We lost one of the NFL’s All-Time Greats Today:Tom Dempsey, the New Orleans Saints’ record-setting Kicker, GONE at age 73 due to Coronavirus/COVID-19

Posted by Andy Durham on April 5, 2020 at 9:01 pm under Professional | Read the First Comment

Back in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s, this was our guy…And I’m not talking about the Oakland Raiders’ punter Ray Guy, I am speaking about Tom Dempsey, the club-footed kicker, who kicked what was then, the longest field goal in National Football League history, back in 1970, when he nailed a 63-yard FG, 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.

Tom Dempsey wore a custom, flat-front kicking shoe that ended where his toes were supposed to begin(no toes on his right foot). Dempsey was also born with no fingers on his right hand…

Tom Dempsey’s NFL longest field goal record stood for years and football fans loved Tom Dempsey for his efforts, and he was a fan-favorite for many National Football League die-hard fans, for many years…Dempsey’s record was broken on December 8, 2013, by Matt Prater who hit a 64-yard field goal, for the Denver Broncos….

Why was Tom Dempsey such a popular player? Well he broke that previous longest field goal record by 7 yards, and he did it with a club-foot and he was wearing a square-toed shoe…Many thought the square-toed shoe gave Dempsey and advantage, but NFL scientific study later proved it did not….But, the NFL made sure that Tom Dempsey’s kicking with that squared-toe shoe, would factor into the NFL rule book…

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…

Kickers on the high school, college an professional football level, on all levels for that matter, had started wearing those square-toed kicking shoes, to try and secure a kicking advantage…

I remember back in high school and in college, where the kickers also started to put shoe strings on the end of their football kicking shoes to try and bring/pull the toe of the shoe back, so the toe of the shoe, would allow more zip on their kicks…

We loved Tom Dempsey because he was a history-maker and he did it with a handicap and Tom learned how to overcome that handicap, and he became very successful in the National Football League….I do think that he should be in the National Football League Hall of Fame…Dempsey is the American Football Association’s Semi-Pro Football Hall of Fame….

We loved you Tom and we will miss you Tom Dempsey….

During that time frame when Tom Dempsey was kicking, I enjoyed following all of the kickers from that day and with a great one, Tom Dempsey passing today, it got me thinking back and recalling those old kickers again with the veterans roll call…

Tom Dempsey with the New Orleans Saints, Curt Knight and Mark Moseley with the Washington Redskins, Rafel Septien and Efren Herrera from the Dallas Cowboys, Fred Cox with the Minnesota Vikings, Errol Mann with the Detroit Lions, Jan Stenerud with the Kansas City Chiefs, George Blanda with the Oakland Raiders, Roy Gerela with the Pittsburgh Steelers, Don Chandler with the Green Bay Packers, Jim Turner with the New York Jets, Rolf Benirschke from the San Diego Chargers and there were many more….

We are going to miss you Tom Dempsey, but the memories with live on forever….

RIP:Tom Dempsey

from the ESPN.com News Services:
Former New Orleans Saints kicker Tom Dempsey, who famously made a 63-yard field goal in 1970 despite being born without toes on his right kicking foot, has died due to complications of the coronavirus, his daughter said. He was 73.

Ashley Dempsey said Sunday that her father tested positive for the coronavirus a little more than a week ago.

Dempsey had been battling Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. He was a resident at the Lambeth House senior living center in New Orleans, which has been hit hard by the virus. More than 50 residents have been affected, according to NOLA.com.


  • Andy Durham said,

    Let’s add another kicker to our list and his name came to me today, when I was on one of those long walks across the Guilford College campus…

    Garo Yepremian, from the Miami Dolphins, and who can forget that 1972 Super Bowl and the Dolphins’ win over the Washington Redskins…I think the final score was 14-7 and Mike Bass, from the ‘Skins grabbed a crazy Garo Yepremian pass attempt by the Dolphins’ kicker and Bass took it back all the way for a pick 6….

    Dolphins the only Unbeaten team in NFL history at (17-0) and little Garo Yepremian was their kicker…

    It seems like every player on that list of kickers has some sort of story to tell…

    Remember Rolf Benirschke when he was host of the Wheel of Fortune for a brief time…

    Every one of them has a story to tell…