by Zachary Levin
When the Super Bowl is on the line, the drive to win has prompted more than one player to perform with true abandon. Remember John Elway's headlong dive toward the end zone in Super Bowl XXXII? Risky? Sure. But it wasn't even that game's most reckless feat. Denver Broncos running back Terrell Davis trumped his quarterback by playing while temporarily blind.
Late in the first quarter of Super Bowl XXXII (January 25, 1998), a Green Bay Packers defender unintentionally kicked Davis in the helmet. The blow triggered a migraine headache that interfered with Davis' vision and sent him to the sidelines. Moments later, head coach Mike Shanahan sent Davis back into the game for a crucial play. It was third-and-goal, and the Broncos desperately needed to regain the lead and claim the momentum.
Davis was in no condition to actually carry the ball--his vision was still impaired and he was in intense pain--so Denver used their star runner as a decoy. Davis and Elway exxecuted a flawless fake and Elway kept the ball. The Packers' defense gang-tackled Davis, while Elway coasted into the end zone untouched. The score gave Denver its first lead, 14-7, and an emotional edge. The migraine sidelined Davis for the second quarter, but he'd still score three touchdowns, gain 157 rushing yards, and win the game's most valuable player award.