David Akers To Be at St. Luke’s Race Expo
Hard work and perseverance has paid off for David Akers.
David was cut three times before defining his career with the Philadelphia Eagles. Being served walking papers in Atlanta, Carolina and Washington, intertwined with jobs as a substitute teacher and waiter, provided David with an early dose of reality. Those early hardships formed the foundation of this truly humble man.
Given what could have been his last chance at an NFL career, David joined the Philadelphia Eagles in 1999 and was asked to play in Berlin for an NFL Europe team. By that season’s end he was in a hospital bed for one week with food poisoning and after losing 30 pounds, almost didn’t make it back in time for Eagles training camp.
David persevered and recovered in time to earn a job with his strong left leg. Twelve seasons later – four times the length of an average NFL career – David played in more games in an Eagles uniform than anyone ever (188) and became the franchise’s all-time leading scorer (1,323 points). He was named to the Eagles 75th Anniversary All-Time Team, was voted as the kicker on the NFL 2000’s All-Decade Team, and set the NFL mark for points in a decade (1,169 from 2000-2009).
After leaving the Eagles, David played two seasons in San Francisco and rewrote the NFL record book during that brief time. In 2011, he set an NFL record for points (without a TD) with 166, field goals in a season (44) and four-plus field goal games (6). On September 9, 2012, at
Green Bay, he tied the NFL record connecting on a 63- yard field goal.
David finished his NFL career with the Detroit Lions. The six-time Pro Bowler reached the playoffs in 10 of his 15 NFL seasons. David has competed in seven NFC Championship games and two Super Bowls. Once the regular season ended David kept on kicking. He owns the NFL playoff record with 19 consecutive field goals made and holds nearly every Pro Bowl kicking record: Most points (57), Longest field goal (53 yards) and most appearances (6, second behind only Morten Andersen).
But his NFL career only tells you about part of the man. David Akers is known for more than just having nice legs! He is as tireless in the community as he is on the field – and a champion there as well.
Early in his career, the Fall of 2001 in fact, David launched David Akers’ Kicks for Kids with the mission to provide Greater Philadelphia/Delaware Valley children with opportunities to pursue their dreams. The Foundation provided interactive programs and events designed to directly benefit children facing serious challenges in their lives whether due to mental or physical challenges or the environment in which they live.
Many of the programs helped kids and their families enjoy what might be a brief respite away from the stress brought on by illness or other tragedy. Two such programs are Field of Dreams and David’s Locker.
The Field of Dreams program was for a child and his/her family who has gone through a difficult physical and/or emotional time. Taken by limo to and from an Eagles game, each child received Eagles gear and got to go on field pregame to meet a player. In his absence, David maintained the program through ex-teammates and was able to expand this program to San Francisco through the 49ers Foundation where he sent families from Ronald McDonald House in Stanford to 49ers’ home games.
Each year, more and more families were in need of the David’s Locker Program. Many families are overwhelmed by the financial hardship that a chronic or life threatening illness of a child brings. Many had to make choices between buying medicine or medical supplies or pay bills and buy food. David’s Locker provided assistance to these families. Since 2001 Kicks for Kids were able to donate nearly $1,000,000 to The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP).
Most important to David was that his Foundation was a hands-on affair. While in Philadelphia, he went to CHOP every week and visited patients to try to make their time a little more pleasant and less stressful.
Kicks for Kids was able to provide 100 families each year a complete turkey dinner during the Thanksgiving Holiday through its Turkey Run program and provided a full Christmas celebration to families who otherwise would not be able to enjoy the Christmas season.
David currently resides in the Nashville, TN area with his wife Erika and his three children.