With 22 seconds left, the Pittsburgh Steelers trailed the Oakland Raiders by a point.
Steelers quarterback Terry Bradshaw threw a hard pass to halfback Frenchy Fuqua. A collision between Fuqua and Raiders safety Jack Tatum sent the ball tumbling through the air briefly before Steelers fullback Franco Harris scooped it up in a successful run to the end zone, winning the 1972 AFC playoff game.
Known as the "Immaculate Reception," the play still is considered one the best catches in NFL history and one of the most controversial, with allegations that the referees incorrectly called it a touchdown rather than an incomplete pass.
At that time, editor and producer Henry Ralph "Buzz" Ringe II worked for NFL Films, then located in Philadelphia, and had footage of the Immaculate Reception from all angles, from 12 to 14 cameras. He worried about cutting the film, splicing sequences, and whether his edits would be challenged, said his wife, Sarah "Sally" Ringe.
There was not a better person for the job, said former co-worker Phil Tuckett, then a cameraman who filmed Bradshaw as he threw the pass. Mr. Ringe, Tuckett said, was a master of his trade who was consistent, professional, and logical despite deadline chaos and pressures.
"Buzz was the calming influence," said Tuckett, now a faculty member at Dixie State University in Utah.
On Tuesday, April 18, Mr. Ringe, 80, of Marlton, died at Cooper University Hospital, where he had been placed on life support after suffering head injuries from a fall in his home, his wife said.
The two married in 1981 after dating on and off, after they had been introduced on a blind date set up by their mothers. Their first date was lunch at the Rusty Scupper in Philadelphia, where they remained until the staff said they had to leave so they could set up for dinner.
"We really hit it off," she said. They strolled through the city and decided to have dinner that night.
While dating, they talked about marriage, but Mr. Ringe had been married previously. He wanted her to experience what life would be like through football season, when he devoted much of his time to editing, producing, and writing copy for NFL Films, including preparing clips and copy for Howard Cosell's "Monday Night Football Halftime Highlights."
They broke up, but she kept New Yorker magazine covers that Mr. Ringe collected. When one was published on his birthday, she took it to him at NFL Films. "His jaw just dropped," she said. They were back together. "He was my rock."
Shortly before they married, Mr. Ringe's three children, Benjamin, Jennifer, and Alexandra, came to live with them while his former wife, Cynthia Smith, was moving. She later remarried and the couples had amicable relationships, coming together for milestones that included graduations and weddings.
Throughout their marriage, the Ringes traveled to places such as Mexico, Puerto Rico, Ireland, Scotland, and Japan.
Mr. Ringe adored his children and five grandchildren, family members said. He was a member of the International Brotherhood of Magicians, and enjoyed giving elaborate magic shows for family and friends.
Mr. Ringe was born in Philadelphia and raised in Chestnut Hill. He spent his summers on Cape Cod, and later at Camp Mowglis in New Hampshire. In 1954, he graduated from Episcopal Academy. He spent a year at Yale University, and then two years in the Navy. He graduated from Franklin and Marshall College in 1962. He taught briefly before joining NFL Films in 1968, and worked there for more than three decades, before and after its move to Mount Laurel.
Among his works, Mr. Ringe wrote and directed The Sensational Sixties, which highlights NFL clips of that decade. He also produced the NFL promotion "You Make the Call," where viewers watched a football clip and after a beer commercial learned whether they called it correctly.
He also produced Lost Treasures of NFL Films.
Mr. Ringe was a devoted fan of the Flyers, and coauthored the autobiography SCORE!, about Hall of Fame radio announcer Gene Hart. As a season-ticket holder, Mr. Ringe watched home games from the 15th row at center ice.
For the last 36 years, Mr. Ringe split his time between Marlton and Ventnor, N.J., where he enjoyed running, tennis, and biking on the Boardwalk. Mr. Ringe's favorite time at the Shore was the week after Labor Day.
He was a member of Christ Episcopal Church in Somers Point, N.J., where he was a lay reader. He was a lifelong supporter of Camp Mowglis, where he was a camper from 1946 to 1950, and served on the staff until 1955. He spent many years on the camp's board of trustees.
A memorial service is planned for 1 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 9, at Christ Episcopal Church, 157 Shore Rd., Somers Point, with a reception to follow.