Jake Bates Single-Handedly Made The New Look UFL’s Debut A Major Success With Incredible 64-Yard Field Goal

UFL kicker

How cool is it that we get spring football!? You get to say things like, “Holy ****, is that Matt Corral!?” during the early-afternoon leg of a doubleheader, but above all else, you get high-caliber football players who are just on the fringes of making it to the NFL who get a new lease on gridiron life.

Michigan Panthers kicker Jake Bates takes that all to a whole other level. If I have this right, he began his collegiate football journey at Texas State before transferring to Arkansas, purely as a kickoff specialist.

He then played soccer for Central Arkansas before somehow bumble-***king his way to the newly christened UFL. A magical place where Dwayne Johnson is out here gassing up the game and spearheading a spring football movement that seems like it might actually stick.

Back to Bates, though. This man hadn’t kicked a field goal in a game since high school, and on Saturday night, he was tasked with trying to knock off the St. Louis BattleHawks with a ho-hum 64-yard field goal.

Not only did Bates drill through the first attempt, which was wiped out by a freaking timeout, but he stepped back in and nailed it when it actually counted, too!

Talk about March Madness. Bates called the snapper-holder tandem of his “the best operation in the league.”

Who am I to question that evaluation? Chances are, in an eight-team UFL, you won’t get a much better operation than this. But hey, Mr. Bates, give yourself some damn credit. You’re in elite company that only Baltimore Ravens GOAT Justin Tucker can claim to be a part of. This was the same Ford Field where Tucker nailed a 66-yarder to break the hearts of the then-futile Lions.

That pain is part of the catalyst that drove the Fighting Dan Campbells to become a legit juggernaut who should’ve made it to the Super Bowl this past season.

Will Bates’ cannon-legged game-winner be the spark that ignites his hopes of being a mainstay in the NFL? Time will tell, but you better believe he just jumped onto the radar of almost all 32 teams with that type of performance in the clutch. One longtime journeyman NFL alum, backup QB Chase Daniel, is among those stumping for Bates to hit the big league.

I second Daniel’s motion. Jake Bates, expect multiple minicamp/training camp invitations if you keep this type of work up! Congrats!

PS shout out Matt Corral, who got a deserved mention in the lede for this seed…

A beer bottle on a dock



A beer bottle on a dock