To cleanse the palate, I’m posting this for two reasons. One: Bears kicker Cody Parkey — and his family — are getting death threats from the same sizable human-garbage segment of Chicago’s population that made Steve Bartman’s life hell for years. Maybe publicizing this fact will dissuade a few of them. Two: Watching that ball hit the upright and then the crossbar last night was the first time in my life I’ve had the thought, “I’m glad I’m a Jets fan instead of a fan of that team.”

Which is ironic, because I’ve always assumed that’s how a Jets Super Bowl would end. Potential game-winning field goal hits the upright, then the crossbar, then hangs fatefully in the air for a moment before bouncing back towards the field and falling short. Except in my imagination it actually ricochets off one upright all the way over to the other, then hits the crossbar for maximum heartbreak, Jets-style.

Nah, just kidding. I’m fully aware that the Jets will never again play in a Super Bowl.

Anyway, in case you missed it:

Incredibly, Parkey had hit the upright before this season — not once, not twice, but five times. The odds of him doing it again, then almost having the ball deflect over the crossbar for a winning field goal anyway, were astronomical. But there it was. That was actually his second attempt of that kick; he’d knocked it through seconds before but the Eagles had managed to call time out just before the snap to try to ice him. It worked!

Or did it?

Didn’t catch it? Here you go:

Hester told the Philadelphia Inquirer after the game that he’d gotten a piece of the ball: “Me and Haloti (Ngata) … we got penetration, got the hand up like Coach always says. Tipped off my fingertips. Felt good … (but) actually, I thought I didn’t get enough of it, I thought it was going to go in,” Hester said afterward. “When I saw it going in, I turned back around (away from the goal posts). Then I heard everybody screaming, I was like, oh, (bleep) … he missed it.”

This afternoon the NFL made it official:

I saw an interesting theory floating around on Twitter this morning, that the Eagles’ timeout to ice Parkey might have helped produce this miss anyway. Supposedly, although Parkey’s first attempt (after the timeout was called) sailed through the uprights, it didn’t have much distance. He may tried a lower angle on the re-kick to compensate for that, giving Hester the opportunity to make contact with the ball and ever so slightly affect its trajectory. Whatever the truth, it’s not at all clear today that Parkey choked, as seemed to be the case last night. It may simply be that Hester made a play.

Here’s Parkey after the game, digesting one of the worst moments a professional kicker has ever had. I hope the Bears are paying for his security.