49-yard kick gives Bears victory
It took an overtime field goal from Robbie Gould
from 49 yards to snatch victory for the Bears against last year's Superbowl champions Seattle Seahawks 27-24
. Chicago's most popular sports 'franchise' will now play New Orleans Saints in next week's NFC Championship decider with the winners going onto The Superbowl
on February 4th.
The 49-yard kick was a personal record distance for Gould, who has had an immaculate season for the Bears. The record longest field goal is 63 yards, it has been done twice. Once in 1998 by Denver Broncos’ Jason Elam and then 28-years previously by Tom Dempsey of the New Orleans Saints.
These stats got me wondering why American football teams don't look beyond their own country for their placekickers. I mean that is all they do, no blocking, tackling or throwing but often they are the difference to teams winning or losing games. I reckon on a good day with a tail wind I could hoof a ball 40-odd yards, let alone Scott Carson or any other professional goalkeeper.
I remember Clive Allen tried it once for the now defunct London Monarchs
in the European NFL. He actually played alongside Chicago legend William 'The Refrigerator' Perry
. There have been more cases of Australian Rules kickers moving to the NFL, with Ben Graham
currently a New York Jets punter and Saverio Rocca just making the switch from North Melbourne Kangaroos
to Philadelphia Eagles on a three-year contract.
The real reason of course is money. Why millions are paid to quarter backs, line backers, wide receivers and running backs, Robbie Gould is only said to earn $170,000 a season, not to be sniffed at admittedly and not for a lot of graft but pauper standards in comparison and plainly professional soccer (sic) players wouldn't even get out of bed for that.