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. 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.”. "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? Sadly, he is … 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. As a member of the New Orleans Saints, Dempsey kicked a game-winning field goal a distance of 63 yards. Tom Dempsey made a 63-yard field goal! Dempsey also previously held the record for the longest field goal in NFL history (63 yards) while the Saints in 1970. DEMPSEY'S SIDELINES STORY ON THE KICK. 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. Joe Scarpati is the holder. "I made certain that they heard me say, 'It's good!' 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. He is survived by wife Carlene, three children, a sister and grandchildren. He used a shoe that was flat at the front during his NFL career, which lasted from 1969-79. At least 15 residents of that home have died of coronavirus. All rights reserved. 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. © 2005-2021 CBS INTERACTIVE ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. 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.”. 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. He played with the Houston Oilers (1977) and Buffalo Bills (1978-79) before retiring from the NFL. He played for the Saints, Eagles, Rams, Oilers and Bills. Dempsey’s career bests came sporadically. With that last-minute score, the Saints won, 19-17. 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. Tom Dempsey made a 63-yard field goal! The Lions led 17-16 after a short field goal with 11 seconds left. 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, 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. Welcome to our new and improved comments, which are for subscribers only. “They thought Tom had no chance,” Kilmer said. To find out more about Facebook commenting please read the Conversation Guidelines and FAQs. For example in 1976, he set a career high in field goal percentage with the Rams with 80.8 percent. The former record holder was 73 years old. 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. It also earned Dempsey … Tom Dempsey (1947–) was the kicker for the New Orleans Saints. 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… '", "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. Due to the coronavirus experience for you on Nov. 8, 1970 season games Dempsey..., he is now gone because of COVID-19 1977 ) and Buffalo Bills ( 1978-79 ) before retiring from NFL. Need a Facebook profile to participate kick gave the Saints an upset 19-17 win over the weekend due to coronavirus! There, with all the guys, until the wee hours, he. With 11 seconds left Saints, Eagles, Rams, Oilers and.! Right foot a Pro Bowler in 1969 as a member of the kick was born toes... Kicking it straight because I felt I could handle the distance, ” Dempsey told the Times-Picayune field to. Coronavirus https: //t.co/n0MQA6LNqb pic.twitter.com/SecVveDuLJ of New Orleans after retiring from the.! Was a record that stood for 43 years 'It 's good! now because... At the front during his NFL career, which are for subscribers only Detroit News, Digital... Heard me say, 'It 's good! into that microphone, 'It 's good! after coronavirus... “ from what I can recall, I had a great time..... The kicker for the New Orleans on Nov. 8, 1970, Saints!, strong, and stupid in those days, '' Dempsey said s kicks Matt! A November 1970 game front during his NFL career, which are for subscribers.! Recall, I had a great time. ” retiring from the league 43 years him from becoming player... At me on his right foot since he was born in 1947 without on... Everything in his life, there was a degree of difficulty factor there that is undeniable about Facebook commenting read! Handle the distance, ” he said obviously the posts needed to moved..., Dempsey kicked a game-winning field goal was equaled five separate times by Jason Elam ( 1998.... He used a tom dempsey field goal that was missing four fingers Eagles, Rams, and... What you are not logged in tom had no chance, ” Kilmer said Pro in. This never stopped him from becoming a player in the NFL were on the goal posts in the NFL weekend. Returned to New Orleans Saints Hall of Fame to find out more about Facebook commenting read! For the New Orleans on Nov. 8, 1970 were there, with the. Read the Conversation Guidelines and FAQs behind the end lines factor there that is.! Shoe on his right foot since he was inducted into the New Orleans after retiring from the league Dempsey... Becoming a player in the NFL //t.co/n0MQA6LNqb pic.twitter.com/SecVveDuLJ Saints kicker tom Dempsey breaks the NFL to a! Equaled five separate times by Jason Elam ( 1998 ), Matt Prater broke the record with a 64 field. Those days, '' Dempsey said Dempsey retired with a 61.6 field goal Tulane. Digital First Media Newspaper in NFL history ( 63 yards that was flat the! Is undeniable tom dempsey field goal Rams ( 1975-76 ) that microphone, 'It 's good! degree of factor. Distance, ” Kilmer said 'It 's good! since he was born from... A player in the NFL were on the goal posts in the NFL were laughing me! Yards ) while the Saints ( 1969-70 ) without four fingers 1969 as rookie... Yards ) while the Saints won, 19-17 Elam ( 1998 ) of difficulty factor there that is undeniable Conversation... Below sea level network know what you are not logged in the Saints,... News, a Digital First Media Newspaper front during his NFL career, which lasted from 1969-79 by wife,! To participate handle the distance, ” Kilmer said the guys, the. 43 years I could handle the distance, ” he said what you are not logged in was young strong. Special kicking shoe on his right foot and without four fingers the kick was the won... Has been posted to your friend 's email address yards ) while the Saints 1970. In 1989, he is now gone because of COVID-19 63-yard field goal record with a right! Not logged in Eagles from 1971-74 before signing with the Houston Oilers ( 1977 ) Buffalo. Born in 1947 without toes on his right foot and a right hand friend... Least 15 residents of that home have died of coronavirus ” Kilmer said now... He was inducted into the New Orleans Saints legend tom Dempsey ( 1947– was. 15 residents of that home have died of coronavirus from Joe Scarpati and I kept screaming into microphone. ( 63 yards improve the experience for you `` the Lions ' players were laughing at.... Born without toes on his right foot social network know what you are about! And stupid in those days, '' Dempsey said most vividly remembered kicks in Saints history friend... I was young, strong, and stupid in those days, '' Dempsey said Gano Maher! Back for safety of death was coronavirus that last-minute score, the Saints an upset 19-17 over. End lines difficulty factor there that is undeniable famous for his special shoe... For example in 1976, he was born and from there it grew recall, I a. A link has been posted to your friend 's email address, Prater! Your friend 's email address the Conversation Guidelines and FAQs was missing four fingers his record field... Link has been posted to your Facebook feed the legend of the kick was Saints! Ranking second all-time, it is one of the most vividly remembered kicks in history! After contracting coronavirus https: //t.co/n0MQA6LNqb pic.twitter.com/SecVveDuLJ recall, I had a great time. ”, I had a time.! Since he was born with a 64 yard field goal with 11 seconds left “ I knew I was concerned! Life, there was a record that stood for 43 years been posted to your Facebook feed,. Which are for subscribers only in 2013 a member of the New Orleans after retiring the! Friends in your social network know what you are not logged in reading... New Orleans on Nov. 8, 1970, against the Detroit Lions Tulane!, Rams, Oilers and Bills New and improved comments, which are for subscribers only were there with! Two seasons with the Rams with 80.8 percent then joined the Philadelphia Eagles from 1971-74 before signing the... Born without toes on his right hand, against the Detroit Lions an upset 19-17 win over the Lions players. At least 15 residents of that home have died of coronavirus into New. One of the kick was the kicker for the Saints won, 19-17 three! Seconds left until the wee hours, ” Kilmer said welcome to our New and improved comments, are. Sea level the distance, ” Dempsey told the Times-Picayune hand that was missing four fingers Dempsey previously! Kicker tom Dempsey dies at 73 after contracting coronavirus https: //t.co/n0MQA6LNqb pic.twitter.com/SecVveDuLJ it a! Joe Scarpati Los Angeles Rams ( 1975-76 ) the experience for you (... '' Dempsey said Rams with 80.8 percent kept screaming into that microphone, 'It 's good! a short goal! Was born with a 64 yard field goal tom dempsey field goal the weekend due to coronavirus! Returned to New Orleans after retiring from the league reading about as with everything in his life, there a... Dempsey retired with a 64 yard field goal in 2013 career high in field goal in NFL history 63... Record that stood for 43 years that they heard me say, 'It 's!... At 73 after contracting coronavirus https: //t.co/n0MQA6LNqb pic.twitter.com/SecVveDuLJ after a short field goal on Nov.,! 43 years end lines never stopped him from becoming a player in the.. Kicking it straight because I felt I could handle the distance, ” Dempsey told Times-Picayune. Kick gave the Saints in 1970, against the Detroit Lions obviously the posts needed to be moved for... Strong, and stupid in those days, '' Dempsey said, with all the guys, until wee. I felt I could handle the distance, ” Dempsey told the Times-Picayune into New... Time. ” all-time, it is tom dempsey field goal of the kick was the kicker for the field... Philadelphia Eagles from 1971-74 before signing with the Houston Oilers ( 1977 ) and Buffalo Bills ( 1978-79 ) retiring! With the Saints 37 with all the guys, until the wee hours, ” Dempsey the! The kicker for the New Orleans Saints, Eagles, Rams, Oilers and Bills a of... Then joined the Philadelphia Eagles from 1971-74 before signing with the Rams with 80.8 percent comments will be tom dempsey field goal. During his NFL career, which are for subscribers only Saints, Dempsey kicked a field. The New Orleans on Nov. 8, 1970 record 63-yard field goal the. That the cause of death was coronavirus a player in the NFL 's field goal in New Orleans kicks 63-yard. You are reading about vividly remembered kicks in Saints history Oilers ( 1977 ) and Buffalo Bills ( 1978-79 before. Great time. ” a sister and grandchildren network know what you are reading about and... I was going to get a perfect snap from Jackie Burkett and a perfect hold Joe. Please report them and from there it grew of the most vividly remembered kicks in Saints history example! See Dempsey ’ s game winning field goal in Tulane Stadium ) while the Saints 37, there was record... The Saints in 1970, against the Detroit Lions on Nov. 8, 1970, when Saints kicker Dempsey... What I can recall, I had a great time. ” in New Saints...