World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article
 

Tom Dempsey

Tom Dempsey
No. 19, 10, 23, 6 
Position: Placekicker
Personal information
Date of birth: (1947-01-12) January 12, 1947
Place of birth: Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Height: 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
Weight: 255 lb (116 kg)
Career information
High school: Encinitas (CA) San Dieguito
College: Palomar
Career history
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
PAT: 252/282 (89.4%)
FG: 159/258 (61.6%)
Stats at NFL.com
Stats at pro-football-reference.com

Thomas John Dempsey (born January 12, 1947) is a former American football placekicker in the National Football League for the New Orleans Saints (1969–1970), Philadelphia Eagles (1971–1974), Los Angeles Rams (1975–1976), Houston Oilers (1977) and Buffalo Bills (1978–1979). He attended high school at San Dieguito High School and played college football at Palomar College. Unlike the "soccer style" approach which was becoming more and more widely used during his career, Dempsey's kicking style was the standard (of the day) straight-toe style.

Dempsey is most widely known for kicking a 63-yard field goal as time expired to give the Saints a 19–17 win over the Detroit Lions on November 8, 1970 at Tulane Stadium in New Orleans.[1] Prior to 1974 the goal posts in the NFL were on the goal lines instead of the end lines, and a missed field goal was treated the same as a punt: if it missed, it was a touchback unless it landed in the field of play and was returned. With time running out in the game, the Saints attempted a field goal with holder Joe Scarpati spotting at the Saints' own 37-yard line. The snap from Jackie Burkett was good, and Dempsey nailed the field goal with a couple of feet to spare. The win was one of only two for the Saints in that dismal season. For many years, it was believed that Saints quarterback Billy Kilmer was the holder of that historic kick, but photos of that day revealed that it was actually Scarpati that was the holder.[2]

With the kick, Dempsey broke Bert Rechichar's NFL record for longest field goal by seven yards. That record was equaled by Jason Elam in 1998, Sebastian Janikowski in 2011, and David Akers in 2012. On December 8, 2013, Matt Prater topped Dempsey's mark by hitting a 64-yard field goal.

Dempsey's special kicking shoe

Dempsey was born without toes on his right foot and no fingers on his right hand. He wore a modified shoe with a flattened and enlarged toe surface. This generated controversy about whether such a shoe gave a player an unfair advantage. When reporters would ask him if he thought it was unfair, he said "Unfair eh? How 'bout you try kickin' a 63 yard field goal to win it with 2 seconds left an' yer wearin' a square shoe, oh, yeah and no toes either."[3][4] Additionally, when an analysis of his kick was carried out by ESPN Sport Science, it was found that his modified shoe offered him no advantage - the smaller contact area could in fact have increased the margin of error.[5]

The league made two rule changes in the subsequent years to discourage further long field goal attempts. The first was in 1974, in which missed field goals would from that point onward would give the defense the ball at the spot of the kick, substantially increasing the risk involved with such a long attempt. Then, in 1977, the NFL added a rule, informally known as the "Tom Dempsey Rule," that "any shoe that is worn by a player with an artificial limb on his kicking leg must have a kicking surface that conforms to that of a normal kicking shoe."[6][7]

In 1983, Dempsey was inducted into the American Football Association's Semi Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Dempsey has since retired from football and currently resides with his wife Carlene, who teaches history at Kehoe-France, a private school in Metairie, Louisiana, a suburb of New Orleans. His house was flooded during Hurricane Katrina in 2005.[8]

In January 2013, Dempsey revealed he is suffering from dementia. Psychiatrist Daniel Amen made the initial diagnosis of damage to Dempsey's brain. During medical examinations and scans, Amen found three holes in the brain, along with other damage.[9]

References

  1. ^ Rovin, Jeff (1984). In Search of Trivia (1 ed.). New York, New York: Penguin Group. p. 408.  
  2. ^ [2]
  3. ^ """Remembering "The Kick. avoyellestoday.com. Avoyelles Journal, Bunkie, Record, Marksville Weekly. Archived from the original on Jan 4, 2014. Retrieved 4 January 2015. 
  4. ^ Lewis, Michael (October 28, 2007). "The Kick Is Up and It's...A Career-Killer". The New York Times. Retrieved May 25, 2010. , New York Times, October 28, 2007
  5. ^ "World's Longest Field Goal". ESPN Sport's Science. 
  6. ^ "Rules of the Name, or How the Emmitt Rule Became the Emmitt Rule,".  Professional Football Researchers Association
  7. ^ "Official NFL Rulebook 2006" (PDF).  See Rule 5, Section 3, Article 3 Paragraph (g)
  8. ^ , Saturday, January 30, 2010.The New York TimesCrouse, Karen. "A Favorite Saint,"
  9. ^ Dykes, Brett Michael (January 27, 2013). "For former kicker, the price of fearlessness". The New York Times. 

External links

  • American Football Association
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and USA.gov, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for USA.gov and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
 
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
 
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.
 


Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.