- Streeter Lecka/Getty Images
- With just 1:08 to go in Sunday’s contest between the New York Giants and the Carolina Panthers, rookie Saquon Barkley leaped into the end zone to cap an 11-point, fourth-quarter comeback for the Giants.
- Cam Newton and the Panthers barely made it past the 50-yard line with six seconds remaining when kicker Graham Gano launched a 63-yard field goal – the longest in franchise history – through the uprights to lift the Panthers to victory.
- The field goal tied the record for longest, game-winning kick in NFL history.
- Football fans across the country missed the legendary game-winner because rigid NFL broadcast restrictions forced FOX to switch over to “America’s Game of the Week” – the 4:25 contest between the Minnesota Vikings and Philadelphia Eagles.
In a season rife with miserable kicking throughout the NFL, Carolina Panthers kicker Graham Gano broke the mold, blasting a 63-yard field goal through the uprights to secure the Carolina Panthers’ last-second 33-31 victory over the New York Giants.
But if you live anywhere outside of the New York or Carolina markets, you probably missed it.
According to Sports Illustrated’s Dan Gartland, rigid NFL broadcast restrictions forced FOX to switch any stations watching bonus coverage of the Panthers-Giants game to switch over to “America’s Game of the Week” – the 4:25 contest between the Minnesota Vikings and Philadelphia Eagles – right as Gano lined up for the kick.
To make matters worse, the Vikings-Eagles broadcast was in a commercial break during the switch, so viewers across the country were treated to a Honda advertisement in lieu of the game-winner.
With 0:06 remaining, just before Graham Gano would kick a game-winning 63-yard field goal to win the game, @FOXSports cut away from Giants-Panthers in Philadelphia to air… commercials. pic.twitter.com/iDLlvEf9uv
— Rob Tornoe (@RobTornoe) October 7, 2018
“At the end of every game window, there’s a 2-minute local break. Because it’s local it’s not really our time to manipulate,” a spokesman for Fox Sports told Rob Tornoe of The Philadelphia Inquirer. “We pulled out at the last possible moment to get that break in and still make it to kickoff of the Eagles game.”
The run-up to the kick was certainly fun to watch. Rookie running back Saquon Barkley leaped over a defender and into the end zone to cap New York’s 11-point fourth-quarter comeback with 1:08 to go. Cam Newton and the Panthers offense quickly marched upfield after getting the ball back and just barely broke into field goal range with six seconds left on the clock. But for everyone besides Giants fans, Gano’s historic boot – the second-longest game winner and the sixth field goal from 63 yards out or further in NFL history – was the cherry on top of an already exciting contest.