I rarely cover sports; this warranted attention.
The San Francisco 49'ers kicker pulled a rabbit out of his foot yesterday on his team's season opener.
The line drive kick had just enough distance, took a fortunate bounce off the
crossbar and earned David Akers a piece of NFL immortality Sunday.
The historic 63-yard field goal by the veteran 49ers kicker at the end of the
first half matched a league record shared by three others.
"It was kind of one of those miracles," said the 37-year-old Akers, whose
successful field goal gave the 49ers a 16-7 lead over the Green Bay Packers. "I
didn't think I hit it great enough. I made 61 in pregame and felt pretty good
that I could get it there if I just struck it right. But when I hit it, I felt
like I missed it."
The attempt began with two seconds showing on the clock. Akers' left-footed
line drive was on target as it spun toward Lambeau Field's north uprights,
hitting the crossbar and bouncing up and over.
The Packers' Randall Cobb leaped to try to swat it away -- a football version
of goaltending -- but whiffed.
After initial hesitation, officials -- replacement referees at that --
signaled the field goal was good.
"As a kicker, when you hit the goal posts at any part, it usually makes that
horrific noise and usually bounces back," Akers said. "This time it got the
sweet bounce. It was definitely a once-in-a lifetime type of deal.
"After 14 years of active roster play it's just one of those things you'll
Akers, who said he's never had a field goal attempt ricochet in his favor,
also successfully hit 40- and 43-yard field goals plus three extra points in the 30-22 season-opening victory.
Kyle Williams helped set up the attempt with a 20-yard punt return to the
49ers' 38-yard-line with 18 seconds left. Colin Kaepernick came in for a single
play at quarterback and uncorked a 17-yard run to the Packers' 45.
After two Alex Smith incomplete passes, the 49ers set up for Akers'
successful try as holder Andy Lee took a clean snap.
Asked what Akers' range is, 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh quipped: "Well, it was
63 yards, today."
Harbaugh then noted Akers made a 60-yard attempt in pregame warm-ups to
instill further faith in the 63-yard try.
"With David Akers, talk about the greatest kicker in the history of our
game," Harbaugh said. "The odds were in our favor."
New Orleans' Tom Dempsey hit a 63-yard field goal on Nov. 8, 1970, in the
final seconds of a 19-17 victory over Detroit at Tulane Stadium.
The next two occurred in Denver 13 seasons apart. The Broncos' Jason Elam's
successful 63-yard kick closed the first half against Jacksonville on Oct. 25,
1998. The Raiders' Sebastian Janikowski also hit on the final play of the
opening half against the Broncos on Sept. 12, 2011.
The previous record was set in 1953 when the Baltimore Colts' Bert Rechichar
hit a 56-yarder against the Chicago Bears.
Now in his second season with the 49ers, Akers produced an NFL-record 44
field goals and was perfect on extra points with 34 last season. He spent 12
seasons with the Philadelphia Eagles and started his NFL career in 1998 with the
When you're hot, you're hot, and when you're not, you're not. Just think if his tubes were hot and his antenna up, as prescribed, what could have happened? He would have broken the wood-foot-dude's (Tom Dempsey, and two others') record!! Word to the wise. See you next time!
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