This guy to the left? Yeah, it turns out he's pretty special.
That's Robbie Gould. He's the kicker for the Chicago Bears. Kicker is not necessarily a glamorous position. For every big deal, last-minute game-winner, there's a lot of routine extra point kicks. With every 50+ yard bomb, there's a 20-yard "chip shot."
None of that, however, should diminish the accomplishments of the young man to the left. Not quite 29 years old, he is currently the third on the all-time points board for the Chicago Bears, and is the third most accurate kicker in the history of the NFL.
This weekend, he has a chance not only to leapfrog to the top of the kicking accuracy chart, but also to surpass a Chicago Bears legend. He's worked his way up from the ranks of Penn State to the tops of the NFL kicking group.
Not too bad for a guy who was working construction before he joined the team.
Yeah, you read that right. After a little work with the New England Patriots and the Baltimore Ravens, Gould was waived and returned to Pennsylvania to do some construction work. Then in the OCtober of 2005, something happened. Doug Brien, the kicker for the Bears, was injured in a week 3 game against the Bengals. The next week, Gould was with the Bears as they battled the Cleveland Browns. He made his first NFL field goal, and started himself on his way to Bears history.
All-Time Bears Leading Scorers
|Player Name||Total Points|
Well that's some great company, huh?
All-Time Field Goal Completion Percentage
Also not a bad group.
So this weekend could be very big for Robbie Gould. If the Bears have a good game, he lands a couple of field goals, he could not only become THE MOST ACCURATE KICKER IN NFL HISTORY, but could pass Sweetness for the second place slot on the all-time Bears list. Not too shabby for a guy.
But where could his career ultimately go? There's only one pure placekicker in the Hall of Fame. His name is Jan Stenerud. Over the course of his career, Stenerud scored 1,699 points, with a 66.8% of field goals made. If Gould continues the general pace he's maintained over these first few years, he could be at those numbers by the time he's in his mid-thirties. Should he continue into his 40s, as some kickers do, he could be one of the highest point scorers of all time.
It's definitely a little early for that talk, but he's got the ability to do it. He's shown a strong work ethic, increasing his leg strength on kickoffs and field goals, and has the ability to have a long and illustrious career in the NFL. Where he ends up all time remains to be seen, but let's all take a minute to appreciate the guy we take for granted...the man who is...yeah, I'll say it...Good as Gould.