Sports Illustrated's Walter Iooss Jr.

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Dwight Clark, 1982
Photo: Walter Iooss Jr./SI

Dwight Clark, 1982

"What's ironic about this picture, which came to be known as "The Catch," is that I never wanted it to happen. I had been covering the Dallas Cowboys the entire season. I had gotten close with the players. So now I'm with them in San Francisco, one game removed from the Super Bowl. With 58 seconds left in the NFC championship game, Joe Montana rolled out to my left and launched a pass. Something to my right came into my peripheral vision, and I reached for my camera with the 50 mm lens, trying to focus. It's something I had practiced. I just hit the motor drive and shot. Dwight Clark caught the ball probably 20 feet away from me. The 49ers scored the touchdown that sent them to the Super Bowl, and the Cowboys' season was over. In a single moment my whole story went down the tubes. But the shot of Clark ran on the cover of SI and became the most famous picture I've ever taken."

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