Billy Cundiff: Could Maligned Kicker Come Back to Haunt Baltimore Ravens?

James MorisetteCorrespondent IIIJanuary 16, 2013

BALTIMORE, MD - JANUARY 15:  Billy Cundiff #7 of the Baltimore Ravens reacts during the third quarter of the AFC Divisional playoff game against the Houston Texans at M&T Bank Stadium on January 15, 2012 in Baltimore, Maryland.  (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)
Patrick McDermott/Getty Images

Former Baltimore Ravens kicker Billy Cundiff is not the most popular figure in Ravens Nation.

Cundiff, who missed a game-tying field goal versus the New England Patriots in the AFC Championship in 2012, has been the source of venomous vitriol by unruly Ravens fans, even to this day.  

Dark NFL days for Cundiff ever since. Could sweet revenge be on the horizon for this lonesome kicker?

More specifically, could this veteran kicker, who has bounced around the NFL since that fateful day, actually come back to haunt the Ravens?

As speculative as this may sound, if stars align the right way for Cundiff, he may very well get his golden opportunity.

Earlier today, ESPN writer Elizabeth Merrill wrote a feature regarding Cundiff (and former Ravens wide receiver Lee Evans) moving on in the wake of choking down the stretch against the Patriots.

Per Merrill, Cundiff is focused on more than just moving on. After a stint with the Washington Redskins, Cundiff said he “desperately wants to kick in the postseason again.”

From this comment, it seems like Cundiff has actively searched for a contending NFL team to hook up with to exercise his playoff demons.

Hookup complete. Enter Jim Harbaugh and the San Francisco 49ers.

According to Janie McCauley of the Associated Press, Cundiff signed with the Niners earlier this month. He is warring with equally troubled kicker David Akers for the team’s kicking gig after Akers missed 13 field goals this season (29 of 42).

The Niners signing Cundiff reveals Akers is on a short leash, even though Akers hit his only field goal in the Niners' 45-31 thrashing of the Green Bay Packers in the NFC Division Championship last Sunday.  

Now, I will be the first to admit Cundiff lining up for a redemptive game-winning field goal in the Super Bowl is a long shot.

Still, in an often wacky world of sports we have seen much crazier things than the below scenario.   

Should the Ravens exercise last season’s demons this Sunday against the Pats in Foxboro, Ray Lewis and Co. will ride to New Orleans for Super Bowl XLVIII.

And should the 49ers beat the Atlanta Falcons at the Georgia Dome, Harbaugh and his stud crew will meet the Ravens at the Superdome.

Suddenly the plot thickens, as the Harbaugh Bowl winds down to a nerve-wracking finish.

With two ticks remaining on the clock and the game tied at 24, Ravens Nation sits on the edge of their seats, stunned by what is taking place.

Out onto the field trots not Akers…but Cundiff, who was activated for this game after Akers missed two key field goals in the Niners' nail-biting squeaker over the Falcons in the NFC Championship.    

Of course, Ravens fans hope for the best (i.e., another choke job by Cundiff). This includes the same fans that spewed venom toward Cundiff after he missed that infamous kick against the Patriots last season.

But in an act of utmost redemption, Cundiff’s 49-yard field goal attempt sails…right through the middle of the uprights.

Baltimore gets its heart broken again—oddly, by the same lonesome kicker who let them down before.

And now I must now pinch myself, for as a Ravens fan I hope this nightmarish Super Bowl scenario does not come true.