In the 1980s, the NFL was a strange place. Dan marino Was throwing 40-yard pass back and forth. The Chicago Bears composed a hit song (and music video), known for “Super Bowl Shuffle.” Heck, even the New York Jets posted victorious seasons during that wild decade.
Nothing can be more bizarre than kicking. Barefoot kicker. Yes, a good number of players on the day tried field goals and booted without cleats (and sometimes kickoffs Without wrinkles) On their kicking legs. Mike Lansford and Rich Carlisle There were a couple of them, but the best one was without a doubt Philadelphia Eagles kicker Tony Franklin.
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Franklin built a famous college football career, setting an NCAA record Texas A&M University. The “Barefoot Kicker” then stepped into his cheeky way into the NFL, where he played in two Super Bowls.
Since then, time has changed. The shoes were designed to be lightweight for kickers and special teams players, which would eventually be a thing of the past barefoot.
But where is Tony Franklin AKA “The Barefoot Kicker” today?
Tony Franklin Texas A&M
related: Jacob Green still owns Texas A&M Records, but where is he now?
Tony Franklin was originally a safety in high school in Fort Worth Arlington Heights before he touched the ligaments in his flock In 1972. Then he shifted gears and started a new life as a kicker using his right leg.
Soon, he realized that he could kick at the collegiate level. New Mexico State and TCU awarded him a scholarship. Oklahoma and Nebraska said they would welcome him as a walk-on. When Texas A&M head coach Emory Ballard gave him the full ride For College Station, Franklin jumped at the opportunity.
Kicking barefoot was then new. Franklin’s teammates, like College Football Hall of Fame member Jacob Green, expressed disbelief at what Franklin could do when he hit a pigskin with the skin of his bare feet.
“When I first saw him, I said, ‘You forgot your shoe,” Green told Waco Tribune-Herald. “But he can kick it. The field goal range for us was getting inside the 45-yard line. We knew he was going to kick 50-yarders, but then he was hitting 64 and 65-yarders. . ”
Was not green.
Tony Franklin emerged as a superstar at Texas A&M. Standing at just 5-foot-8 and 182 pounds, Franklin scored an then NCAA career-record 56 field goals in four years for TAMU.
On October 16, 1976, neither of the two famous people was so influential against Beiler at Kyle Field.
Franklin set the NCAA record for the longest field goal when he booted a 64-yard pass that day against the Bears. Later in the game, he broke his own record, being good from 65 yards. The same day, Abilene Christian’s Ove Johansson kicked a 69-yard that was standing Longest in college football history.
Franklin became the only kicker in NCAA history to hit two field goals of 60 or more yards in a single game that day.
Franklin left Texas A&M with 18 NCAA records and multiple All-American honors. He is still the boss Three longest field goals In the history of the school.
Tony Franklin NFL Career
The Philadelphia Eagles selected Franklin in the third round (in the 74th over) 1979 NFL Draft.
As a cheater, he scored 23 of 31 field goals. In the Mande Knight football game against the Dallas Cowboys, his favorite team growing up, he split the uptarts on a 59-yard field goal. It was the second longest field goal in NFL history at the time.
“We had a penalty and Dallas denied it instead of supporting us and making it up to us again. So it ended up being a 59-yard try and luckily that’s as good as I did on a football. Hit when I was playing professionally, “Franklin told PhiladelphiaAgles.com. “I mean, it died in the middle. I was very lucky to make it. This was definitely a high point of my career. “
The Eagles won their first NFC Championship and traveled to the Super Bowl the following season.
Philly would hit 80 field goals in five seasons before he was traded to the New England Patriots. Franklin led the NFL in 1986 when he was a Pro Bowl selective. Even he scored a field goal of 36 yards in Super Bowl XX, which the Patriots lost to the Chicago Bears.
Tony Franklin spent one final season with the Miami Dolphins and retired after a 10-year NFL career 177 field goals Under his belt.
Where is tony franklin now?
Franklin has worked in the auto Miracle business for more than 30 years and lives outside San Antonio, where he and his wife Sally own a farm, according to Waco Tribune-Herald.
In addition to working for a car dealership, 64-year-old Franklin serves as a high school football color analyst for the Texas Sports Sports Network.
“Football has been my whole life. I’ve actually done some of Johnny Manziel’s games, and some other kids who are now playing professionally. So it’s fun for me. I can see them at an early age. You’ve got a lot of kids in the San Antonio area playing D-1 and D-2 (college football), “Franklin told PhiladelphiaAgles.com.
Franklin has two sons, Sean and Shea. According to PhiladelphiaAgles.com, Sean “works for a government contractor” and inspects schools in Japan. Shia also worked at a car dealership in San Antonio.
In 2019, Franklin was inducted into the Texas Sports Hall of Fame.
The barefoot kickers may have been left in the past, but it’s good to see that Tony Franklin still hangs around the gridiron, even though he has worn both shoes.