In 1961 a man named Roger Maris made the number a magical, mystical icon, when he hit 61 home runs in a single season, breaking Babe Ruth’s record.
Then for decades it stood still as a symbol of Major League Baseball heroics, until in 1998, two steroid-filled sluggers created a home run race and Mark McGwire won it, being the first to reach and then pass that number of blasts in a single season.
Ravens fans don’t care. Now there’s a new meaning to 61.
With a little more than 30 seconds left in the game, and playoff hopes on the line, young Raven’s kicker Justin Tucker and his powerful leg launched their way into Ravens football history.
In the middle of hostile territory, with 70,000 crazed, frenzied (118 decibels) Detroit Lions fans screaming “NO!!!!”, Tucker lined up, focused and launched the football inside the uprights, just over the crossbar and a city celebrated, just not the one Tucker was standing in.
After the game Tucker said, “If they send me out there, they have reason to. It’s because they think I can make the kick.” You bet. Think, hope, and then watch in disbelief as a young man proved he could kick a ball way farther than half the length of a football field.
For Tucker, for a defending Super Bowl team,it was a special moment and even a better one, as Tucker mentioned, for his Fantasy Football team, as he kicked a total of six field goals in the game.
But what Tucker did on the field last night in Motown was no fantasy. It was reality.
Until next time, thanks for taking the time.
Mark Brodinsky, Author
It Takes 2. Surviving Breast Cancer: A Spouse’s Story
#1 Amazon Best-Seller