCH EVER – A CONVERSATION WITH SPIKE LEE” presented by ESPN. When New England Patriots Rob Gronkowski made an impressive one-handed grab in the fourth quarter of a November 2014 game against the Denver Broncos, Patriots quarterback Tom Brady said it was the best catch he had ever seen. Clearly, Lee was enormously frustrated by the statement because he believes not only was there a better one, but it came much earlier than 2014. This is exactly where the film’s purpose came in–to show the public what “The Greatest Catch Ever” truly was.
Alongside Chris Snee, David Tyree and Plaxico Burress, Spike Lee’s documentary told the story of David Tyree’s iconic helmet catch in the 2008 Super Bowl to help the New York Giants defeat the then-undefeated New England Patriots in one of the NFL’s most legendary upsets. The premiere began with the film, which also featured Tom Coughlin–head coach of the New York Giants, Eli Manning–Quarterback of the NY Giants and new comer Odell Beckham Jr–Wide Receiver of the NY Giants who each spoke about their own opinion on the topic. The film also spoke about Beckham’s iconic catch that went viral on social media.
The film highlighted many events that happened leading up to the 2008 Superbowl including David Tyree’s pitiful practice. The Friday before the Superbowl, the Giants’ last practice before the game – Tyree had one of the worst practices of his career. He dropped six balls over the course of the day, earning mockery from his teammates. Tyree also spoke about how his friend who was a Florida minister gave him spiritual guidance before the Super Bowl. He claims she made three predictions the night before big game, which were that the ball would stick to his hands, that he would make the game’s big play, and that the world would no longer remember him as a special teams player.
The players also spoke more about who the game ball belonged to. After David Tyree made his historic catch, the actual football was put back into play because the catch had not resulted in a touchdown. But a few plays later, wide receiver Plaxico Burress hauled in the game-winning touchdown pass with the same ball. In tradition for the NFL, players get to keep their touchdown ball. So even though Tyree’s catch was much more iconic than Burress’ touchdown, Burress has the ball at his house. In the panel discussion which featured NFL reporter Michael Smith as moderator, Burress said there was nothing Tyree could give him to convince him to give up the ball.
During the Tribeca Talks panel, Spike Lee often brought up his distaste for Boston’s sports teams. “I’m a New Yorker and I hate every team from Boston,” said Lee. As the audience laughed, you could tell that the iconic director was very serious regarding his statement. This documentary is a great vision into what really happened out on the field of the 2008 Superbowl and is truly a sports lover’s dream.
-Bri Christian (@brirezy)