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Blakeview: Tom Dempsey 

It is a moment which literally shook Tulane Stadium and still reverberates in the hearts and minds of New Orleanians ­— and it happened 45 years ago this week. On Nov. 8, 1970, Saints kicker Tom Dempsey's 63-yard field goal sealed the team's last-second win over the Detroit Lions and wrote his chapter in NFL history. Dempsey, a Milwaukee native who had joined the team one year before, was the Saints' best hope for a victory as they trailed the Lions 17-16 with just two seconds left in the game. "They called down and said, 'Tell Stumpy to get ready. We're going to kick a long field goal,'"

  "Stumpy" had been ready for a lifetime, Dempsey recalled in a 2010 WWL-TV interview, even though he was born without toes on his right foot or fingers on his right hand. Dempsey's record stood for 43 years, until Denver Broncos kicker Matt Prater booted a 64-yarder in 2013. Sadly, that same year, Dempsey revealed he was suffering from dementia. The modified shoe he wore when he kicked his way into Saints history — his "mighty boot" as one songwriter called it — is on display at the Saints Hall of Fame Museum in the Superdome.


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