On January 6, 2019, the Bears lined up for a field goal try down 16-15 against the Philadelphia Eagles with 10 seconds left in the NFC Wild Card Game. In what was a low-scoring affair for the Bears that game, the defense held the Eagles to just 16 points. The one man that could kick the Bears to the Divisional Round? Cody Parkey. From 43 yards out, Parkey lined up for his kick, Pat O’Donnell got set to hold the ball, and the ball was snapped. Parkey’s kick went almost perfectly through the uprights and the Bears thought they had moved on past the Eagles. But the play didn’t stand. Why? Philadelphia called a last-second timeout to “ice” the kicker. So after a timeout passed, Parkey and the Bears’ special teams crew lined up for a redo on the kick, thinking this kick would eliminate the Eagles from postseason contention. All was set, Parkey looked set, O’Donnell was ready to hold and Patrick Scales looked ready to snap the ball back. Then the snap happened. At that moment, all the pressure in the world amounted for Bears fans around the world. The snap? Near-perfect. The hold? Just about as good as it gets. The kick? Well, let’s get into that.
After the snap from Scales and the hold from O’Donnell, Parkey stepped into his kick as he normally did, and the ball went up past the line of scrimmage on its way to the goalpost. As soon as the kick went up past the line of scrimmage, it immediately started heading toward the left, but it still looked like it had enough in it to make it. Just a second later, the reality we all know occurred. With everyone’s attention on the ball, the ball sailed through the air and struck the left upright, and bounced down to the crossbar, bouncing off it and onto the Soldier Field grass. Staley the Bear fell down in agony, representing the feelings of countless Bears fans inside the stadium and fans at home. The phrase “Double Doink” was coined by Chris Collinsworth after saying “The Bears’ season is gonna end on a double doink.”
On the Games with Names podcast, hosted by Super Bowl Champion Julian Edelman, he invited brothers Kyle and Chris Long to share their experiences about the “double doink”. At the time, Kyle Long was a lineman for the Bears, and Chris Long was a defensive end for the Philadelphia Eagle in his last playing year. Chris Long revealed that in the locker room after the game, Treyvon Hester, who was an undrafted rookie special teams guy, claimed that he had tipped the ball Parkey kicked, causing it to hit both uprights and fall short of conversion. Chris added that many people thought Parkey just completely missed the field goal, but it was actually Treyvon Hester who got up and hit the ball. In the official play-by-play review, it even states that the field goal try was blocked, and not missed.
As the Bears took over the NFC North in 2018 with a dominant defense headlined by Khalil Mack, it all ended on just one play, in the most “Chicago Bears” way ever. The “double doink” still brings back memories of “what could’ve been” had he made that Field Goal. For the longest time, I thought Parkey straight-up missed the kick and had a poor kicking stance on the kick. And I’m not saying it was a perfect kick either, but to know that the Eagles lineman was the main reason why the kick was missed changes the whole perspective. Parkey somehow got a couple more chances in the NFL after his time with the Bears was up, and had infamously missed some key field goals that weren’t blocked and were just plain misses. For the “Double Doink” kick that ended the Bears’ season in 2018, it provides some relief knowing that it wasn’t completely Parkey’s fault. Again, he kicked the ball where Treyvon Hester could get to it, and he should have been able to kick it that much higher to avoid the block, but it certainly fits as one of the NFL’s biggest what-ifs for the Bears. If he had made that kick, the Bears’ chances of the Super Bowl were that much higher. Trubisky could still be a Bear, and Justin Fields would probably never have been drafted to Chicago. Some stars would’ve been linked to the Bears for a long time, and Matt Nagy and Ryan Pace could still be in charge. Again, it’s just a matter of what if, but we know the reality now, and the only thing we can focus on is the future.