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Detroit Lions Kicker (and Doug’s Favorite Player) Jason Hanson Retires

Jason Hanson
Getty Images

When you have a favorite player, it is usually the quarterback. People remember Joe Montana, John Elway, Dan Marino and the lists go on. People remember the running backs, Jim Brown, Walter Payton, Emmitt Smith, Barry Sanders and the list goes on. People remember the wide receivers, Jerry Rice, Terrel Owens, Randy Moss, Isaac Bruce, Tim Brown and the list goes on. People remember the skill players and even the defense. But who remembers the kicker? Sure, you remember the occasional kicker who hit a clutch field goal, or maybe you remember the horrible misses at key times. There is one kicker that I shall remember for a long time, and it’s Jason Hanson from the Detroit Lions, who retired today (April 4).

He had only been kicking in the NFL since 1992. I was in junior high when he was drafted out of Washington State to my favorite team, the Detroit Lions. In that span, he scored 2,150 points, ranking 3rd in scoring ever in the NFL.

Perhaps what I’ll most remember about Hanson is how he would set up a kick. I asked Derek Doerfler, kicker of the Mid-Missouri Outlaws, about his style last year and he was amazed by how he did it. Hason would set up, arch his back and body, line his hands up, take a few steps and kick it away.

While the Detroit Lions did not make the playoffs very often in the 21 years he was with the team, he was a pillar of the team and consistent. Hardly ever was he injured and hardly did you hear him complain. Perhaps that is what I’ll most admire him for, 21 years with one team. That’s 327 games for those keeping track.

One thing is for sure, I’ll miss Jason Hanson, and I’ll be curious to see who the next kicker is. Why is that? Because before Jason Hanson, there was Eddie Murray from 1980-1991. Kickers are hard to come by, but there is something about Detroit that they seem to like. It’s probably the dome.

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