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Milwaukee Bombers arrow News arrow Club News arrow Measuring the World's Greatest Kicks
Measuring the World's Greatest Kicks

ImageWhile playing for the St. Kilda Saints on April 11, 1981, Australian Rules football player Jeff Fehring sealed his place in history with what was arguably the greatest kick ever in professional sports. According to the Australian Football League, his wind-aided boot sailed over the opposing Collingwood Magpies for an estimated 98 yards before bouncing through the goal posts.

Because soccer is played all over the world in places where recordkeeping can be spotty (England, for example) there may be some room for argument, here. "Good luck in your quest for the definitive answer," said a representative at UEFA, the sport's European governing body. The most notable candidate for the honor is goalkeeper Pat Jennings of Tottenham Hotspur who, in 1967, kicked the ball into Manchester United's net from the penalty area, an estimated 92 yards.

Historians who follow rugby, another sport that involves long scoring kicks, say Paul Thorburn's famous 1986 boot for Wales in the Cardiff Arms Park has never been equaled. The kick, which may have been wind-aided, passed through the goal posts from 70 yards, 8 inches.

The most famous field-goal distance in American football is 63 yards, a mark first set by Tom Dempsey of the NFL's New Orleans Saints in 1970. But several college kickers have done better. The best was a 69-yarder by Ove Johansson, a Swedish kicker playing for Abilene Christian, in 1976.

So which kick is the most impressive? Tim Gay, a University of Nebraska professor who has studied the physics of football, says the size and weight of the ball aren't the most important factors -- the real key is leg speed. (Advantage: Mr. Fehring).

— Reed Albergotti Wall Street Journal, March 7th 2009. (http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123638854895858635.html)

 
 

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