The Detroit Lions and David Akers have just reached terms, sending the kicker to Detroit for his 16th season in the NFL. While he had a rocky second season as a 49er, he is still absolutely deserving of his own special send-off.
After the first game of last season (against the Packers), in which Akers tied the NFL record for longest field goal, I toyed around with the idea of trying to start a NN-wide meme. I wasn't firm on the idea yet, but I wanted to start constantly referring to Akers as Captain America, or an Olympian God of some sort. Basically, I wanted to make him into a larger-than-life figure. I thought it would be funny. Of all positions I should choose, of course it would be kicker.
And for Akers' first year in the city by the Bay, it was pretty perfect too. He WAS larger than life, and his record-tying kick only inflated the legend. Two years ago, when Akers came up to kick a 45-yard field goal, it didn't even faze me. I expected him to make it. In fact, I developed this nasty habit: After he would make a long kick, I would shout out, "Money! Akers is Money!" It was the type of overtly frat-bro thing that I judge other people for saying on the bus; but I couldn't help it. Akers was totally money. Shut up and take my Field Goals!
And yes, this did change. Yes, I grew tired of Coach Harbaugh trotting Akers out only for him to miss a 37-yard field goal. I did start wishing we would just go for it on fourth down if it was further than a 30-yard kick. It was tedious.
But for a while there, for a shade longer than one season, David Akers did what few kickers in the NFL could do. He made fans calm. He made us feel like three points were going up on the board. And for this, he deserves to be remembered fondly as a 49er. That first season? That was a season for the books.