Football fans hate to admit it, but kicking is an important part of the game. After all, it is called football. A kicker is sometimes able to make or break a game or even a team.
We mostly hear about times when kickers break the team. Whenever a kicker does come through, it is seen as simply doing his job. Well, my job is not to mention the game winning, memorable kicks. It is to bring up the game losing, infamous kicks.
Bear in mind, I am bringing up kicks that should have been made. The key is should have. That means that you will not be seeing Scott Norwood's infamous field goal miss in the Super Bowl against the Giants.
Is it because I'm a Giants fan? Well, yes. But also, that was a 47-yard field goal. Not exactly a chip shot. Now that we got that out of the way, let us countdown the top ten worst kicks of all time.
10. Garo Yepremian
The Miami Dolphins perfect 1972 season was not without its set backs. In Super Bowl 7, leading 14-0 over the Redskins, kicker Garo Yepremian had a chance to kick a field goal which would have given the team the poetic touch of finishing 17-0 in a season with a 17-0 victory over the Redskins. It was too good to be true.
The kick was blocked and instead of merely falling on the ball, Yepremian picked it up and attempted to throw it. Or at least that's what it looked like. It looked more like he was attempting to serve a volleyball as it bounced into the air, and was returned by Washington for a touchdown to keep them in the game. Guess nobody's perfect.
9. Morten Anderson
In 1996, the Atlanta Falcons were not having their best season, nor had they been having many good seasons since they came into the league in 1967. They stood at 4-11, had enjoyed turmoil among the team and their coach was merely walking a plank at this point. On the other hand, the Jacksonville Jaguars were only in their second year of play, were 8-7 and needed a victory over Atlanta to make the playoffs. It was a Cinderella story indeed.
However, it seemed that the clock struck midnight when the Falcons drove down the field and legendary kicker Morten Anderson was about to attempt a 23 yard field goal. More of an extra point attempt, the kick was in the sunny climate of Jacksonville, without the smallest hint of wind, or precipitation. There had to have been some in Anderson's mind as the kick failed.
Jacksonville went to the playoffs, pulled off two road upsets before losing the AFC Championship Game to New England in Drew Bledsoe's only moment of glory. Anderson, however, was turned into a Bill Buckner like celebrity in Jacksonville, and has even been invited back as an official guest of the city. For that day, he truly was the Jacksonville Jaguar's most valuable player.
8. Rich Karlis
In 1986, the Denver Broncos went into Super Bowl 21 as underdogs to the New York Giants. However, Denver found themselves up 10-7 as their kicker, barefoot Rich Karlis, had earlier kicked the longest field goal in Super Bowl history up to that point with a 48 yard-er. Now it was time for him to set another record…the one for the shortest miss with a 23 yard choke. The New York Giants proceeded to score 26 unanswered points on their way to a 39-20 win.
7. John Carney
The New Orleans Saints had been going through some hard times. Back before Drew Brees was signed, Sean Payton was hired, or Reggie Bush was drafted, the team had finally won a playoff game and things looked positive for the future of the Saints.
Instead, they had missed the playoffs two straight years after that season where they found success and in 2003, stood at 7-7 and having to win out to make the playoffs. That scenario seemed out of the question as the Saints were trailing 20-13 to the Jacksonville Jaguars with time ticking away.
Finally, the Saints completed a pass and began the lateral game. Time expired as the Saints were still tossing the ball all over the field. Just when we were getting ready to flip the channel, the ball landed in Joe Horn's hands who brought it back for a touchdown. The Saints were still alive.
As soon as kicker John Carney boots the extra point, the Saints will go to overtime where Carney can boot a game winning field goal. Sounds simple. But oops. In order to make a game winning field goal in overtime, you have to make a game tying extra point.
The extra point is usually the most boring play in football, so it was understandable that the broadcast team was still talking about the miraculous, or should I say, lucky play, when Carney's extra point sailed right. Saints miss the extra point, miss the playoffs, and pretty much everyone involved was canned. Which proves that although the most boring play in football is the extra point, the most exciting play is the MISSED extra point.
6. Gary Anderson
The 1998 Minnesota Vikings were on fire. In Randy Moss' rookie season with the team, the Vikings finished 15-1 with the most points scored in NFL history. The only question against them winning the Super Bowl was whether or not they could hang with the defending champion Denver Broncos.
The fact that the Falcons were coming in for the NFC Championship game was merely a formality. The game was hard fought and late in the fourth quarter, the Vikings held a 27-20 lead and Anderson stepped onto the field to give his team a two possession lead. Anderson had not missed a kick all season long, converting every point after attempt and field goal. It was almost certain the Vikings were on their way to their first Super Bowl appearance in over twenty years. If anyone in Atlanta was confident, they must have mistaken Gary Anderson for Gary Busey.
If I have to tell you what happened next, you clearly didn't read the headline to this article. The other Anderson kicker, Morten, for the Falcons, made up for his 1996 blunder by kicking his team to the Super Bowl. Ten years later, the Vikings still haven't made it back to a Super Bowl and Randy Moss has yet to win one.
For the rest of the list tune in tomorrow or go to www.homeofthehate.com and type in "10 Worst Kicks" in the search field.