The San Francisco 49ers' Joe Nedney today scored a victory for humanity — and the small subsection of humans who kick footballs professionally. The human being scored an easy win over Ziggy the Killer Robot in a field goal-kicking battle this morning at Kezar Stadium — and, unlike Ziggy, Nedney didn't misfire and nearly decapitate his handler.
In a nifty bit of publicity for the forthcoming RoboGames in San Mateo, today's kick-off pitted Nedney — 6-foot-5 and 234 pounds — against Ziggy and his “pneumatic lifter” leg — 14-inches-tall, but 340 pounds. In fact, Ziggy bears a striking resemblance to the Union ironclad the Monitor, which also packed quite a kick.
Even before Nedney arrived at Kezar, signs pointed toward a good day for the human race. While Ziggy had cleared a 60-yard field goal in practice, that kick came on a cement field and on a clear day. On Kezar, there's mud and grass — which absorb some of Ziggy's oomph. Also, it was a typically windy San Francisco day. Oh, one more thing — Ziggy never “made” a field goal per se. Earlier kicks had cleared a grove of small trees. This was Ziggy's first day on the field — and it showed.