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Old December 2nd, 2005, 12:10 PM   #1
dylanbw
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Bill Simmons on former Cards K Neil O'Donahue..


....I remember that 1983 Monday nighter and the Washington kick (albeit 50+ I think) to end the 1984 season like they were yesterday....boy did he suck.....

Q: Do you realize the 2005 Giants have become Video Madden in real life? They had the equivalent of your "No Freaking Way" game against the Vikings, giving up the KO, PR, and INT for TDs, come back with a late touchdown and 2-point to tie, only to lose on the last-second FG. And now against Seattle, Jay Feely was kicking like someone who had no idea how to use the FG feature in Madden and didn't know how to handle the power/accuracy meters. Not only that, they have a Madden name generator guy like Chase Blackburn on the team. It's surreal.
-- Matt, Northern NJ



SG: You know what was crazy about that game? I remember thinking to myself, "Wow, that was one for the ages -- the first-ever Triple Stomach Punch Game. We will never see anything like that again." Then I'm watching "SportsCenter" that night and they show a graphic about how Cardinals kicker Neil O'Donoghue missed three overtime kicks in an eventual Monday night tie against the Giants in 1983 (including a 19-yarder). Astounding, right? So I immediately went online to research this O'Donoghue game, stumbling across another O'Donoghue disaster in Tampa Bay where he had four kicks blocked by the Vikings in a 1979 game, including a last-second PAT attempt that would have sent the game into overtime.



Now I was intrigued. I started googling phrases like "Neil O'Donahue horrible," "Neil O'Donahue missed" and "Neil O'Donahue blocked." And games kept popping up, In 1984, he blew a game to the Packers with a missed PAT and a 45-yard field goal that was short. On the last game of the '84 season, needing a win against Washington to make the playoffs, O'Donoghue missed the game-winning field goal as time expired. Playing for Tampa Bay in 1978, someone snapped the ball over his holder's head, followed by O'Donoghue trying to kick the ball out of bounds and whiffing on it -- leading to an 80-yard return by the Vikes and Bucs coach John McKay to derisively call him "The Irish Wonder." Turns out he played nine seasons for three teams and went 112-189 on field goals, which means he averaged 12-for-21 every year for nine years. If this guy doesn't warrant his own "SportsCentury" episode, I don't know who does.
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Old December 2nd, 2005, 01:32 PM   #2
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The sad part of that story above is he screwed up big time in Tampa in 1979 and after that, the Cards still hire him so he can screw up some more.

What, Did they have a shortage of players who could kick FGs back then? Why would you hire any FG kicker with such a poor FG%?

Or is this one of those "made up" stories.
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Old December 2nd, 2005, 03:46 PM   #3
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Ugh, you had to remind me of the 1984 missed kick against Washington. One of the 2 worst moments in Cardinal football for me. The Cards mount a furious comeback in the 2nd half, Lomax had over 450 yards, and lose in the closing seconds. But that game wasnt his fault. EJ Junior got screwed over on a roughing the passer call. Later they managed the clock poorly and ODonague had to rush to get the kick off (close to 50 yards, and it went just right). But he also kicked a gamewinner in St Louis that same year and the Cardinals won by the same score, 26-24 that they lost to the Redskins that year. This was when the Skins were a powerhouse. Roy Green caught a long TD on the first play of a drive. I was there that day at Busch Stadium. One of the very few bright Cardinal memories

Quote:
Originally Posted by dylanbw
....I remember that 1983 Monday nighter and the Washington kick (albeit 50+ I think) to end the 1984 season like they were yesterday....boy did he suck.....

Q: Do you realize the 2005 Giants have become Video Madden in real life? They had the equivalent of your "No Freaking Way" game against the Vikings, giving up the KO, PR, and INT for TDs, come back with a late touchdown and 2-point to tie, only to lose on the last-second FG. And now against Seattle, Jay Feely was kicking like someone who had no idea how to use the FG feature in Madden and didn't know how to handle the power/accuracy meters. Not only that, they have a Madden name generator guy like Chase Blackburn on the team. It's surreal.
-- Matt, Northern NJ



SG: You know what was crazy about that game? I remember thinking to myself, "Wow, that was one for the ages -- the first-ever Triple Stomach Punch Game. We will never see anything like that again." Then I'm watching "SportsCenter" that night and they show a graphic about how Cardinals kicker Neil O'Donoghue missed three overtime kicks in an eventual Monday night tie against the Giants in 1983 (including a 19-yarder). Astounding, right? So I immediately went online to research this O'Donoghue game, stumbling across another O'Donoghue disaster in Tampa Bay where he had four kicks blocked by the Vikings in a 1979 game, including a last-second PAT attempt that would have sent the game into overtime.



Now I was intrigued. I started googling phrases like "Neil O'Donahue horrible," "Neil O'Donahue missed" and "Neil O'Donahue blocked." And games kept popping up, In 1984, he blew a game to the Packers with a missed PAT and a 45-yard field goal that was short. On the last game of the '84 season, needing a win against Washington to make the playoffs, O'Donoghue missed the game-winning field goal as time expired. Playing for Tampa Bay in 1978, someone snapped the ball over his holder's head, followed by O'Donoghue trying to kick the ball out of bounds and whiffing on it -- leading to an 80-yard return by the Vikes and Bucs coach John McKay to derisively call him "The Irish Wonder." Turns out he played nine seasons for three teams and went 112-189 on field goals, which means he averaged 12-for-21 every year for nine years. If this guy doesn't warrant his own "SportsCentury" episode, I don't know who does.
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Old December 2nd, 2005, 03:50 PM   #4
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I remember him having some inconsistent games. I remember that season very well. He scored a lot of points though. He was among the leaders of the NFL for scoring that year. So he got a lot of balls through the uprights. He was not Bakken but then who is?
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Old December 2nd, 2005, 03:50 PM   #5
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Worst kicker in the history of the NFL... How he was even allowed to be on the team after his ridiculously horrid season in 1983 is beyond me. What a joke he was.
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Old December 2nd, 2005, 03:53 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LoyaltyisaCurse
Worst kicker in the history of the NFL... How he was even allowed to be on the team after his ridiculously horrid season in 1983 is beyond me. What a joke he was.
Worse than Steve Little? Worse than Lee? If you look at the scoring records for the Cardinals you will find O'Donoghue's name in the lists.
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Old December 2nd, 2005, 03:55 PM   #7
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I also remember he could not kick the ball inside the 20 if his life depended on it... I was 10 years old when he missed that kick vs. the Redskins and I still get a bad feeling when I think of that game...


I was crying and screaming, "I hate O'Danaghue" repeatidly for a long time. My father, Grandfather, and Uncles all watched the game together and we were all heart broken...
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Old December 2nd, 2005, 04:04 PM   #8
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Its is amazing he was on this team for so long... It seems almost surreal that we scored 51 TD in 1984...
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When I play rock, paper, scissors, I keep a glass of water in my hand and when my opponent throws down I throw the water in his face and say "Water". Beats all three, scissors can't cut-it, paper dissolves and the rock sinks. Plus it usually surprises the hell out of them.
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Old December 2nd, 2005, 04:42 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AntSports Steve
What, Did they have a shortage of players who could kick FGs back then? Why would you hire any FG kicker with such a poor FG%?

Or is this one of those "made up" stories.
It's all true. I guess you could say the Cardinals had trouble finding a decent kicker back then... O'Donoghue was hired part way through the 1980 season to replace Steve Little, a in whom they had invested a first-round draft pick two years earlier. Little had missed 5 of 8 field goals on the season, including a couple of field goals and a blocked extra point in a 13-21 loss to the Rams. (Little was cut immediately after that game, got drunk, wrecked his car, and became a quadriplegic. He died in 1999.)

I guess you could say that O'Donoghue was an upgrade. Ugh! This could only happen to the Cardinals....

...dave
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Old December 2nd, 2005, 04:47 PM   #10
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Im surprised I havent seen it mentioned that O'Donohue tried to kill himself following a missed FG when with Tampa Bay. I remember reading the story a long time ago.

Go Cards/ America!
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Old December 2nd, 2005, 06:13 PM   #11
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Remember Novo Bojovic, the guy who spiked the ball after field goals? I looked up his stats, only 3/7, thats a lot worse than ODonague.
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Old December 2nd, 2005, 06:27 PM   #12
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Sad story. John Lee was another bust. Good job spelling O'Donaghue right, I couldnt remember.


Quote:
Originally Posted by daves
It's all true. I guess you could say the Cardinals had trouble finding a decent kicker back then... O'Donoghue was hired part way through the 1980 season to replace Steve Little, a in whom they had invested a first-round draft pick two years earlier. Little had missed 5 of 8 field goals on the season, including a couple of field goals and a blocked extra point in a 13-21 loss to the Rams. (Little was cut immediately after that game, got drunk, wrecked his car, and became a quadriplegic. He died in 1999.)

I guess you could say that O'Donoghue was an upgrade. Ugh! This could only happen to the Cardinals....

...dave
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Old December 3rd, 2005, 07:25 PM   #13
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Yeah he was pretty sorry. However I remember him hitting a 50 yard or so one against the Bears in Chicago right in the heart of that wind one year to beat them in the last few seconds one year for the Cards. Forget what year it was. It was a clutch kick. I was shocked because I didn't think he had it in him. You know Bidwill loved him after that lol.
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Old December 3rd, 2005, 07:43 PM   #14
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He took out my heart and played hopscotch with it in 1984.

I remember my lucky Cardinal rabbits foot bit the dust 30 seconds after that game.
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Old December 3rd, 2005, 07:50 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LoyaltyisaCurse
I also remember he could not kick the ball inside the 20 if his life depended on it... I was 10 years old when he missed that kick vs. the Redskins and I still get a bad feeling when I think of that game...


I was crying and screaming, "I hate O'Danaghue" repeatidly for a long time. My father, Grandfather, and Uncles all watched the game together and we were all heart broken...
You must have been watching a different game if you thought O'Donoghue was the reason we lost. I was at the game & it was a miracle that they even got the kick off. The officiating on the Redskins last drive was the culprit. The Skins faced 2 4th & very long situations. On both occasions we were flagged on bogus calls. One was on a pass interference call & the other was on E J Junior for unnecesary roughness call as he sacked Theisman for what should have been the game. I had my son with me & he was about 5. To this day, he claims he's never seen me more mad. No doubt, the greatest screw job ever perpetrated on a Cardinal team in our history.
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