We’ve heard from others outside of the 49ers, but now hear it straight from the kicker. Robbie Gould was a guest on Matt Maiocco’s 49ers Insider Podcast and of the three teams he’s kicked for—New York Giants and Chicago Bears— the 49ers stadium is the most difficult. Except it’s not for the reasons you expect:
Gould: This is probably the hardest of the three [Soldier Field, The Meadowlands] because everything there is usually constant. The winds here, really aren’t constant. I think it has a lot to do with how the Stadium was built.
Maiocco: “They didn’t consult a kicker?”
Gould: No, they definitely didn’t. But I’ll tell you what’s phenomenal from a viewing perspective. I’ve been kind of all over it the last two years. Whether it’s doing appearances or just walking around and checking it out. Seeing what the wind does at different levels and trying to figure out what it does on the field. I think the biggest part of how you become valuable or how you become mature in these situations is you have to work at it. So we’d go into the stadium and kick. You’d call our people, talk to our guys, Bradley [Pinion] was very knowledgeable about what the stadium does. I think last 30 years there’s been a veteran kicker here and there’s a reason for that.
If the wind is the issue, there’s no helping that. The wind was seen as a “12th man” of sorts back in the Candlestick Park days because opposing kickers would hook/slice field goals due to the conditions. Gould is saying the wind conditions make the field harder to kick at in Santa Clara, but one has to wonder if the footing has a play in the kicks getting harder.
For what it’s worth, Gould has missed one field goal this year. Just saying. And that miss was on a botched snap, not a bad kick from him.
I’ve time stamped the interview below. You can listen to the podcast using the widget above. If it doesn’t appear you can click here to listen.
00:31 - Nominee for Walter Payton Man of the Year
01:29 - Gould’s foundation
04:41 - Positives from the 2018 season
06:27 - How to stay focused when thinking about “The Streak”
08:20 - Difficulty in kicking at Levi’s Stadium
10:47 - Consistency in field goal percentage
12:15 - Future after the 2018 season ends
13:05 - 2015 and being out of work despite his production
14:43 - Facing the Bears at Levi’s Stadium and not Soldier Field
16:11 - What he does in the Bay with his family in Chicago
18:27 - The story behind his name being mispronounced