Did Robbie Gould put a curse on the Chicago Bears?

Josh Purnell, Courier Staff

Former Bears player Robbie Gould, has put a curse on every kicker that came after him. Let’s start with the most recent kicker, Cody Parkey, who missed the game winning field goal in the Wild Card playoff game against the Philadelphia Eagles at Soldier Field.

The Bears were down 16-15, Parkey had a chance to kick a 43-yard field goal to win the game and he missed it. Every Chicago Bears fan around the world could not believe what happened. It was so bad that people sent him death threats. There was immediate police protection for Parkey and his family. While everyone was upset at Parkey, the ball was tipped by Eagles defensive linemen, Treyvon Hester and even though that is true, I thought Parkey should’ve been released way before the playoff game started. In week 10 against the Detroit Lions, Parkey missed four field goals. Two extra point kicks and two field goal kicks. That was the moment I thought he should’ve been released because the Bears had been down this road before and this was not the right time. Bears had a great season finishing the season 12-4 and who would’ve known that in a playoff game at home, the game would come down to a field goal kick.

If the Bears had not release Gould, they would not be in this situation. Although, I must admit, Gould performed terribly during the 2016 preseason. He was missing extra point kicks and field goal kicks. I could not believe what I was watching. But never in a million years did I think the Chicago Bears would release him. The city of Chicago was shocked. During the 2014 season, Gould kicked a career low 75 percent. Amazingly, he came back the next season, finishing the season kicking 84.6 percent. So, regardless if he didn’t perform well during the 2016 preseason, everyone knew he was going to show up and show out during the season. In Gould’s 11 year career with the Chicago Bears, he kicked a career 85.4 percent. So, when the Bears released him, I could not believe what happened. It really did not hit me till Gould posted a picture on Twitter of the Bears headquarters, thanking the Bears organizations, teammates, coaches and the fans.

Since Gould, every kicker that has played for the Bears, when they missed a field goal, you’ll hear people say “Robbie would’ve made that kick” and it’s true. Since the Bears released Gould, there has not been one accurate kicker. I’ll admit, it is tough to kick at Soldier Field stadium. The stadium is right next to Lake Michigan, so imagine how tough it is for kickers in the months of November, December and January. It’s really tough, but you know who made it look easy, Gould. He was a perfectionist kicking at Soldier Field. I don’t think any kicker can do it like Gould and that’s why the fans miss him.

Gould signed with the New York Giants after being released from the Bears. He finished the season, missing not one field goal kick. After the Giants, he signed a two year contract with the San Francisco 49ers. During his two year contract, Gould kicked 96 percent field goals. On Feb. 26, 2019, the San Francisco 49ers placed the franchise tag on Gould for one more season. On April 24, 2019, Gould requested a trade from the San Francisco 49ers. General Manager John Lynch told the press that the 49ers had been unable to agree on a multi-year contract with Gould. Gould told the press the reason he asked for a trade was so he could be closer to his family. Will the 49ers trade Gould? Probably not because they know how valuable he is to the team. They also know that Bears fans want him to come back to Chicago.

The Chicago Bears brung in four kickers this off-season. All four kickers will have to battle for the starting position. Coach Matt Nagy told the press that he has a plan in place on how they’ll have all four kickers battle it out. Bears general manager Ryan Pace told the press that having four kickers is “little unorthodox” but does not care because he wants to increase the competition. I think this is ideal because whomever is the kicker going into this upcoming season, will be Bears kicker for years to come. So, it seemed like Gould will not be back in a Bears uniform. The front office is clearly focused on moving forward and bringing in new players and giving them an opportunity to be a part of the organization. Which I think is the right thing to do.

Gould is one of the best kickers of our generation and without question a future Hall of Famer. Besides Justin Tucker, there has not been a kicker as consistent and poise like Gould. Hopefully, the 49ers trade Gould closer to his family, but the 49ers are a young team on the rise as well and losing someone like Gould will hurt them. I’m sure they know what happened to the Bears in the postseason.