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

Akers hits NFL 'hole in one,' books flight to Canton
September 11, 2012, 9:33 pm
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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.