At the end of Super Bowl 49, the Seattle Seahawks lost the game when they threw the ball at the 1-yard line and Patriots cornerback Malcolm Butler jumped the route for a game-sealing interception. Since that day, people blab nonstop about Seattle’s mistake, not handing the ball to Marshawn Lynch at that moment. I’m here to set something straight. Seattle had to throw the ball. The New England’s defensive alignment didn’t leave them any other choice.
Johansson once kicked a ball 69 yards through the uprights for Abilene Christian.
When you think of big-legged kickers, a few names come to mind: Matt Prater, Tom Dempsey, and Sebastian Janikowski all carved out long NFL careers thanks to their ability to kick a football through the stratosphere. But one man out-kicked them all, even if he’d go on to spend just two weeks in the pros.
That man, the true field goal king of the gridiron was… (checks notes) uh, Swedish-born Navy veteran Ove Johansson?
Johansson is an unlikely football record holder. The Swede was a 24-year-old semi-pro soccer player in Dallas before changing his career path all thanks to a girl. He spotted his future wife April in the stands of a home game one year, then followed her all the way to Abilene Christian University, some 180 miles west.
But Johansson couldn’t afford tuition, and ACU didn’t have a soccer team. Instead, he turned his focus to football, taking a year to build up his leg strength before turning a tryout with Wildcats coaches into an athletic scholarship. After drilling multiple 70-yard kicks in practice, ACU gave him the chance to shine just before halftime of its homecoming game against East Texas State University (now Texas A&M-Commerce). Johansson’s 69-yard kick cleared the crossbar with room to spare and remains the longest recorded field goal in football history.