RIP Dwight Clark, owner of one of the greatest catches of all time.

I think the photo of Dwight Clark elevating to make “The Catch” is probably the best football photo ever taken. Probably the most iconic football photo ever taken. The Dwight Clark catch photo is just a capture of a perfect moment of what makes football great and represents the best of the sport in one image.

Watching The Catch in real time now almost makes it seem quaint. From an athletic perspective players do more impressive feats every week these days. Clark got some nice air and it certainly wasn’t easy, but when I watch the replay now I mostly marvel at Joe Montana facing 3 Cowboy lineman ready to chomp him to bits and delivering the strike anyway. But the photo of The Catch? Perfect. Absolutely perfect.

It has the triumph and the majesty of football in it. The fatigue of the players in the background, already slowing down because they are out of the play and are now just spectators like the rest of us. The desperation of the Cowboy Everson Walls as he knows he’s out of position to stop the pass yet trying anyway. I actually love that you can’t actually see Dwight Clark’s face, it makes the photo somehow grander. It hides the face of strain and grit that we already have with Walls and instead makes it look more elegant. The fact that we can’t see Clark’s face kind of makes it easy to place almost any player in his shoes and makes it represent football players as a whole. This is the kind of stuff we tune in for every week. Cool ass football shit like a dude making an epic leap to grab the gamewinner. That’s what makes football great. Those are the moments and the snapshots you use to tell the history of the sport and explain its greatness to people who don’t follow it. Dwight Clark has one of the greatest football moments ever captured in one of the greatest sports photos ever. The rest of his career almost doesn’t matter. That’s the kind of moment and legacy any athlete would dream to have. As long as football matters in any way, Dwight Clark will remain in our hearts because of this moment.

I hope he can rest easy with that. RIP dude.





Also the photo features the Cowboys getting owned so that’s another reason it is good.