April 05, 2020

Record-Breaking NFL Kicker Tom Dempsey Dies: Tom Dempsey, who held the record for the NFL's longest field goal at 63 yards from 1970 to 2013, died Saturday at a retirement home in New Orleans from complications of coronavirus. He was 73. Dempsey was an unlikely record breaker, using an old-school, straight-ahead kicking style and missing the toes on his right foot. He set the record on the New Orleans Saints against the Detroit Lions in the final seconds of the game. It was 7 yards longer than the previous mark set by Bert Rechichar. It was broken by Matt Prater's 64-yarder in Denver.

posted by rcade to football at 01:09 PM - 4 comments

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posted by Howard_T at 01:22 PM on April 05

Of course it would be against the Lions. /sigh

' <<< that's a football flying through the air after being kicked

Tom Dempsey was one of the first sports names that I learned because of his record and his physical makeup. I was sad when his record was broken. I mean, good for Matt Prater and all since that seems like an impossible distance, but one of my first sports memories got busted on that day a few years ago.

posted by NoMich at 01:33 PM on April 05

When I was in elementary school in Richardson I would devour books from Scholastic Book Club on sports heroes. Tom Dempsey was one of my favorite subjects. Breaking a record the way he did and by such a margin was incredible.

posted by rcade at 01:57 PM on April 05

I remember seeing the kick the day it happened. The network cut into the game we were watching to show the highlight clip. We couldn't believe it. The air he kicked into looked murky and still. It was all anyone that followed sports talked about for several days.

I've always admired Elam, Prater, McManus and the other great Broncos kickers, but the outdoor kicking conditions at sultry sea level Tulane Stadium and Mile High Stadium in Denver are about as different as they could possibly be.

Dempsey also was not averse to contact and suffered multiple concussions, which it is reasonable to assume took a toll.

posted by beaverboard at 02:45 PM on April 05

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