Ft. Payne, Alabama is not a large city. As of the 2020 census, there were 14,877 residents in the town that is home to one awesome landscaping company and was at one point known at “The Sock Capital of the World.”

For our purposes today, though, Ft. Payne is notable because it is the home town of Evan McPherson, placekicker for the Cincinnati Bengals.

I should explain something. Being a 42-year-old Bengals fan is a bit masochistic. It has historically been a little like watching a months-long Shakespearean tragedy while being punched repeatedly in the face and made fun of by the rest of the world. We have had moments of greatness in the last decade, but the Bengals approach has always been, well..to Bungle things when it matters most. In most off-seasons, the team needs lots of help and improvement on both sides of the ball.

So when the they announced that with their 5th-round draft pick, they were selecting…a kicker? Many heads were scratched, and many eyes were rolled. Evan McPherson was the ONLY kicker selected in the entire NFL draft. It felt like a classic Bengals move.


Evan McPherson has had a rookie season that veterans dream about.
- He kicked 3 game-winning, walk-off field goals during the regular season, and 2 more so far in the playoffs.
- He lead the entire league with 9 field goals over 50 yards.
- He is the only kicker in NFL history to kick 2 postseason games with 4 field goals.
- He's is 4th all time in postseason points by any player, behind Adam Vinatieri, Terrell Davis and Larry Fitzgerald.

This guy is 22 years old and an absolute legend in Cincinnati. You can't buy his jersey anywhere in the tri-state area.

I'll be honest, I started writing this just wanting to tell everyone about the Bengals kicker, but I've realized that there are two great business lessons here. First off, when you know something is the right decision, don't let the nay-sayers tell you otherwise. Conventional wisdom is often useful, but when you see a solution in front of you and know it's the right move, just go for it.

Secondly, where are the kickers in your organization? A kicker is often thought of as an afterthought, but when they falter, everything falls apart. Look for the small, unsung people, tools, or procedures in your business that carry more weight than you realize. Who handles your billing, for instance? They probably don't get the respect they deserve, but if their work goes off the rails, the entire engine grinds to a halt. We all have small but critical jobs in our business that we need to pay attention to and invest in. 

On behalf of all Cincinnati fans, I encourage you to watch the Bengals on Sunday and cheer for us. With all due respect to anyone from Los Angeles, or anyone who followed the Rams in St. Louis...I mean, come on. Everyone should want the Bengals to win this one.