It’s been eight days since Cody Parkey predictably ended the Chicago Bears’ season and we, as a society, haven’t really known how to handle it yet. It’s a sign of the times.
Back in my day, if you missed crucial, makable kicks, you were crucified. You were kicked to the street, spit on by fans, had your jersey burned by the one guy who had it as a joke, and were only remembered with contempt by those who were forced to root for you all because you beat an undrafted rookie for the job in August. I still hate Jay Feely for his three missed kicks against Seattle in 2005.
Every time I saw him on the field afterward, regardless of who he played for, with those fucking gloves and bicep bands, I’d throw a temper tantrum. Even today, when I see him reporting on the sidelines, my body clenches up in anger. However, I have to immediately relax because my legs cramp up.
Today, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a more supportive response for a kicker than what Cody Parkey has received in the last week. Maybe Scott Norwood after his “Wide Right!” kick against the Giants in Super Bowl XXV.
But that’s Buffalo, what do you expect from them? To be mean?
I mean, for God’s sakes, Chicago had a competition allowing normal people to attempt a 43 yard field goal to teach everyone a lesson to stop bullying Parkey.
This has been the big story out of Chicago regarding Cody Parkey. No hanging mannequins with his jersey on them, no stories of death threats (don’t fact check me on that), not even any property vandalism. Seriously, Chicago, not even one egg or roll of toilet paper at the guys house? Be better.
Despite all the support, it doesn’t really get you too far. All that happens is you, the fan, get to tell yourself you’re a good person and the player either keeps his job and continues sucking or gets fired. Just look at Giants fans and Eli Manning. That relationship has been dead for so long the only person that could be into it would be Jeffrey Dahmer, but I digress. The point is nobody wins at the end of the day, especially the player.
What can save a player, though, is the performance of his counterparts. Usually you see it in the world of quarterback contracts. Someone gets overpaid an exorbitant amount of money, and as a result, everyone that does even a little bit better finds themselves making even more. It’s a toxic cycle for the business side of the NFL, but what are ya gonna do?
This one is a little different. Kickers don’t have that kind of impact. But something happened on Saturday that may have changed the fabric of the NFL as we know it. As the clock wound down in the first half of the Chiefs Colts game, veteran kicker, Adam Vinatieri lined up for a chip shot 23 yarder. A kick he’s made a million times, except this time. He missed.
Usually, that’ll get you fired, no questions asked. However, Vinatieri is in the 1% of kickers who can fuck up like that and no one thinks twice. His career is fine, and by proxy, so is Cody Parkey’s.
I mean, if Adam Vinatieri, 4x super bowl champ, 1,000,000x pro bowler/all-pro player, and grey beard rocker,
can miss a 23 yarder, why would we EVER expect Cody Parkey to make a 43 yarder. It’s just impossible when you look at this whole thing realistically. Not to mention, Adam didn’t even hit the post, he missed everything except some poor Chief’s fan’s face who wasn’t paying attention. Parkey hit the post, TWICE.
So it’s clear, you can’t get rid of Cody Parkey for missing a game winning field goal after missing 11 all season. You just can’t. It’s not fair. He deserves a 13th chance. This is America after all.