In few cities will you see fans wearing kicker’s jerseys. Baltimore was one of the lucky few, as Mr. Automatic Matt Stover became a fan favorite in the Charm City. On Wednesday, it was announced that Stover would be officially announcing his retirement from the National Football League, after an astounding 19 year career.
Stover spent 13 of his 19 years in Baltimore, he made the move from Cleveland after kicking for the Browns from 1991-1995. He won Super Bowl 35 with the Ravens in 2000 and successfully completed 84.7% of his kicks in a Ravens uniform.
There was never any doubt when Stover took the field that he’d make the clutch kick for the Ravens. Which is why the end of his career in Baltimore is so sad to me. A year into John Harbaugh’s tenure, Stover was forced out. The most successful kicker in the franchises history was out on the streets looking for work. Baltimore held a kicking competition between two kickers that wouldn’t even end up on their roster halfway through the season, without even extending an invitation to Stover.
His successor, Steve Hauschka who won the job over Graham Gano, didn’t last after making just 9 of his 13 attempts, missing an extra point and crushing the Ravens in several close games. It took the Ravens until the following season to find his true replacement, Billy Cundiff, who signed a five year deal this offseason.
Mr. Automatic goes down into history as the seventh most accurate kicker of all-time and the fourth all-time in points with 2,004. Thanks for the memories Matt.