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Sun Apr 5, 2020, 03:05 AM

Tom Dempsey, historic New Orleans Saints placekicker, dies at 73 after coronavirus battle

Source: New Orleans Times-Picayune

Tom Dempsey, whose 63-yard-field goal in 1970 set the NFL record and gave New Orleans Saints fans a rare raucous moment in the franchise's lean early years, died late Saturday of complications from the novel coronavirus, his family said. He was 73.

Dempsey — who overcame astronomical odds to establish what was then considered a virtually unbeatable record — contracted the virus in March during an outbreak at the Lambeth House retirement home in Uptown New Orleans. He is one of at least 15 residents there to die after being stricken with the disease.

Before long-distance place-kicking became a staple of the sport, Dempsey's thunderous boot not only beat the Detroit Lions 19-17 on the last play of the game at Tulane Stadium on Nov. 8, 1970, but also stood as the NFL record for more than four decades. It beat the previous record by a full 7 yards.

The Denver Broncos' Matt Prater bested Dempsey with a 64-yarder in 2013 — 43 years after Dempsey unleashed his cannon-shot opposite Lions' defenders who had been laughing at what they believed to be an impossible attempt.

Read more: https://www.nola.com/sports/saints/article_f4822bdf-7ef3-522e-8634-54ad5805dc21.html



This guy had an amazing story, and a lot of grief in his life even after overcoming so much. A very sad end.


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Reply Tom Dempsey, historic New Orleans Saints placekicker, dies at 73 after coronavirus battle (Original post)
RhodeIslandOne Apr 5 OP
LisaM Apr 5 #1
Kaleva Apr 5 #2
Layzeebeaver Apr 5 #12
SunSeeker Apr 5 #3
zonkers Apr 5 #4
littlemissmartypants Apr 5 #5
Omaha Steve Apr 5 #6
eppur_se_muova Apr 5 #19
ProfessorGAC Apr 5 #7
modrepub Apr 5 #11
ProfessorGAC Apr 5 #16
gibraltar72 Apr 5 #8
DonaldsRump Apr 5 #9
Dennis Donovan Apr 5 #10
turbinetree Apr 5 #13
OldManTarHeel Apr 5 #14
flotsam Apr 5 #20
OldManTarHeel Apr 5 #21
Roy Rolling Apr 5 #15
BumRushDaShow Apr 5 #17
iluvtennis Apr 5 #18
MustLoveBeagles Apr 5 #22

Response to RhodeIslandOne (Original post)

Sun Apr 5, 2020, 03:12 AM

1. Sorry to hear this.

I am a Lions' fan, and I vividly remember that kick from when I was a kid....for some reason we were listening in the car and the call is seared into my brain. Times were different...we didn't all start hating Tom Dempsey or anything....but I sure do remember it.

RIP to an icon.

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Response to RhodeIslandOne (Original post)

Sun Apr 5, 2020, 04:19 AM

2. I watched that game

A side note. The current record holder, Matt Prater( then as a member of the Denver Broncos), currently plays for the Lions and Matt also holds the team record for longest field goal in Lions history.

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Response to Kaleva (Reply #2)

Sun Apr 5, 2020, 08:50 AM

12. I remember that game as well...

10 years old - watching in our living room with my grandfather in Pontiac.

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Response to RhodeIslandOne (Original post)

Sun Apr 5, 2020, 05:08 AM

3. ...

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Response to RhodeIslandOne (Original post)

Sun Apr 5, 2020, 05:09 AM

4. I was nine when this happened and a sports fan. This was a big deal.

 

If tihs story doesn't rip your heart out. Lost him about ten years too early by my calculations. Sounds like he was an awesome guy An a homegrown L.A. guy. Encinatas.

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Response to RhodeIslandOne (Original post)

Sun Apr 5, 2020, 06:21 AM

6. His kicking foot was deformed


I remember the game too.

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Response to Omaha Steve (Reply #6)

Sun Apr 5, 2020, 12:03 PM

19. He also had no fingers on his right hand.

His left hand is clenched in that photo. I've seen other photos taken from the other side of the field {see Post 10}, and saw little more than a stump at his right wrist.



Dempsey was born without toes on his right foot and no fingers on his right hand.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tom_Dempsey

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Response to RhodeIslandOne (Original post)

Sun Apr 5, 2020, 07:42 AM

7. Too Bad

The very fact he became an athlete of any description is amazing. His right foot, was barely a foot it was so malformed.
And, BTW, he kicked that 63 harder at sea level! On a day with 78% relative humidity.
In Denver, he'd have made it from 70!
Condolences to his family.

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Response to ProfessorGAC (Reply #7)

Sun Apr 5, 2020, 08:26 AM

11. Not Taking Anything Away From Dempsey's Kick

but in general the higher humidity, the less dense the air. MW of "air" is around 29, MW of water is 18. Kicking in Denver is roughly 15% more advantageous due to lower air density (from sea level). Humidity only makes the air "feel" more dense (especially when it's hot and the air is still). RIP Dempsey.

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Response to modrepub (Reply #11)

Sun Apr 5, 2020, 10:47 AM

16. Humidity Does Increase Air Density

Water vapor is higher density than nitrogen or oxygen at equal pressure.
That said, warmer air is less dense, so the temperature difference might offset the humidity difference.
Probably 25 years ago I played golf near Denver.
In those days, I was still hitting driver about 275. A couple yards less perhaps.
In Estes Park, I hit one on a 550+ yard par 5, to under 240 out! There's your 15%.

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Response to RhodeIslandOne (Original post)

Sun Apr 5, 2020, 08:10 AM

8. He broke my heart.

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Response to RhodeIslandOne (Original post)

Sun Apr 5, 2020, 08:11 AM

9. RIP

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Response to RhodeIslandOne (Original post)

Sun Apr 5, 2020, 08:22 AM

10. Cross gently, Tom


Tom Dempsey kicked four field goals against Detroit on Nov. 8, 1970, including a record-setting 63-yard attempt. Dempsey died Saturday night from the coronavirus.


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Response to RhodeIslandOne (Original post)

Sun Apr 5, 2020, 09:01 AM

13. Damn it ........................




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Response to RhodeIslandOne (Original post)

Sun Apr 5, 2020, 09:01 AM

14. I remember that game well . . and Alex Karras on Johnny Carson's show

describing in a very funny way, him watching Dempsey line up to kick the FG.

RIP Tom Dempsey

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Response to OldManTarHeel (Reply #14)

Sun Apr 5, 2020, 03:40 PM

20. "We all stood around to watch this funny thing"

"and when you saw it was good?"

"I wanted to beat the stuffings out of him!"

My paraphrase of that interview...

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Response to flotsam (Reply #20)

Sun Apr 5, 2020, 04:28 PM

21. Karras said it with such a straight face too . . he had Carson LOL

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Response to RhodeIslandOne (Original post)

Sun Apr 5, 2020, 09:32 AM

15. Heartwarming

Those of us in New Orleans knew Tom Dempsey, it’s heartwarming to hear how many from around the world knew of his amazing record. 😄

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Response to RhodeIslandOne (Original post)

Sun Apr 5, 2020, 10:55 AM

17. Oh no! He wasn't just on the Saints but he played for the Eagles too!





(weird bot-voiced video but has some stats)

R.I.P. You just hate to read stuff like this.

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Response to RhodeIslandOne (Original post)

Sun Apr 5, 2020, 11:46 AM

18. Rest in Peace Tom Dempsey

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