The Most Humiliating Moment of Stephen Gostkowski’s Life

The Most Humiliating Moment of Stephen Gostkowski’s Life

When I married Josh 20 years ago next month (almost happy major anniversary!) I became a Patriots fan by marriage. But I’d never actually watched a football game until last night, when I went with Josh to watch the Broncos-Patriots AFC title game. The title game (as I now know) is the final game of the regular season; it decides which team will make it to the Superbowl.

Truth is, even with Josh’s explanations, the game looked to me like a blur of orange and white football players. Sort of like Ancient Greek and Chinese mixed up all together.

But at one point, something happened which was so clearly awful that even I understood the disaster which had taken place.

Patriots’ kicker Stephen Gostkowski, who hadn’t missed an extra-point kick since 2006 (!), missed his first kick in a decade during this title game. And in the end, it was that lost extra point which lost the game (and their shot at the Superbowl) for the Patriots (watch the missed kick here

Not only that, but likely the most humiliating moment of Gostkowski’s life took place in front of approximately 50 million viewers, a substantial percentage of whom were yelling at their TV screens, “You [censored] IDIOT!”

After the game, Gostkowski told journalists: “I feel like I lost the game, it’s a sickening feeling…It’s a nightmare scenario. That’s how I feel. I let a lot of people down. I never thought missing a kick in the first quarter would be the difference in the game… I just feel awful about it. It was my fault, 100 percent, I just didn’t hit a good kick.”

Which has gotten me reminiscing about my own many missed kicks.

Silly stuff, like the day last week when I picked up the kids from gan and discovered that Yaakov wasn’t wearing a shirt underneath his sweater and that Tsofia’s shoes were on backwards. What had their teachers been thinking of their scatter-brained Eema all morning?

And not so silly stuff, like the time this fall when I unnecessarily wasted 3000 NIS buying a new computer when, in fact, it turned out, my old computer could have been fixed with a simple 300 NIS repair.

So thank G-d for yesterday’s reminder that, like me and all of us, even the guy with the perfect record isn’t perfect.

And thank G-d, also, that our mistakes aren’t made in front of 50 million people.

Which is one of the many reasons it’s a good thing I opted to become a JewishMOM rather than a professional athlete.



  1. As always. A light of simple everyday wisdom to put things in perspective.

  2. I have many words to say – Stephen did not lose that game. . . the TEAM lost the game. The bride lost her ring . . . the kicker lost the point. Both of them made a mistake. The community rallied around the bride . . . willing to even dirty themselves in the garbage just to find her diamond. Willing to believe that a diamond could be found in clay. They were like balls of clay themselves, everyone who came to her rescue – because by their selfless act, we discover the diamond in each helper – in the depths of each heart – inside the clay. Stephen lost the point, but where was the team? If they had rallied around him – they just might have won that game.

    • What a beautiful insight – Leisel! I didn’t watch the game – football is not my thing but you are definitely right about the team – because this point was not lost at the last moment of the game…. The man that made the connection and brought the ring back is a real hero. He scored more than one point in the game of life.
      Chana – it is nice to think that we don’t have a 50 million people watching us – but the main One that counts is ALWAYS watching so we have to be focused and keep that in mind.

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