The images of Cody Parkey’s season-ending missed field goal are burned into our brains and the sounds of the double-doink still echo throughout Chicago. Naturally, Bears fans have since turned to memories of Robbie Gould connecting on one clutch kick after another over the years, as their desire to bring him back has only grown since Parkey’s miss.
And if mental replays of Gould’s successful time in Chicago aren’t enough to get your feelings into motion, his words will probably do the trick.
Gould jumped on a podcast hosted by ex-Bears wide receiver Earl Bennett, which you can find here, and the two former teammates discussed kicking, two-steps, family life, and the possibility of kicking for the Bears in the future. Here are some highlights, along with some thoughts of my own.
Robbie Gould Has Faith In A Cody Parkey Bounce Back
While answering a question from Bennett about what would happen if the Bears made the call and come crawling back to Gould to kick at Soldier Field again, Gould issued a vote of confidence in the team’s current kicker: “Cody’s their kicker right now and he’s the guy on the roster, he’s the guy I think can rebound and have a great season and do some big things for the Bears down the road.”
Alright, well, at least somebody has faith that Parkey will rebound from a dreadful 2018 season. The bond between kickers must be mighty powerful for Gould to share that opinion. And for that, I tip my cap to him for having a brother’s back. But he totally would have made that kick if he was in that situation, right?
“We’re talking about a hypothetical,” Gould said. “I wasn’t out there. I didn’t get a chance to kick it. Obviously, I feel for Cody Parkey and what he went through on Sunday. I have a lot of respect for him, not only as a person, but also as a kicker. We’ll never know.”
Our eyes might never know, but our hearts definitely know how this story plays out if Gould was lining up for the win.
Excitement for Free Agency, Despite Knowing So Much Is Out Of His Control
Gould displayed a bit of excitement about being a free agent, though he also noted the 49ers have exclusive rights to talk shop with the Pro Bowl kicker until mid-March. So not only will the Bears be faced with a challenge of beating other suitors if Gould makes it to the free agent market, there’s no guarantee he makes it there in the first place. And if he does, Gould makes it clear that a lot will go into his decision-making process.
“You know, it’s one of those things that, free agency, as you know, is much out of your control. You get people they call, they give you an offer, you say yes or no, and find out what the best fit is for you, your career, and your family. Before, it would probably be a little different because you’re making for yourself. … There’s a lot that goes into it. Time will tell where it’s going to be. My agent will always pick up the phone and he’s dialed into that, and we’ll make that decision whenever that time comes.”
Family ties happen to be a common thread from Gould throughout the podcast, and that he lays it on kinda thick serves as a reminder of who he is and where he is in his career. A younger Gould would have considered different things in free agency than an older, family oriented Gould. For what it’s worth, his family still lives in the Chicagoland area and he made mention of how his season with the 49ers was essentially “four months in San Jose” away from them.
Gould would go onto say he isn’t worried about free agency at this moment, adding there isn’t much he can do at this point beyond waiting for phone calls. He did say he was “excited for what’s ahead” and for what he believes “will be another great year” for him. As for where his future home will be, Gould said, “We’ll see what happens. … Time will tell where that’s going to be.”
Oh, you better believe we’ll see what happens.
At Least There’s No Bad Blood
One of the major hurdles in bringing back Gould could be mending some fences. Breakups are difficult. Public breakups are the worst. And then there’s what happened with Gould and the Bears, which was an unexpectedly high-profile breakup. But at least he harbors no bad feelings toward the organization.
“I’m not mad about it at all. At the end of the day, football is a business. Unfortunately, as a player, you don’t get to say when your time is up at a place. More often than not, the organization is your employer, just like other businesses. They get to tell you where, when, how, why, and for what reason. As a player, you have the opportunity to say yes or no, and you have to make those decisions. They made a decision to go in a different direction. I’m happy they got back to their winning ways this year.”
Well, that’s a relief. And if it’s any consolation, at least the Head Coach (John Fox) and Special Teams Coordinator (Jeff Rodgers) who were in charge and brought in their own guy (Connor Barth) to replace Gould are gone. Perhaps with a clear mind and a set of eyes (lookin’ at you, Chris Tabor) that knows Gould from his most successful days as a Bear, apologies can be issued and accepted as we move on to bigger and better things.
Gould’s Love For Chicago Means He Is Coming Back … Right?
Oh, if only it were that easy.
Sure, Gould’s love for Chicago is something fierce: “I love Chicago. I still live here. Whether you go to a grocery store or whether you go to a restaurant, that’s the question everyone’s asking me, and I get it, I understand it. … For Me, Chicago will always be home. I love Bear fans. I love this city. I’ll always be a Bear, no matter what team I’m on, or where I’m going, or whatever happens. One day, I’ll probably retire a Bear.”
There is enough there to make you want to hold out hope that a reunion between the Bears and their all-time leading scorer could be on the horizon. But because there are so many outside factors that could derail Gould’s return, we’re left playing the waiting game until further notice.