Akers hits NFL 'hole in one,' books flight to Canton


Akers hits NFL 'hole in one,' books flight to Canton

SANTA CLARA -- The Pro Football Hall of Fame wants David Akers' shoe, but the 49ers' placekicker isn't quite done nailing field goals with in, so Canton will have to make do with a trade.

Akers made NFL history when his 63-yard field goal before halftime of the 49ers' win Sunday clanged off the post and through the uprights; he joined Tom Dempsey (1970), Jason Elam (1998) and Sebastian Janikowski (2011) as the only kickers to accomplish a successful attempt from such a distance.

Akers, who likened the opportunity to hitting a hole in one as a golfer, referred to the kick as his "own little miracle." Off his foot, he didn't think he hit it right, and was expecting to come up short. His fears looked to be realized when the ball hit the post.

"Most of my kicks that have hit the post in years past," Akers explained, "Make that lovely sound like we heard, and then it comes bouncing back onto the field.

"Alright, that's going to be great. You hit it 63 (yards) and you came up an inch short."

MAIOCCO: Even Akers' record-tying kick was a group effort

This time, though, the football gods were with Akers as the ball continued on its path through the uprights, securing him -- or at least his shoe -- in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio.

Akers can do with the prized football as he pleases. He had the ball in the 49ers locker room on Tuesday, although it won't be around for long. It is being sent directly to Canton, Ohio for temporary enshrinement in Pro Football Hall of Fame's "Hall of Fame Now" display.

"Going to Canton," Akers explained when asked where the ball was. "That's pretty cool."

The Hall of Fame wants the shoe that Akers used on the kick, but it's -- clearly -- well worked in and he's not ready to part with it. Akers will begin to work in another shoe so that he can give the Hall what they want. After the season, the ball will be returned to Akers. The shoe, though, will eventually live in Canton for years to come. Fair trade.

Akers doesn't expect to attempt too many more from that distance, but it is a distance he practices from, both in Santa Clara -- where the team uses skinny uprights -- and before games.

"We hit 60 going that way and hit 59 going the other way (in warmups)," Akers said. "I usually stop at midfield and see if I have the distance. Did I strike it well? Did it go in? Or did I just not have a chance? We had plenty to make on both sides."

While it was Akers who will go down in history, he was quick to credit the offensive line, who held the Packers back and gave him the required pocket to get off what he described as his "three iron." Indeed, the feet was a team effort.

76ers anthem singer says 'We Matter' shirt got her the boot


76ers anthem singer says 'We Matter' shirt got her the boot

PHILADELPHIA -- Philadelphia 76ers national anthem singer Sevyn Streeter says she was told by the team she could not perform because of her "We Matter" jersey.

She was scheduled to sing before the Sixers' season opener Wednesday against the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Streeter wrote on Twitter, "Was suppose to sing the anthem at @sixers & @okcthunder game but mins b4 @sixers said I couldn't because I was wearing a "We Matter" jersey.

The Sixers declined to say why Streeter's performance was canceled.

"The Philadelphia 76ers organization encourages meaningful actions to drive social change. We use our games to bring people together, to build trust and to strengthen our communities. As we move from symbolic gestures to action, we will continue to leverage our platform to positively impact our community," the Sixers said in a statement.

The Sixers had a member of their dance team sing the anthem.

This isn't the first time the Sixers were dragged into a national anthem controversy.

A woman performing the national anthem before an NBA preseason game in Miami did so while kneeling at midcourt.

Denasia Lawrence opened her jacket just before she started to sing, revealing a "Black Lives Matter" shirt, then dropped to her left knee and performed the song. She said it was her way of protesting racial oppression.

The anthem issue has been a major topic in the sports world in recent months, starting with the decision by San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick to not stand while it is played. Kaepernick cited racial injustice and police brutality among the reasons for his protest, and athletes from many sports - and many levels, from youth all the way to professional - have followed his lead in various ways.

Pederson refutes reports linking Eagles to 49ers WR Smith

Pederson refutes reports linking Eagles to 49ers WR Smith

Torrey SmithAlshon Jeffery?

Not happening, according to Eagles head coach Doug Pederson.

While a couple reports have linked the Eagles to making a trade before the fast-approaching deadline to grab another veteran outside receiver, Pederson shot them down at his Wednesday press conference.

“There’s no legitimacy to that,” Pederson said. “And I’m thrilled with the guys we have and going to work with them every day.”

[MAIOCCO: Source: 49ers not shopping WR Torrey Smith]

The Eagles made a trade before the season to acquire Dorial Green-Beckham from the Titans, but the team’s receivers still haven’t been great during the first six games of the 2016 season.

They also went out and claimed Bryce Treggs after the 49ers waived him at final cuts, but the speedy wideout hasn’t yet been active.