The Pittsburgh Steelers saw what could possibly rank as one of the worst missed field goals in Super Bowl history in their big game against the eventual world champion Green Bay Packers. Kicker Shaun Suisham came in for a routine, albeit 52 yard, field goal, and promptly shanked it to the left. And it wasn’t a few inches from going in, or anything like that, it was quite possible that Suisham was suffering from a bit of double vision during the kick.
Now, we can debate whether or not the play calling was questionable for even sending the kicker out in that situation, which it was, or we can talk about just how bad a miss it was. 52 yard field goals aren’t easy, but even at that, if anything you expect them to be short, or at least come close in comparison to the kick that made Steelers fans cringe, Buffalo Bills fans reminisce, and Washington Redskins fans explode on Twitter saying ‘that’s the Suisham we know’.
While Suisham was nearly perfect for the team during the regular season, he does have a past history of missing some pretty pedestrian field goals, just ask those Redskins fans above, and they’ll talk about a time where he missed three short, crucial field goals, Dallas Cowboys fans will talk about his misses in a game they weren’t going to win anyway against the Minnesota Vikings and Steelers fans, of course have the ever memorable Super Bowl XLV kick.
While not known for his strong leg, he has shown flashes of being accurate, but for some reason always manages to get himself kicked out of town by missing field goals that he, should by all accounts, be making.
That may be what happens in Pittsburgh, especially with long time Philadelphia Eagles kicker David Akers presumably on the market after the team used a fourth round draft pick to select Alex Henery from Nebraska, who happens to be the NCAA’s most accurate kicker of all time.
Eagles fans tend to watch remnants of their organization just kind of fly away (no pun intended), no Donovan McNabb, Brian Westbrook, Brian Dawkins, etc. But, as Bryn Swartz of Eagles Central said, “But one thing has always remained constant. Kicker David Akers.” and that is very true, Akers is currently the longest tenured Philadelphia Eagle, and indeed the current longest tenured Philadelphia sports player, for the moment at least.
But, for the man who has handled the kicking duties for the same team since his arrival in 1999, who has been elected to five Pro Bowls, and who has kicked in five NFC Championship games, the writing is on the wall.
When asked about his potential free agent status, Akers seemed to know that he was on his way out, offering this comment: “Looking back now, 12 years, it’s been a nice run.”.
For the Steelers, Akers would, hopefully bring not only an aura of class, and a veteran presence that includes leadership, nobility, and humanity to the kicking corps, something that team hasn’t had for years upon years, but hopefully the team would rally around his charity, David Akers Kicks For Kids, a charity that hits close to home for Akers, who’s son, Luke, was treated for MSRA and who’s daughter, had to have a cancerous cyst removed from her left ovary.
Suisham hasn’t made too many terrible kicks for the few games that he played in Pittsburgh, but the one that stands out is the on that could have cut a Green Bay Super Bowl lead to a single point, and that may seal his fate, coupled with a kicker of Akers caliber being available.