I know this Kasay’s has happened almost a week from now, but I wasn’t able to sit down and do a write up on Kasay’s retirement until now. So please forgive me guys, I know this is sort of a real big moment for the Panthers franchise, and I’m sorry I was late posting my story. Now, on to the story!
John Kasay is one of the greatest players to ever play with the Carolina Panthers, or at least he was to me. I remember growing up with his career, even in my younger years when I couldn’t understand what football was or even what a “field goal” was. He was my favorite player, probably because a kicker is a unique position to a young boy, and I adored him. I remember getting his autograph when I was around twelve years old at a Panthers post game radio show. I was so in awe and he was a perfect celebrity to a young boy finally meeting his idol; nice, understanding, and most importantly, he was willing to take a picture with me! He even signed a mini helmet for me, something that was probably really hard for him since the helmet was incredibly small!
Kasay is a class act. It’s as simple as that. He gained his teammates respect very early on, and then became a staple for the entire franchise, a player who we all could look up to. Everyone in the stands looked up to and respected him. Even if you hated him from that very memorable Super Bowl miss, you still have to end up loving him just because of his attitude and his genuine personality. Kasay made an impression on everyone he ever met, even to those young kids who talked to him for about a minute at a public event. Kasay was a very special player as well as a very special person. To me, he, Steve Smith, and Jake Delhomme are the reasons for my passionate love for the Carolina Panthers today. I basically owe my entire love for all things football to those three guys, especially John Kasay.
Though I’m not the only one who John Kasay had such an impact on, his entire team loved him. At a press conference held on May 7th former teammates Steve Smith, Jordan Gross, J. J. Jansen, Ryan Kalil, and Geoff Hangartner were all in attendance. To prove the fierce loyalty that Kasay’s former teammates had for him, here is a statement that Jansen told the official Carolina Panthers website, “He’s just been so warm and inviting away from football,” said Jansen, who served as Kasay’s snapper for his final two seasons in Carolina. “John and his whole family are our dearest friends. He’s been such a friend, mentor, really a second father figure. We often joke that I’m his fifth kid. And all the football stuff speaks for itself. The reason we’re here today is because he was so good at what he did for so long. It’s fun to be able to give him a proper and fitting end to an unbelievably great career.”
That’s enough about Kasay’s moral fortitude; he was an incredible player for the Carolina Panthers as well, and basically the reason for the Panther’s nickname in the 2002-2003 season, the cardiac cats. Kasay ranks sixth in league history with 461 field goals made, is tied for second with 42 field goals of 50 or more yards and stands fifth among kickers who have 500 or more attempts with an 81.9-percent success rate. His 1,970 career points are the eighth most in NFL history. Those are staggering statistics for a player for was unrestricted free agent before finally landing with the Panthers at their inception in 1995.
Kasay will always be a Panther and will always be a part of childhood adoration for the Carolina Panthers. I could continue writing about Kasay to for hours, but I don’t want to sound like I’m a long winded writer. I guess the gist of this article is that I just adore Kasay, and he will always hold a spot in my heart, and is the reason for the Panther’s very large spot in heart. I will remember him fondly, as I’m sure most Panther fans out there will.