This Day In Sports History (November 8th) — Tom Dempsey
It was on this day in 1970 that kicker Tom Dempsey of the New Orleans Saints kicked a 63-yard game winning field goal on the last play of the game. Dempsey’s record still stands to this day, although it has since been matched by Jason Elam of the Denver Broncos in 1998, Sebastian Janikowski of the Raiders in 2011, and David Akers of the 49ers earlier this season.
What made this accomplishment even more amazing was the fact that Tom Dempsey was born without toes on his kicking foot. He wore a custom-made shoe that had a flat surface and he used a straight approach to kick the ball, as opposed to the soccer style of kicking which is used by every kicker in today’s game. In 1977 the NFL added a rule which stated “ 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.”
Dempsey’s field goal shattered the previous record of 56 yards, which stood for seventeen years and was held by Bert Rechichar of the Baltimore Colts.
Here is footage of Dempsey’s 63 yard field goal.
Jeff Blauser,MLB – Born November 8th 1965 (age 48) in Los Gatos, California
Qadry Ismail, NFL – Born November 8th 1970 (age 43) in Newark, New Jersey
Nick Punto, MLB – Born November 8th 1977 (age 36) in San Diego, California