"We prayed a lot, because most of those things were out of our control -- the weather, the snaps and holds, and all of those conditions that go with it," Debbie Stover said. "You just kind of have to understand that you can't control all of that and pray for him, and that's all you can do. He was pretty good about coming home. He'd take it pretty hard after a loss, but by Monday, we're back watching films and moving on towards the next game."
Stover said he wasn't bitter over the way his Ravens career ended -- he was not re-signed in 2009 in part because he no longer had the leg strength to handle kickoff duties. It gave him a chance to kick in a Super Bowl with the Colts, and he cherishes that experience. Stover said his focus on accuracy over distance -- which he made when he adjusted his stance in 1999 -- likely prolonged his career anyway. He equated it to a golfer who tweaks his swing once he can no longer bomb it past everyone else.
"I had to take away my 3- and 4-iron out of my golf bag, and I could only go out there with a 7-iron with it," Stover said. "I mean, it really took some clubs out of the bag when I did it, but it was all about survival, and 48 yards and in was pretty good. After that, I was OK. I mean, I'm out there trying to hit a 190[-yard] shot with a 7-iron. And that's not easy to do."
Stover said the two fondest memories from his time as a Raven are the 47-yard field goal he made in the Super Bowl and the 43-yard kick he made against Tennessee in the 2008 divisional playoffs that gave the Ravens a 13-10 upset victory over the Titans. But he's probably just as proud of the things he did through his charity, The Matt Stover Foundation.
"I want more than anything in my career to be remembered by not only what I've done on the field, but what I've been able to do off the field," Stover said. "To be a part of this community ... Baltimore has been a phenomenal, phenomenal place for me and my family."