Y. A. Tittle tossed the original alley-oop pass.

The alley-oop is an American football play in which the quarterback throws the ball high into the air, and another player jumps up and catches it. The play was developed in 1957 by San Francisco 49ers players Y. A. Tittle and R. C. Owens.[1][2] The play was named after V. T. Hamlin's comic strip character Alley Oop; Owens himself was also known as "Alley Oop". It was highly successful when utilized due to Owens' 6 ft 3 in height and ability to out-leap defenders.

Tittle said of the play: "With the Alley-Oop now considered to be a legitimate weapon, the only defense against it was a defensive back who could outleap R.C. – and at that time, no such animal existed in the NFL."[2]

According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the usage of the term in football predates its usage in basketball by two years, with the football counterpart also inspiring the play in basketball.[3]

See also


  1. ^ Martin, Douglas (June 19, 2012). "R. C. Owens, Receiver Who Made the Alley-Oop Famous, Dies at 77". The New York Times. Retrieved August 21, 2012.
  2. ^ a b "The Alley Oop". Golden Football Magazine. Retrieved August 16, 2016.
  3. ^ "alley-oop, adv., int., adj., and n." Oxford English Dictionary. Archived from the original on April 20, 2012. Retrieved August 15, 2016.((cite web)): CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)