Former NFL Kicker Tom Dempsey dies at age 73 of coronavirus | The Sporting Base
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Former NFL Kicker Tom Dempsey dies at age 73 of coronavirus

April 7, 2020

Former NFL Kicker Tom Dempsey dies at age 73 of coronavirus

Tom Dempsey of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, one of the most notable National Football League kickers of all-time, passed away on Saturday at the age of 73 of coronavirus according to Brett Martel of the Associated Press.An 11 year NFL kicker, Dempsey played with the New Orleans Saints (1969, 1970), Philadelphia Eagles (1971-1974), Los Angeles Rams (1975, 1976), Houston Oilers (1977) and Buffalo Bills (1978, 1979).

Dempsey contracted coronavirus at a senior center in New Orleans on March 25. He is now one of 512 people from Louisiana who have died of this horrible pandemic. Dempsey had been in the nursing home due to the fact he had dementia.

What made Dempsey’s story more remarkable is that he successfully kicked footballs with his right foot even though he had no toes on his right foot. Dempsey also had no fingers on his right hand. Due to the fact Dempsey had no right toes, he wore a specialized shoe without shoe laces.

In 1969 as a rookie, Dempsey made the Pro Bowl even though he only made 22 of 41 kicks and missed two converts. Dempsey also had the longest field goal in the NFL that season as he successfully kicked a 55 yard attempt in a 36-17 Saints loss to the Los Angeles Rams.

In 1970, Dempsey once again had the longest field goal in the NFL that season. However, his 63 yard field goal in a 19-17 Saints win over the Detroit Lions also made NFL history as it was the longest field goal ever. In half a century of the NFL since, there has only been one field goal longer than 63 yards. That was kicked by Matt Prater of the Denver Broncos in a 51-28 Denver win over Tennessee on December 8, 2013.

Then in 1971, Dempsey kicked the longest field goal for the third straight season. This was 54 yards in a 37-20 Philadelphia Eagles win over the St. Louis Cardinals on November 21, 1971. Also that season, Dempsey led the NFL with a field goal percentage of 70.6%.

 

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