As you probably have noticed by now, many NFL players have been sporting pink accessories on gameday in support of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. From wristbands to gloves to the football itself, the presence of the "Crucial Catch" campaign is certainly felt in that the NFL stands united in the fight against breast cancer. It's a fantastic gesture and an unparalleled method of raising awareness around the world.
However, the gesture has not been without its minor problems. You may recall that David Akers, sporting a vibrant pink cleat on his kicking foot, missed field goals of 37, 47, and 37 yards - during a home game, no less. Now, if our kicker were, say, David Buehler, this occurrence wouldn't exactly be newsworthy, but this is David Akers we're talking about: the guy who has a lifetime 81% success rate and was 6 of 7 before yesterday. Three misses in a row at home is highly irregular.
So what could be the cause? Well, the guys over at The700Level.com noticed that for each of Akers' three misses, he was wearing the aforementioned pink cleat on his kicking foot and for the one 30-yarder that Akers nailed, he had returned to ol' reliable. Now, as The700Level mentioned, the shoe isn't necessarily the culprit. Akers himself, being the classy guy that he is, refused to assign blame as well:
"I kicked with it all week and didn't have an issue with it. I just went back to a trusty one for the last one. But I don't think it was the shoe. I think it was the person that was wearing the shoe."
The plot thickens after the jump...
I was all ready to write this one off as a fluke until I remembered reading an article that Chris Chase of Yahoo! Sports had written last week. Former NFL quarterback Tim Hasselbeck had been in contact with current QBs around the league about the condition of the breast cancer awareness balls. Apparently, an issue existed there, too:
"They're playing with these breast cancer awareness balls. These balls are brand new, right out of the bag. Now they get slick -- I texted a couple quarterbacks during the game. They all said, 'These balls have been a disaster.' So I think that's something to note."
Now, of course, this could just be a coincidence, or just a series of excuses made by and for good players who happened to have bad games. However, if there is even a 0.001% chance of the logo negatively affecting gameplay, don't you think that is reason enough to discontinue using that piece of breast cancer awareness equipment? There are still plenty of ways for the NFL to create awareness. Keep the on-field logos, keep the wristbands and hats, hell, make the players all wear pink jerseys for crying out loud. Just don't mess with our kicker's game.