The 300: #21 Matt Stover

There are some who might say that kickers have no place in The 300, but we’re not like that. We have kickers, punters and a whole host of unregarded players in our list. Because everyone is a part of an NFL roster, no matter how long they spend on the pitch.

NFL CAREER

New York Giants (1990)

Cleveland Browns (1991-1995)

Baltimore Ravens (1996-2008)

Indianapolis Colts (2009)

 

POSITION

Kicker

 

WHY IS HE IMPORTANT

We’ll ignore the fact that Matt Stover‘s career was so long that he was the last of the original Cleveland Browns to retire from playing. Instead, let us consider the number of records that he set during his career.

At the time that he retired, he was the fourth highest points scorer in NFL history, and despite it being almost a decade since he last played, only two players have overtaken him. No-one has played more consecutive games in which they have kicked a field goal. No-one has kicked more consecutive PATs – a record which is now unlikely to be broken, given that the kick takes place from further away. He may be the third most accurate kicker in the League’s history (a statistic complicated by incomplete records). Oh, and he is also the oldest person to play in a Superbowl.

In other words, Stover was the kicker’s kicker. Unpretentious, unfussy, he went about his business with a cruel efficiency (well, if you were on the opposing team). He apparently lost money as a result of the original Browns decamping to Baltimore, but remained with the franchise for another decade and more. He was, in fact, a model of reliability both on and off the field.

Richard O’Hagan

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Richard O'Hagan
Writer on such diverse topics as sport, music, theatre, law and politics. Author of 'Eddie the Sheep'. Supporter of underachieving teams, including the Chicago Bears from before that brief, heady, period in the mid-1980s when they were actually any good. All I want for Christmas is a Jim McMahon away shirt.
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    There are some who might say that kickers have no place in The 300, but we’re not like that. We have kickers, punters and a whole host of unregarded p
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