Comeback year for David Akers

David Akers had a lot on his mind a year ago when he missed two field goal attempts for the Philadelphia Eagles in their 21-16 loss to the Green Bay Packers, a performance that put an end to an impressive 12-year stint with that NFL franchise.

The former University of Louisville kicker was allegedly swindled out of $3.7 million in a Ponzi scheme, placing his hard earned money in Triton Financial, which was run by Kurt Barton, from 2007 through 2009.

“I’ve had a lot of sleepless nights,” Akers told a grand jury in a Texas court last summer. “As I said, this is my family’s future. I said that to Kurt a lot of times. I said, ‘Man, I’m trusting in you.'”

A Ponzi scheme, of course, is an investment scam in which the money from later investors is paid to early investors. Later investors, like Akers, got nothing back at all, losing most or all they had invested.

To make matters worse, the Philadelphia Eagles waived Akers, putting him on the free market. Quite a blow for a five-time Pro Bowl kicker who held the record for 19 consecutive post-season field goal conversions.

He was picked up in the off season by the San Francisco 49ers, packing up his family and moving to a rental house in the Bay area.

In November, a federal judge in Austin sentenced Kurt Barton to 17 years in prison.

David Akers, meanwhile, would get back on track with the struggling 49er offense, setting NFL league records by a kicker with 44 field goals and 166 points. One of those included a 55-yard field goal against the Dallas Cowboys in September, the longest field goal ever in Candlestick Park.

Akers also was selected for this year’s NFL Pro Bowl, for the sixth time. What were the Eagles thinking?

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Charlie Springer

Charlie Springer is a former Louisville editor and sportswriter, a public affairs consultant, a UofL grad and longtime fan.

5 thoughts on “Comeback year for David Akers

  • January 10, 2012 at 11:12 am
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    Great article, his Dad Jon works down the hall from me at EKU-we talk football a lot

    Bruce

  • January 10, 2012 at 9:15 pm
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    He’s come a long way since the day he sold me an answering machine at the old Circuit City in St. Matthews. Good for him and here’s hoping he has another 12 good years in the NFL.

  • January 10, 2012 at 9:37 pm
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    My wife and I always said during his UofL career that he put the thrill and excitement in the extra point. But he had a strong, strong leg and finally learned accuracy. It’s easier to learn straight than to learn long.

  • January 11, 2012 at 9:52 am
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    David has gone through a LOT! You also did not mention his daughter’s continued battle with serious health issues. He is one tough guy and I praise him for all that he’s endured. He’s a strong man of faith and one heck of a kicker. Plus he is a lefty kicker like me haha. I wish David Akers much continued success in all he does!

    • January 11, 2012 at 10:04 am
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      Brent Grablachoff is owner of The Kicking World, based in San Diego, which works with kickers at all levels. Thanks for your contribution, Brent.

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