When the San Francisco 49ers return to Philadelphia to take on the Eagles tomorrow, it will be a blast from the not-so-distant pass for kicker David Akers. He spent his entire career in Philadelphia, and was often pegged as the least-booed Eagles player, which is certainly a high honor, but it's mostly because he's an incredibly accurate kicker. Akers was fond of the place, and wanted to retire there.
But after 12 seasons in Philly, he wound up in San Francisco when the Eagles brought in a rookie kicker to take over. Maybe it was because they simply needed to transition to the future, maybe they didn't want to pay Akers that much, or maybe Akers' misses of 41- and 31-yard in last year's playoff-opener really got to the team, who openly criticized him after the five-point loss. Make the jump for more.
Two days before that, Akers had found out that his daughter was going to need surgery to have one of her ovaries removed due to cancer. Nobody can really blame him for the misses - and certainly, the team and Andy Reid weren't exactly hard on Akers after the loss, but I definitely wouldn't have any issue with him harboring any bad feelings while returning to Philly.
Akers, to his credit, does not, and claims this feels just like any other game to him. That's probably the best mindset going into this one, getting emotional won't help. Who really knows if he's got any hard feelings, the only certainty is that he'll be booed on Sunday by the Philly crowd - which has to feel just about normal for him.