Former Philadelphia Eagle Tom Dempsey Dies of COVID-19

Ex-Eagle Tom Dempsey died this weekend at age 73 after a battle with the Coronavirus.

The Pro Bowl kicker played long before most contemporary Eagles fans were born, but if you were a football fan back in the 1970s then you remember when he set the NFL record with a 63-yard field goal while playing for the Saints.

Dempsey was born without toes on his right foot, so he wore a special flat-fronted shoe and kicked the ball with a straight-on motion instead of going with the side-footed soccer style kickers use these days.

This is the field goal that shattered the previous distance record 50 years ago:

That record was tied three different times, by Jason Elam, Sebastian Janikowski, and David Akers, before Matt Prater broke it in 2013 when he hit from 64 yards.

Dempsey went on to spend four seasons with the Eagles, from 1971 to 1974, playing for Jerry Williams, Ed Khayat, and Mike McCormack in the years before Dick Vermeil came to town. He finished his NFL career with the Rams, Oilers, and Bills.

According to the AP, Dempsey returned to New Orleans upon retirement. He was diagnosed with dementia in 2012 and moved to an assisted living home, where he contracted COVID-19 last month. He leaves behind a wife, three kids, a sister, and grandchildren.

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6 Responses

  1. I don’t know what I hear more when I turn on sports radio- Moron Jeff from Camden or that annoying commerical with the Metallica song. Going be a long 2 months

  2. I never saw that 63 yard field go that Tom hit when with the Saints. I do remember him in his days with the Eagles, though. Most NFL kickers of the era were straight-on kickers like Tom, the Euro style soccer guys were just ramping up, led by KC’s Jan Stenerud. RIP, Tom and condolences to his family and friends.

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