Eddy Pineiro's leg, motivation and swagger could help Bears break the Curse of Robbie Gould

Colleen Kane, Chicago Tribune on

Published in Football

CHICAGO -- The meeting happened on the Soldier Field sideline before kickoff of the Bears' season opener against the Packers.

Mayor Lori Lightfoot, one of Chicago's higher-profile Bears fans, shook kicker Eddy Pineiro's hand, thanked him for what he had done so far and encouraged him to keep it up.

"I was like, 'What?! This is awesome,' " Pineiro said.

Ten days later, after Pineiro made the winning 53-yard field goal against the Broncos, Lightfoot's @chicagosmayor Twitter account declared, "Ladies and gentlemen, we have a kicker!"

Count the mayor among those caught up in Eddy "Dinero" Pineiro mania, a civic celebration to help heal from last season's devastating ending off the foot of Cody Parkey.

"I was there at that playoff game last fall when I think we were all crestfallen with the so-called double doink, so I'm happy for (Pineiro)," Lightfoot said. "I mean, talk about pressure. He performed a great, great service not only to his teammates but to this city in kicking that field goal with 1 second left. That's high performance, and I'm proud of him. But we have to do better on offense."


For those who closely followed the Bears' kicking search -- from Parkey's double doink and "Today Show" appearance to the nine-man kicking game show at rookie minicamp in May to coach Matt Nagy's pressure-building tactics such as "Augusta silence" -- Pineiro's winner came with a breath of relief.

Could this rookie really be the kicker to break the Curse of Robbie Gould?

Two games into the season is too soon to tell if the Bears finally -- three years after cutting Gould, their all-time scoring leader -- have found the right guy.

But those who have followed Pineiro on his unique journey from high school soccer star to Week 2 Bears rescuer recognize several reasons he could be. A heartfelt motivation. A powerful leg. And an unusual swagger that's useful for a kicker who bears the scrutiny of a recently scarred city.


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