It is fair to say that Chicago Bears kicker Cody Parkey did not have a good weekend. With a few seconds left, just 43 yards stood between him and a win over the Philadelphia Eagles. All he had to do was punt the ball through the goal — something many believed was a done deal. But as the ball soared through the air, thousands of Bears fans held their breath, before letting out a collective sigh of disappointment and disgust as the football struck the upright, then the crossbar, before bouncing back into field, denying Chicago their moment of victory. Even the Bears mascot could be seen collapsing in utter heartbreak.
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The most astonishing moment, however, came in the immediate moments following Parkey’s heartbreaking miss. Looking to the ground in despair, the kicker was comforted by a teammate, before raising himself and pointing to the sky to give thanks to God. It was a wonderful show of faith and devotion in a moment that was must have felt sickeningly unfair.
Good lesson here for everyone.
After the worst play of his professional career, Bears kicker, Cody Parkey, points up to the sky and still thanks God.
We cant just be thankful and give honor when times are great!
My hesrt goes out to him, but the kid will be just fine! pic.twitter.com/5fVM1iprub
— Andrew Hawkins (@Hawk) January 7, 2019
Watch the dramatic moment here:
As he was hounded by reporters for details over what went wrong in those heart-stopping moments, Parkey responded with maturity and grace.
“I let the team down,” Parkey said, “I have to own it, I have to be a man.”
As Parkey noted in his presser, he has managed to hit the upright some five times this season — an astonishing figure.
Cody Parkey took the postgame questions like a pro ? pic.twitter.com/JBmHSfxvh8
— NFL on ESPN (@ESPNNFL) January 7, 2019
“I feel terrible,” he said of the miss. “But I will continue to put things in perspective and put my best foot forward.”
Upon a closer look at the footage, others have suggested that Parkey’s kick was tipped by Treyvon Hester, knocking it off course:
Here’s a frame-by-frame look that clearly shows the Parkey kick was tipped by Treyvon Hester (Hester confirmed to @Bo_Wulf he tipped it). pic.twitter.com/6dOXui7Yyp
— Scott Gustin (@ScottGustin) January 7, 2019
Regardless of the reason, Parkey has handled himself exceptionally in the wake of what must feel like an enormous disappointment. That’s the mark of true character.