Sunday, December 13, 2009

Kasay's infamous Super Bowl kickoff

In researching my column for Sunday's Charlotte Observer on New England's frantic 32-29 win over the Carolina Panthers in the Super Bowl played Feb.1, 2004, I ran across some interesting numbers regarding John Kasay's infamous out-of-bounds kickoff that came after Carolina tied the score 29-all deep in the fourth quarter.

Here's an excerpt from my column about the game -- the column is about far more than the kickoff, but I thought you'd find this interesting:

I've always maintained that Kasay's gaffe wasn't the single play the game should be remembered for, though, as some Panther fans seem so anxious to do.

You know where New England had started its four previous drives, on average, when Kasay kicked off? From its own 27. Kasay's errant kick meant the Patriots got the ball at their own 40. We're talking about 13 lousy yards.

In "The Ultimate Super Bowl Book" - a book notable for its excellent research - author Bob McGinn notes that only 45 of 2,435 kickoffs went out of bounds in the 2003 season (1.8 percent). Kasay had kept 77 of his 78 regular-season kickoffs in play.

Yes, Kasay messed up. It probably gave New England the equivalent of about one first down.

OK, enough with the excerpt. You can read the entire column if you want, or you can totally forget about the painful memories from that Super Bowl and just enjoy(?) today's Patriots-Panthers matchup. One upset already: it's not supposed to snow.


Anonymous said...

A long pass play gave the Panthers a first down at about the 15 yard line, with 1:35 left. John Fox called time out. That gave New England an extra 40 seconds. Instead of getting the ball with 1:08 left, they would have had about 30 seconds. A physical mistake by a player can be forgiven. A boneheaded shot of blatant stupidity by the head coach will never be forgiven by at least one of us.

Anonymous said...

It was still a classy move (and a correct one given his reliability) when the Panthers gave Kasay a contract extension weeks after the Superbowl.

Julie said...

Good point about the John Fox timeout. Another John Fox error was when he went for the two point conversion so early in the game. That was dumb and I blame that for the loss. Both those moves were intentional on John Fox's part and the kickoff wasn't intentional on John Kasay's part. I've never blamed Kasay for the loss.

Also, I always found it interesting many said Adam Vinatieri was the hero in the game and John Kasay was the loser when AV missed a field goal earlier in the game. John Kasay made all his field goals. So Viniateri essenitally gave up three points, when you think about is the same that Kasay gave up by kicking the ball out of bounds.

Quintin said...

That's a good point, Julie. Vinatieri actually missed TWO field goals in the game (both in the first half). I don't want to blame anyone, I really don't. I just wish we had won so badly haha

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