Definitions for Hail Mary pass
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Hail Mary pass
A Hail Mary pass or Hail Mary route is a very long forward pass in American football, made in desperation with only a small chance of success, especially at or near the end of a half. The expression goes back at least to the 1930s, being used publicly in that decade by two former members of Notre Dame's Four Horsemen, Elmer Layden and Jim Crowley. Originally meaning any sort of desperation play, a "Hail Mary" gradually came to denote a long, low-probability pass attempted at the end of a half when a team is too far from the end zone to execute a more conventional play. For more than forty years use of the term was largely confined to Notre Dame and other Catholic universities. The term became widespread after Dallas Cowboys quarterback Roger Staubach said about his game-winning touchdown pass to wide receiver Drew Pearson in a December 28, 1975 playoff game against the Minnesota Vikings, "I closed my eyes and said a Hail Mary."
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"Hail Mary pass." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2013. Web. 6 Dec. 2013. <http://www.definitions.net/definition/Hail Mary pass>.