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Why an NFL analyst compared the Bengals’ playoff hero to ‘a young golfer’

evan mcpherson

Put Tony Romo and Jim Nantz in a room and they’re likely going to discuss golf at some point. Romo is an extremely good amateur, and Nantz, well, he’s basically the voice of the sport.

While calling the AFC Championship for CBS Sunday, the two stayed patient. This is football, after all. The PGA Tour wasn’t even playing Sunday. But with one quick note from fellow golf-sicko Jay Feely, golf suddenly made its way into two of the most important plays of the game. 

The situation: Tie game, 21-21, Bengals kicker Evan McPherson is lining up a 52-yard field goal with time ticking down in the fourth quarter. The kick was by no means a guarantee, but McPherson has been incredibly confident all playoffs. He reportedly was so confident a week earlier, against the Tennessee Titans, that he told his holder before he kicked that they “were going to the AFC Championship.” Naturally, Feely, a former kicker himself, had some thoughts. 

“He reminds me of a young golfer, he doesn’t have any battle scars yet,” Feely said. “He doesn’t know what he doesn’t know, and it’s working for him.”

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It certainly has been. McPherson had made all 10 kicks he had attempted in the playoffs to date, and he curled in that 52-yarder to put the Bengals up 24-21. 

“Jay, he didn’t have any scars coming in,” Romo said after the ball crossed through the uprights. “That was close to gaining one right there.” 

Close, but no scar. 

For those who spent Sunday under a rock, the Chiefs battled back to tie the game, as they have done so many times, forcing overtime, during which McPherson found himself in position again to win it for the Bengals. This one was much easier — from just 31 yards — but with it came a trip to the Super Bowl.

Not long after he drilled it, Nantz went back to golf, but in a very different manner.

“Shooter McPherson!” he shouted. “Fearless! And Cincinatti takes the AFC.”

Does McPherson’s heroics remind you of Shooter McGavin, the foil for Happy Gilmore? The storyline doesn’t totally track, as it’s Gilmore’s heroics that define the movie, but he does have the confident/cockiness part of McGavin down, that’s for sure. Romo, finally, chimed in with a soft note in the background, mimicking McGavin himself:

“Shooterrrrrr.”

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