THAT TOM DEMPSEY'S NAME IS STILL IN the record book some 33 years after he made a 63-yard field goal is amazing. More amazing, though, is that he set the record at all.
Dempsey was born with half a right foot and no right hand, but he never used that as an excuse. He never let it keep him from chasing his dreams. In high school, he was quite a lineman, and also was on the wrestling and track teams. He made the leap to college ball, playing defensive end at Palomar Junior College in California. Still, football immortality seemed light years away. And even when he signed with the San Diego Chargers in 1968. he was assigned to the team's taxi squad and seemed destined to be around just long enough to finish his cup of coffee.
But Dempsey was fitted with a special shoe that allowed him to swing his leg and drive the ball like a polo player using a mallet, His luck started to change. In 1969, Dempsey got his first big break, catching on as the New Orleans Saints' kicker. The next season, with the seconds winding down in a game against the Detroit Lions, Dempsey's kick heard 'round the world shattered the NFL record by some seven yards.
Click to view image: 'The Foot'
In: Arts and Entertainment, Other
Tags: NFL, New Orleans Saints, Tom Dempsey, record, field goal
Location: New Orleans, Louisiana, United States (load item map)
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