Scott Allan Norwood (born July 17, 1960) is a former American football placekicker who played in the National Football League (NFL) for seven seasons and spent the entirety of his career with the Buffalo Bills. He also played for the Birmingham Stallions in the United States Football League (USFL). An integral part of Buffalo's offense during the late 1980s and early 1990s, Norwood kicked in the team's first two Super Bowl appearances. Despite his accomplishments, he is best known for missing a game-winning field goal attempt at the end of Super Bowl XXV.
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|Born:||July 17, 1960|
|High school:||Alexandria (VA) Jefferson|
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Early life and collegeEdit
Norwood was born in Alexandria, Virginia and graduated from Thomas Jefferson High School in Alexandria in 1978. He played both football and soccer at James Madison University and graduated with a business degree in 1982.
Norwood was one of many players the Bills picked up as the USFL contracted and ultimately collapsed; he eventually beat out Todd Schlopy (who would later come back when Norwood went on strike in 1987) for the Bills' starting kicker position. He quickly became an asset to an offense that was going places as the Bills' general manager, Bill Polian, assembled talent like Jim Kelly, Thurman Thomas, and, on defense Bruce Smith. Within two seasons of Norwood's arrival, the Bills had won the AFC East for the first time since 1980 and made it to the conference championship game. He soon overtook O.J. Simpson as the team's all-time leading scorer. Following the 1990 season, the Bills advanced to their first-ever Super Bowl.
Super Bowl XXVEdit
Norwood's field goal range was unusually short for a professional kicker and he had difficulties in converting field goals over 40 yards throughout his career, especially on natural grass (the Bills' home stadium used AstroTurf, which mitigated this issue). Super Bowl XXV, which was played on January 27, 1991, cemented Norwood's name in football history when he missed a 47-yard field goal attempt with 8 seconds left in the game, giving the New York Giants their 2nd Super Bowl victory, and started the Bills' string of four consecutive Super Bowl losses. This kick was made famous by the "wide right" call by the TV announcers.
Although the Bills signed Björn Nittmo as Norwood's potential replacement in the 1991 offseason, Norwood remained with the Bills through that season. The Bills returned to the Super Bowl and Norwood was perfect throughout the postseason, including a 44-yard field goal that served as the decisive margin in the AFC Championship Game against the Denver Broncos.
After the Bills waived him, Norwood initially returned home to Northern Virginia and disappeared completely from the public eye for a number of years, eventually becoming an insurance salesman through the 1990s before returning to Buffalo as a real estate agent in 2002.
In popular cultureEdit
In the 1994 film Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, a key plot point involves a kicker for the Miami Dolphins named Ray Finkle; in the story, Finkle misses a field goal attempt in the closing moments of Super Bowl XVII, causing the Dolphins to lose the game by a single point - an obvious reference to Norwood's infamous kick in Super Bowl XXV. (In reality, Super Bowl XVII was contested between the Dolphins and the Washington Redskins; the Redskins won 27-17.)
The 1998 film Buffalo '66 features a subplot where main character Billy Brown, played by Vincent Gallo, attempts to murder a former Buffalo kicker named "Scott Wood", whose missed field goal led to Brown losing a large bet and serving a prison term when he took the fall for his bookie.
- *Greenfeld, Karl Taro, "A Life After Wide Right," Sports Illustrated, July 12, 2004
- Greenfield, Karl Taro (July 12, 2004). "A Life After Wide Right". Sports Illustrated. p. 2.
- A Life After Wide Right, p. 4.
- A Life After Wide Right, p. 5.
- Lewis, Michael (October 28, 2007). "The Kick Is Up and It's ... A Career Killer". New York Times Magazine.
- Paul Jannace, "Norwood’s life after football is business as usual" www.wellsvilledaily.com, March 29, 2010