Friday, April 10, 2015

CFL kicker held pro field goal record 1964-?

For a time -- I'm not sure how many years -- the record for longest field goal in professional football was held by a Canadian-league kicker.

On Aug. 17, 1964, Bill Mitchell of the Edmonton Eskimos kicked a 58-yard field goal in a Canadian Football League game at Calgary. The effort was for naught as Edmonton lost to the Stampeders 35-6.

At the time Mitchell's kick eclipsed the NFL and AFL field goal distance marks.

In the NFL, the record was then held by Baltimore Colts kicker Bert Rechichar. His kick of 56 yards came at home in a 13-9 win over the Chicago Bears on Sept 27, 1953.

George Blanda at the time held the AFL record. On Dec. 3 1961, he'd kicked a 55-yard FG at Houston as the Oilers beat the Chargers 33-13. 

I noodled around the internet for a bit, trying unsuccessfully to discover if there were any field goals in the AFL, CFL or NFL longer than Mitchell's 58-yarder between 1964 and 1970, when Tom Dempsey booted his 63-yard record-setter.

Since 1964 there have been only four longer field goals in the CFL than Mitchell's 58-yarder. The current CFL record is 62 yards, set Oct. 27, 2001 by Paul McCallum of the Saskatchewan Roughriders.

Three kickers n the NFL tied Dempsey at 63 yards. Jason Elam in 1998, Sebastian Janikowski in 2011 and David Akers in 2012.

The current NFL mark is 64 yards, by Broncos booter Matt Prater on Dec. 8, 2013 in the thin air at Denver against the Titans.

Mitchell was born in London, England, in 1935, emigrating to Canada at age 11. He played college football at the University of Western Ontario.

In 1960 he was the No. 1 pick in the CFL draft as a two-way lineman by the Toronto Argonauts. He played with Toronto 1960-62, with Edmonton 1963-65 and the BC Lions 1966-68.

Mitchell's only football card is in the 1962 Topps CFL 2-on-1 black-and-white set. He was also included in the 1963 Nalley's potato chips CFL plastic coin set.


  1. I should probably already know the answer to this, but...

    The CFL has the bigger endzone, yes? Do they measure the yardage on field goals from the line of scrimmage to the goalposts or from scrimmage to the endzone? Is a 50yd field goal in the NFL as long as a 50 yd field goal in the CFL?

    1. A 50 yard field goal in the CFL is the same as a 50 yard field goal in the NFL. It is the distance from where the ball is kicked (7 yards behind the line of scrimmage) to the goal posts.

  2. His brother Doug Mitchell also played in the CFL. (not the Doug Mitchell who became CFL Commissioner)


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