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Failed NFL Kicker Surprised by Grace

ESPN's documentary "The Four Falls of Buffalo" recounts the story of the Buffalo Bills four consecutive Super Bowl losses 1990-1993. Field goal kicker Scott Norwood would shoulder the greatest weight. During the 1990 Super Bowl (XXV) between The New York Giants and the Buffalo Bills, with 8 seconds left in the game, Norwood missed a 47-yard field goal. No one felt more pain than Norwood. Even 20 years after his failed attempt, here's how he described his feelings: "Sorrow, I guess, and disappointment in letting down the teammates that are there on the field of battle with you. I get choked up thinking about it, putting myself back in that situation."

But nothing prepared Scott Norwood for the greeting he would receive in Buffalo the next week. Nearly 30,000 screaming fans met Norwood and his teammates in Buffalo after the loss, many of them chanting and screaming, "WE WANT SCOTT!!...WE WANT SCOTT!!" Here's how Norwood described the scene:

We got back to town and I did not know what to expect. What I really wanted to do was just remain behind the scenes, but there was a chant that intensified … I was not expecting to be called to the front like that. I had to speak off the top of my mind and real quick. I think in a sense, that's when the truest feelings arise.

The documentary shows Scott with mic in hand telling the crowd, "I know that I have never felt more loved than I do right now." Expecting (and maybe even deserving) condemnation, Norwood found a small taste of amazing grace.

Editor's Note: In case you want some more info on Norwood, here's some more to the story: "In addition to the fans, Norwood's would find support from his team. Bruce DeHaven, the Bill's special teams coach, would later name his adopted son after Scott. Others rose to Norwood's defense, including running back Kenneth Davis, who claimed the ball was blown away by an apache helicopter hovering over the stadium at game time. Scott Norwood would return the following year to help win the AFC title against Denver after a successful 44 yard kick."

Source: Adapted from Paul Harris, "Can Anything Good Come From Buffalo?" Mockingbird blog (1-20-16)

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