This Day In Sports History: Saints Kicker Boots his way into Record Books
The year was 1970 and the New Orleans Saints were a mere 1-5-1 and hosting a heavily favored Detroit Lions team in Week 8 at Tulane Stadium.
This year the Saints had a kicker by the name of Tom Dempsey and for those of you don't know what made him so special, it was that he was born without a right hand or toes on his right foot. As a right footed kicker this would seem to make things a little more difficult to kick but on the contrary for Dempsey. Once a specialty shoe was made for him to kick, being able to blast field goals would come a bit easier.
This specialty shoe made his boot like a sledge hammer and on this day in sports history it would certainly come in handy.
The score was 17-16 DET with two seconds remaining. The Saints and their new Head Coach, J.D. Roberts would face a tough decision, say a prayer and go for a hail-mary or line-up for a 63 yard field goal? A 63 yard field goal had never been converted in the history of football up until this point. Roberts had made his decision, he decided to put his faith, not in a hail-mary but, in the sledge hammer of a foot of young Tom Dempsey.
What ensued was history:
Dempsey booted his way right into the NFL record books on this day 47 years ago and would hold that record long field goal for 43 years. In 2013 his record would be broken by a single yard by Denver Broncos kicker, Matt Prater when he nailed a 64 yard attempt on December 8, 2013.