Dempsey — who overcame astronomical odds to establish what was then considered a virtually unbeatable record — contracted the virus in March during an outbreak at the Lambeth House retirement home in Uptown New Orleans. He is one of at least 15 residents there to die after being stricken with the disease.
Dempsey played in the NFL from 1969 though 1979. His four years with the Eagles from 1971 through 1974 were his most seasons spent with any one team. Dempsey also played for the New Orleans Saints, Los Angeles Rams, Houston Oilers, and Buffalo Bills.
Dempsey was a unique player. He was born without toes on his kicking foot and he attempted his kicks from a straight on angle, as opposed to how most kickers line up from one side. Dempsey was also a bigger player for his position considering he reportedly weighed over 250 pounds during his career.
Dempsey still owns the record for the longest game-winning field goal in NFL history at 63 yards. That kick from 1970 also stood as the longest made field goal of any kind until Matt Prater hit a 64-yard attempt in 2013.
These are scary times we live in. This pandemic has impacted all aspects of life and has been responsible for many deaths, including Dempsey’s.