Had Cody Parkey’s field-goal attempt split the uprights Sunday — instead of bouncing off the left post, then bouncing off the crossbar before landing with a thud in the end zone — the Bears would have been flying to Los Angeles on Friday for a playoff game.
Instead, five days after his team was eliminated from the playoffs after his 43-yard miss against the Eagles with 10 seconds remaining, Parkey did a national-television appearance.
He stood and waved into the camera on NBC’s “Today” show before a commercial break and later answered five minutes of questions that focused more on his reaction to the miss rather than the details of it.
Parkey spoke of pointing to the sky after every kick — make or miss — and praying on the field after the game. His wife, Colleen, made an on-camera appearance, saying she “couldn’t be more proud” of the way her husband handled the negative reaction from the kick. When someone read a quote of support from teammate Akiem Hicks, he smiled.
At one point, co-host Savannah Guthrie gushed: “I think they should have MHPs — Most Honorable Player.”
For some Chicago fans, praise of Parkey’s behavior at his lowest moment might have been too much to bear so soon after the team’s playoff hopes were crushed at Soldier Field.
It’s also fair to wonder what Parkey accomplished by opening a wound that, for fans, was just
beginning to heal.
None of Parkey’s teammates did national-television interviews this week, but Parkey spoke on one of America’s most popular morning shows, his segment wedged between a story about emojis and an interview with actress Natalie Portman.
“As a kicker, you live for those moments – I had a lot of confidence going into that kick…I’m disappointed.” @ChicagoBears kicker @CParkey36 on last Sunday night’s field goal that would’ve sent his team to the next playoff round pic.twitter.com/SEV87eKgs7— TODAY (@TODAYshow) January 11, 2019
“I feel worse than anybody about missing that kick because I wanted to make it more than anybody,” he said. “At the end of the day, I’m going to hold my head high. When things aren’t going my way, I’m going to continue to think positive and keep swinging.”
Parkey said he got a good snap and hold from Patrick Scales and Pat O’Donnell. He tried to play the wind. He didn’t know his ball was tipped — it grazed Eagles defensive lineman Treyvon Hester’s fingertip at the line of scrimmage — until later.
“I saw it hit the upright, and it hit the crossbar, and I’m like, ‘Surely, it will go in,’ ” he said. “Unfortunately, it bounces toward me. I’m disappointed I let the fans, my teammates and the organization down, but I’ll continue to keep my head held high.
“Because football is what I do. It’s not who I am.”
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Parkey said he has stayed off social media but got “a lot of positive messages” from his friends and family. He and his wife drove home to Florida for the offseason this week.
Before the segment ended, the hosts actually asked Parkey if he was rooting for the Saints or
Eagles this week.
He didn’t give an answer.
“I’m a Bears fan through and through, regardless,” he said.