The 61-year-old college football player
A Vietnam vet and grandfather of five is kicking — and scoring — for the Faulkner University Eagles
On Saturday, 61-year-old Alan Moore became the oldest player ever to compete in a college football game when he suited up for the Faulkner University Eagles and kicked in the team's first extra point of the season. (Watch a video here.) How did Moore come to play college ball in his seventh decade? Here's what you need to know:
Who is this Alan Moore? The grandfather of five was a kicker for Mississippi's Jones College during his freshman year in 1968, before shipping off to Vietnam that December. After serving in the military, Moore spent decades working in the construction industry before losing his job because of the slow economy in 2009. He had been partially retired and living on a farm in Homestead, Fla.
How did he wind up on the field again?While visiting his grandkids in Mississippi, Moore watched a Jones College game, and got the itch to start playing again. He built goal posts in his daughter's yard and started practicing. He tried out for the Jones team but didn't make it — the team wanted a younger kicker despite Moore's impressive tryout. So last year, at age 60, Moore played for Holmes Community College in Goodman, Miss. This season, looking for a more competitive team — Holmes was 0-9 — Moore joined Faulkner, a small, private school in Montgomery, Ala.
Can Moore really compete?"They're not just trying to score AARP points at Faulkner," says David Whitley at Sporting News. Moore is a skilled kicker, having made 45-yard field goals in practice. On Saturday, he kicked an extra point for the Eagles, something the starting kicker, Thomas Price, hadn't managed to do earlier in the game.
Hasn't kicking changed a lot since 1968?Yes. In the 60s, kickers wore clunky, square-toed cleats and kicked straight on. Today, kickers wear lighter shoes and employ a soccer-style kick with a less direct angle. Moore has retained his old-school style. "I don't think soccer should have any place in football," he says.
Doesn't this break some rules?Nope. Faulkner is in the NAIA — which has less stringent elegibility issue than the NCAA. Moore lives in Faulkner's dorms, and is enrolled in classes. It's all kosher.
Who was the previous "oldest college football player ever"?Tom Thompson was 61 when he kicked for Austin College in 2009, but Moore is "a couple of months older," landing him a place in the College Football Hall of Fame.