What if Scott Norwood's kick had split the uprights?

It would have been a fitting end to one of the greatest Super Bowls ever played, a game in which both teams performed almost flawlessly. As Scott Norwood lined up for a potential game-winning field goal from 47 yards in Super Bowl XXV, the Bufallo Bills seemed poised to cap a remarkable season with their first championship since the AFL-NFL merger.

But Norwood's kick sailed wide to the right, giving the New York Giants a thrilling 20-19 victory, and providing the first indication that Super Bowls would not be kind to the Bills. They did circle the wagons and returned to the big game the following three seasons, but never even sniffed victory again.

As for the Giants, a second victory in five seasons represented a quantum leap for Bill Parcells, who became only the eighth head coach to win multiple Super Bowl titles. The recently retired Parcells is universally regarded as a first-ballot Hall of Famer and one of the great head coaches of the modern era.

Norwood's miss remains one of the indelible plays in Super Bowl history, but how might that history be different today had the fairly reliable, young kicker split the uprights? Could the Bills, perhaps buoyed by such a satisfying climax to their first title game appearance, have fared better in their other three trips to the plate? And what legacy would one-time Super Bowl champion Bill Parcells be leaving behind today?

-- David Mosse

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