Russell Erxleben

Russell Erxleben Topps Card
Russell Erxleben Topps Card

Arguably one of the most controversial First Round Draft picks in the history of professional sports.
Russel Erxleben had been an exceptional kicker at Texas and had even set an NCAA record with a 67-yard field goal and was nick named “Thunder Foot”. He was drafted with the Saints 1st round pick in the 1979 draft, 11th over-all.

By the time his NFL career was underway his new nick name had become ‘Blunder Foot”. He would finish his 5 year NFL career converting just 4 of 8 field goals. (though he did have a respectable 40.6 yard punting average). In the season opener against San Francisco in 1980 he had a chance to tie the game with a final kick in the closing seconds. He missed and San Francisco won 26-23. The Saints would go on to lose 14 of the next 15 games.

New Orleans Saints History will also remember Russel Erxleben for his part the 1979 season opener against the Atlanta Falcons. It was Erxleben’s first regular season NFL game. With the game into overtime an over-his-head snap forced Russel Erxleben to lob the ball wildly into the air in desperation. The ball was easily picked off by an on-coming Falcon at the 6 yard line who easily traipsed into the endzone for the game winning score.

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