Chicago Bears kicker Cody Parkey was relentlessly booed Sunday as he walked off Soldier Field after missing the potential game-winning field goal to send the team into the next round of the playoffs.
Parkey, who accounted for nine of the Bears’ 15 points in the team’s 16-15 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles, faced reporters at the end of the game and explained his emotions.
“You can’t make this up. I feel terrible. I let the team down. That’s on me. I have to own it. I have to be a man. Unfortunately, that’s the way it went today,” he said after the game, according to ESPN.
Parkey’s potential game-winning kick hit the left upright and bounced off the crossbar before falling to the grass.
“I thought I hit a great ball and was trying to play the wind,” he said. “There’s really no answer to it. I didn’t make it. I take that loss on me. The sun is going to shine tomorrow, but unfortunately this one is going to sting for a while.”
Though social media will probably be the last place Parkey would turn to look for any kind of support, NBA legend Kobe Bryant offered inspiring words for him after the game was finished.
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“We’ve all been here Cody but if you wanna win back the city you gotta get back in the lab and have a historic season next year to bury this one,” Bryant wrote in tweet. “I’m happy for my #EaglesNation but as a fellow pro athlete you gotta grind harder and double down #noexcuses #JGSD justgetsh*tdone”
With the loss, the Bears finish the season as NFC North division champions for the first time since 2010.
The Eagles will move onto the next round to face the New Orleans Saints on Sunday.