"The Lions' players were laughing at me. Rest In Peace, TD. Both the shoe with which Dempsey kicked the 63-yarder and the ball are in the Saints Hall of Fame in New Orleans, into which Dempsey was inducted in 1989. than Dempsey's, but we will likely never see one kicked from that spot on the field. DEMPSEY'S SIDELINES STORY ON THE KICK. The record-setting kick gave the Saints an upset 19-17 win over the Lions. Despite his kick ranking second all-time, it is one of the most vividly remembered kicks in Saints history. Several players have since tied Dempsey's record and in 2013 Detroit Lions' kicker Matt Prater broke the record with his 64 yard field goal. Typed comments will be lost if you are not logged in. He is survived by wife Carlene, three children, a sister and grandchildren. Former Dallas Cowboys President Tex Schramm compared the shoe to “the head of a golf club.”, But Dempsey would counter that by saying he was merely doing the best he could to use the foot with which he was born, and for the most part, NFL officials, including then-Commissioner Pete Rozelle, agreed. Tom Dempsey, who kicked a then-NFL record 63-yard field goal as time expired to defeat the Detroit Lions in 1970, died Saturday at age 73. A link has been sent to your friend's email address. With that last-minute score, the Saints won, 19-17. At the time of the kick, the Superdome had yet to be build and the Saints played home games in the old Tulane Stadium, which was demolished in 1979. All rights reserved. Jason Elam’s record-tying field goal forever tied him and the Denver Broncos to Tom Dempsey.For many it was one of the crown jewels on that historic 1998 Super Bowl season. 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. He had battled dementia in his final years. On April 4, 2020 former NFL legend Tom Dempsey—who set a field goal record with the New Orleans Saints nearly 50 years ago— passed away in New Orleans at the age of 73. The spot of the kick was the Saints 37. Tom Dempsey was born with a partial right foot and a right hand that was missing four fingers. It's OK to disagree with someone's ideas, but personal attacks, insults, threats, hate speech, advocating violence and other violations can result in a ban. Dempsey's daughter said Sunday that the cause of death was coronavirus. On November 8, 1970 Saints PK Tom Dempsey kicked the game-winning 63 yard FG versus the Lions at Tulane stadium, 19-17. 🙏🏻🏈Rest In Peace PK Thomas John Dempsey (January 12, 1947 - April 4, 2020) pic.twitter.com/SsDh6OuTt9, “Tom’s life spoke directly to the power of the human spirit and exemplified his resolute determination to not allow setbacks to impede following his dreams and aspirations,” Saints owner Gayle Benson said in a statement. The Lions led 17-16 after a short field goal with 11 seconds left. About seven years ago, he was diagnosed with dementia and later moved to the assisted living home, where he contracted the coronavirus in March during the pandemic that has hit the city – and nursing home – particularly hard. He played with the Houston Oilers (1977) and Buffalo Bills (1978-79) before retiring from the NFL. A link has been posted to your Facebook feed. Sadly, he is … Dempsey’s career bests came sporadically. Tom Dempsey made a 63-yard field goal! CBS Sports is a registered trademark of CBS Broadcasting Inc. Former New Orleans Saints kicker Tom Dempsey passed away over the weekend due to the coronavirus. NOLA.com first reported his death. Tom Dempsey, a journeyman NFL kicker who despite missing toes on his right foot set a field goal record that stood for more than four decades, has died of coronavirus, according to reports. Tom Dempsey boots a 63-yard field goal to beat the Lions in 1970 season Watch former New Orleans Saints kicker Tom Dempsey boot a 63-yard field goal to beat Detroit Lions in the 1970 season. On Nov. 8, 1970, Dempsey’s last-second, 63-yard field goal in the old Tulane Stadium earned the Saints a 19-17 win over the Detroit Lions. Obviously the posts needed to be moved back for safety. pic.twitter.com/rvLqJppk4s, New Orleans Saints legend Tom Dempsey dies at 73 after contracting coronavirus https://t.co/n0MQA6LNqb pic.twitter.com/SecVveDuLJ. Tom Dempsey, Record-Setting Kicker, Dies at 73 He was born without toes on his right foot, but spent 11 seasons in the N.F.L. The legend of the kick was born and from there it grew. Tom Dempsey kicks a 63-yard field goal in New Orleans on Nov. 8, 1970. Tom Dempsey, who set an NFL record with a 63-yard field goal, is one of more than 50 residents in New Orleans senior center to contract virus. “From what I can recall, I had a great time.”. In 1970, he set an NFL record by kicking a 63-yard field goal on the final play to lift the Saints to a 19-17 upset of the Detroit Lions. Dempsey returned to New Orleans after retiring from the league. But on this cold January day in 2011 Dempsey repeated a story I had heard him say many times about his record 63-yard field goal. 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. It was a record that stood for 43 years. This is a test to see whether we can improve the experience for you. Let friends in your social network know what you are reading about. The 63 yard field goal was equaled five separate times by Jason Elam (1998). “We were there, with all the guys, until the wee hours,” he said. © 2005-2021 CBS INTERACTIVE ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. "I was young, strong, and stupid in those days," Dempsey said. Tom Dempsey breaks the NFL's field goal record with a 63-yarder during a November 1970 game. For example in 1976, he set a career high in field goal percentage with the Rams with 80.8 percent. Sadly, he is now gone because of COVID-19. You will need to register before adding a comment. Dempsey booted the record field on the final play of the game to give the Saints a 19-17 win over the Detroit Lions at Tulane Stadium on Nov. 8, 1970. This never stopped him from becoming a player in the NFL. '", "There were so many people who had left the stadium that missed it," Mark's father Jerry Romig, who was in his second season as the Saints PA announcer in 1970 said. Dempsey was a Pro Bowler in 1969 as a rookie and played two seasons with the Saints (1969-70). Still, in 1977, the NFL passed what is widely known as the “The Dempsey Rule,” mandating that shoes worn by players with “an artificial limb on his kicking leg must have a kicking surface that conforms to that of a normal kicking shoe.”. Dempsey is best known for two things, kicking with “half of a foot” and the 63-yard field goal he blasted with the New Orleans Saints in … "It was one of those games, where, I think people had lost hope," current Saints stadium public address announcer Mark Romig said.. "Dempsey lines up for this world record-setting field goal, and everyone is just scratching their heads, 'Sure, why not? Tom Dempsey of the New Orleans Saints kicks a record-setting 63-yard field goal to win a game against the Detroit Lions on Nov. 8, 1970. To find out more about Facebook commenting please read the Conversation Guidelines and FAQs. "I made certain that they heard me say, 'It's good!' In 1989, he was inducted into the New Orleans Saints Hall of Fame. Dempsey’s most famous kick broke the NFL record by seven yards and gave the Saints a 19-17 win over the Lions at Tulane Stadium in New Orleans. But Dempsey ended up carried off the field on the shoulders of teammates and recalled spending all night at a Bourbon Street bar, celebrating. You do not need a Facebook profile to participate. At least 15 residents of that home have died of coronavirus. Tom Dempsey made a 63-yard field goal! Former Lions coach Patricia lands back with Patriots, UDM ends women's basketball season after 'horrendous' complaints against coach, Isaiah Livers scores 22, Michigan extends Big Ten lead by suffocating Purdue, 'I'm not a system guy': Lions' Campbell keeping an open mind on offensive schemes, 'We hurt ourselves': Special teams cost Red Wings in 4-1 loss to Blackhawks, Filip Zadina joins four other Red Wings on COVID protocol list, Your California Privacy Rights/Privacy Policy. As ESPN recounts, the Lions had entered the Saints' den and roared to a 17-16 lead, thanks to an 18-yard field goal with 11 seconds left in the game. Dempsey’s game-winning field goal against Detroit on Nov. 8, 1970, stood as an NFL record for 43 years until the Broncos’ Matt Prater broke it with a 64-yarder in Denver in 2013. Tom Dempsey kicks his record 63-yard field goal in New Orleans on Nov. 8, 1970. At that time, goalposts were on the goal line, not behind the end zone. The 63-yard record kick was later matched by three players, and then broken in 2013 by current Lions kicker Matt Prater, who booted a 64-yarder while playing for the Denver Broncos. I saw one play—Tom Dempsey’s 63-yard field goal, an NFL record—and I only saw it once because instant replays on television broadcasts had not yet been developed. Dempsey was famous for his special kicking shoe on his right foot since he was born without toes on his right foot. “I knew I was going to get a perfect snap from Jackie Burkett and a perfect hold from Joe Scarpati. Dempsey also previously held the record for the longest field goal in NFL history (63 yards) while the Saints in 1970. As with everything in his life, there was a degree of difficulty factor there that is undeniable. It was fitted as a square shoe. It also earned Dempsey … “They thought Tom had no chance,” Kilmer said. © 2021 The Detroit News, a Digital First Media Newspaper. The snap from Jackie Burkettwas good, and Dempsey made the field goal as t… If you see comments in violation of our community guidelines, please report them. With that last-minute score, the Saints won, 19-17. Tom Dempsey, who kicked a then-NFL record 63-yard field goal as time expired to defeat the Detroit Lions in 1970, died Saturday at age 73. Tom Dempsey of New Orleans kicks a 63-yard field goal on Nov. 8, 1970, against the Detroit Lions at Tulane Stadium. He then joined the Philadelphia Eagles from 1971-74 before signing with the Los Angeles Rams (1975-76). The former record holder was 73 years old. “I was more concerned about kicking it straight because I felt I could handle the distance,” Dempsey told the Times-Picayune. “He exemplified the same fight and fortitude in recent years as he battled valiantly against illnesses but never wavered and kept his trademark sense of humor.”, Some viewed Dempsey’s specially made kicking shoe as an unfair advantage. He played for the Saints, Eagles, Rams, Oilers and Bills. Welcome to our new and improved comments, which are for subscribers only. New Orleans Saints kicker Tom Dempsey kicks a 63-yard field goal on Nov. 8, 1970, against the Detroit Lions at Tulane Stadium. As a member of the New Orleans Saints, Dempsey kicked a game-winning field goal a distance of 63 yards. But he wasn't your usual kicker. Joe Scarpati is the holder. In 1973 with the Eagles, he made the most field goals in a single season of his career with 24 and scored the most points (106). Watch below to see Dempsey’s game winning field goal over the Detroit Lions. Prior to 1974, the goal posts in the NFL were on the goal lines instead of the end lines. In 1970, when Saints kicker Tom Dempsey kicked a then NFL record 63-yard field goal to beat the Detroit Lions! and kicked … Former NFL kicker Tom Dempsey, who played in the NFL despite being born without toes on his kicking foot and made a record 63-yard field goal, died late Saturday while struggling with complications… The 63 yard field goal was equaled five separate times by Jason Elam (1998), Sebastian Janikowski (2011), David Akers (2012), Graham Gano (2018) and Brett Maher (2019). (Photo: AP). Tom Dempsey, who played in the National Football League despite being born without toes on his kicking foot and made a record 63-yard field goal for the New Orleans Saints, died April 4. Dempsey was born in 1947 without toes on his right foot and without four fingers on his right hand. According to a media reports, special teams coach Don Heinrich was heard barking, “Tell Stumpy to get ready to go in and kick a long one.”. The former record holder was 73 years old. It's good!'". Tom Dempsey (1947–) was the kicker for the New Orleans Saints. Kilmer told the Times-Picayune he remembers standing on the sideline seeing Lions players across the field laughing as Dempsey lined up for the momentous kick. His kick has remained part of Saints lore and for a long time stood as one of the greatest moments in the history of a franchise that didn’t make the playoffs until its 21st season in 1987, and didn’t win a playoff game until the 2000 season. But New Orleans Saint Tom Dempsey was canonized in the annals of football for a single miracle that put his team two points ahead of the Detroit Lions in 1970. Dempsey’s field goal in Tulane Stadium was below sea level. After a year on the AFL Chargers' taxi squad, Dempsey was claimed by the New Orleans Saints in 1969. Dempsey, who was playing for the New Orleans Saints at the time of his most memorable kick, contracted coronavirus while living at the Lambeth House retirement home in New Orleans. In 127 career regular season games, Dempsey retired with a 61.6 Field Goal Percentage. It was all up to me. Please be polite. Watch below to see Dempsey’s game winning field goal over the Detroit Lions. Former New Orleans Saints kicker Tom Dempsey passed away over the weekend due to the coronavirus. I hit it sweet.”. He used a shoe that was flat at the front during his NFL career, which lasted from 1969-79. The Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio, has another of Dempsey’s specially made kicking shoes, but Dempsey wanted the mementos of the record-breaking kick to remain in New Orleans. Prior to Gano and Maher’s kicks, Matt Prater broke the record with a 64 yard field goal in 2013. With no timeouts, the Saints managed to move the ball to their own 45 with 2 seconds left after Billy Kilmer completed a pass to Al Dodd along the sideline. And I kept screaming into that microphone, 'It's good! 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