‘Hail Murray’: Cardinals QB Kyler Murray files trademark for miracle pass catchphrase

GLENDALE, Ariz. — “Hail Murray” has become a catchphrase in the Arizona desert. Now, Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray wants it to become his exclusive phrase.

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A day after Murray’s last-second, 43-yard “Hail Mary” touchdown pass Sunday to DeAndre Hopkins helped the Cardinals defeat the Buffalo Bills, the quarterback filed an application to trademark the phrase “Hail Murray,” The Arizona Republic reported.

Murray filed the application with the United States Patent and Trademark Office, ESPN reported.

The ‘Hail Murray’ deal, that’s just a coincidence,” Murray told reporters Tuesday. “That’s never happened to me before, so that fact that it happened just fits the name, I guess.”

According to ESPN and the Republic, the application is currently “awaiting examination” by the patent office.

According to the application, Murray wants to use the trademark for “Apparel, namely, hats, visors being headwear, caps in the nature of baseball caps, knitted caps, beanie caps and caps being headwear, beanies, hoodies, shirts, shorts, sweatpants, sweatbands, tank tops, athletic shorts, graphic T-shirts, gym shorts, long-sleeved shirts, and short-sleeved or long-sleeved T-shirts,” as well as “Entertainment services, namely, personal appearances by a sports celebrity; entertainment in the nature of competitions in the field of football; instruction in the field of football; providing a website featuring information relating to the sport of football and information about appearances, accomplishments, exploits and biography of a professional football player.”

K1 Promotions, LLC also filed paperwork to trademark the phrase “Murray Magic,” the Republic reported. That application is also awaiting examination, the newspaper reported.

The “Hail Mary,” a phrase describing a desperation, last-second pass, has been part of football lore for more than a century. It gained modern notoriety, however, on Dec. 28, 1975, when Dallas Cowboys quarterback Roger Staubach threw a 50-yard touchdown pass to Drew Pearson in the game’s final seconds to defeat the Minnesota Vikings.

“When they asked me about it, I think the actual quote was, ‘Well, I guess you could call it a Hail Mary. You throw it up and pray,’” the Hall of Fame quarterback told USA Today in 2017.

It looks like the Hail Mary is going to have company. It is unlikely that any other person or company attempting to trademark the Hail Murray phrase will have a more compelling reason than Murray.

“Yeah, in all likelihood, Kyler Murray still wins,” Josh Gerben, a trademark lawyer in Washington, D.C., told the Republic. “And the reason for that is that if a trademark references a living individual, then that living individual has to consent to the registration for whoever is trying to register it. So, it does protect folks like Kyler.

“Clearly, if someone said ‘Hail Murray’ after that pass and after all the press that came after it, we would all know who you were talking about,” Gerben added. “Nobody can just register this at will. They would really need Kyler’s permission if they were going to do it.”

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