February 07, 2010
The first points of Super Bowl XLIV were scored by the oldest player ever to appear in football's biggest game. Indianapolis Colts kicker Matt Stover(notes), who turned 42 on Jan. 27, booted a 38-yard field goal early in the first quarter to give Indy a 3-0 lead over the New Orleans Saints. He joined the team midseason after an injury to the team's regular kicker, Adam Vinatieri(notes).
Stover began his 19th NFL season unemployed after getting released by the Baltimore Ravens in the spring. He kicked for the Ravens for 13 years and departed as the franchise's all-time leading scorer. His lack of range was a factor in his release. The team opted to give his spot to Steve Hauschka(notes), a player with a bigger leg. His accuracy was an issue, though, and he was cut during the season.
When the Colts' regular kicker, Vinatieri, underwent surgery to repair a damaged knee in October, the team signed Stover to great success. He hit 9-of-11 field goals in the regular season and was 5-for-5 in the postseason, including three successful conversions during the AFC championship game.
He told the Indianapolis Star of the honor of becoming the Super Bowl's oldest player:
"Being the oldest guy to play in the Super Bowl, that's a privilege. It just shows you I was blessed enough to be here and be a part of this year."
Stover added an extra point later in the first quarter. The Indianapolis Colts lead the New Orleans Saints 10-0 score early in Super Bowl XLIV.
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