|Date||January 19, 2014, 3:42 PM PST|
|Stadium||CenturyLink Field, Seattle, Washington|
|Favorite||Seahawks by 4|
|TV in the United States|
|Announcers||Joe Buck, Troy Aikman, Pam Oliver, and Erin Andrews|
The Tip, sometimes referred to as the Immaculate Deflection, was a play in the 2013 NFC Championship Game in the National Football League (NFL) between the #5 seeded San Francisco 49ers and the #1 seeded Seattle Seahawks. The game was played in CenturyLink Field (now known as Lumen Field) in Seattle, Washington and, being the NFC Championship Game, was televised nationally on Fox.
With the score 23–17 in favor of the Seahawks, the 49ers had driven the ball all the way to the Seahawks' 18 yard line. With 30 seconds left in regulation, 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick threw a pass to Michael Crabtree in the right corner of the endzone. Before Crabtree could catch the ball, cornerback Richard Sherman deflected the ball directly into linebacker Malcolm Smith's hands for an interception, all but sealing the Seahawks victory. With the win, the Seahawks advanced to just their second Super Bowl appearance in franchise history, in which they defeated the Denver Broncos 43–8 for their first Super Bowl win. The Tip is often considered one of the biggest moments in Seattle Seahawks history.
Until the fourth quarter, the Seahawks had not had a lead the entire game. That changed when Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson threw a 35-yard touchdown pass to Jermaine Kearse with 13:44 left in the game, making the score 20–17. After a 47-yard field goal by Steven Hauschka with 3:37 left, the lead increased to 23–17.
The 49ers moved the ball quickly to the 18 yard line, needing a touchdown and subsequent extra point to retake the lead. With 30 seconds remaining, 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick avoided mounting pressure from defensive end Cliff Avril, launching a pass to Michael Crabtree in the right side of the endzone. Before Crabtree could catch the ball, cornerback Richard Sherman leaped into the air and tipped the ball. It promptly landed into the hands of linebacker Malcolm Smith, who took a knee for a Seattle touchback with 22 seconds left in the game.
After a brief celebration, Sherman ran over to Crabtree and offered his hand for a handshake, but Crabtree shoved Sherman's facemask. Sherman then directed a choke sign at Crabtree, which earned him an unsportsmanlike conduct flag. Since there was still 22 seconds left, the game continued. Russell Wilson knelt three times, causing the 49ers to burn their last two timeouts, and the game was over.
The following is Sherman's now-famous post-game interview with Erin Andrews:
Andrews: "Richard, let me ask you, the final play, take me through it."
Sherman: "Well, I'm the best corner[back] in the game. When you try me with a sorry receiver like Crabtree, that's the result you gonna get! Don't you EVER talk about me!"
Andrews: "Who was talking about you?"
Sherman: "Crabtree. Don't you open your mouth about the best, or y'know I'm gonna shut it for you real quick! L. O. B.!"
Andrews: "Alright, before-" [Sherman runs off] "...and Joe, back over to you!"
Many considered Sherman's outburst as immature, rude, and disrespectful toward Crabtree and Andrews. Sherman later said in a CNN interview "You know, I don't mean to attack [Crabtree]. And that was immature and I probably shouldn't have done that. I regret doing that."
The play was later dubbed the Immaculate Deflection as a tribute to the Immaculate Reception. The plays were somewhat similar: in both plays, the pass was deflected into a teammate's hand. However, the Immaculate Deflection resulted in an interception, whereas with the Immaculate Reception, it was caught by the offense and run in for a touchdown.
The Seahawks went on to blow out the Denver Broncos 43–8 in Super Bowl XLVIII two weeks later, winning their first Lombardi Trophy in team history. The 49ers, however, did not return to the postseason until 2019, also failing to climb above the .500 mark in terms of their win–loss record in each of the following seasons until 2019. Some credit Sherman's tip with the steady decline of the 49ers. Coincidentally, Sherman joined the 49ers in 2018.
Six days after the Championship game, Sherman was fined $7,875 for his unsportsmanlike conduct penalty toward Crabtree.
In 2018 in a week 13 matchup between the 49ers and the Seahawks, the Seahawks reenacted Sherman's tip after a 1st quarter touchdown pass. Doug Baldwin played the role of Sherman, tipping the ball to David Moore, who played the role of Malcolm Smith. Jaron Brown played Kaepernick, and Tyler Lockett played Crabtree. Since both Sherman and Smith were currently on the 49ers, it was unsure if it was a tribute to Sherman, or a mockery, especially after Sherman called the Seahawks a middle of the road team prior to the game. The Seahawks won the game 43-16 and officially eliminated the 49ers from playoff contention.
|Colin Kaepernick||QB||Russell Wilson|
|Frank Gore||RB||Marshawn Lynch|
|Anthony Dixon||FB||Michael Robinson|
|Anquan Boldin||WR||Doug Baldwin|
|Vernon Davis||TE||WR||Jermaine Kearse|
|Vance McDonald||TE||Zach Miller|
|Joe Staley||LT||Russell Okung|
|Mike Iupati||LG||James Carpenter|
|Jonathan Goodwin||C||Max Unger|
|Alex Boone||RG||J. R. Sweezy|
|Anthony Davis||RT||Breno Giacomini|
|Glenn Dorsey||NT||LDE||Red Bryant|
|Ray McDonald||LDT||Tony McDaniel|
|Justin Smith||RDT||Brandon Mebane|
|Aldon Smith||OLB||RDE||Chris Clemons|
|Ahmad Brooks||OLB||Bruce Irvin|
|NaVorro Bowman||ILB||OLB||Malcolm Smith|
|Patrick Willis||ILB||MLB||Bobby Wagner|
|Tramaine Brock||LCB||Richard Sherman|
|Tarell Brown||RCB||Byron Maxwell|
|Eric Reid||SS||Kam Chancellor|
|Donte Whitner||FS||Earl Thomas|