Matt Stover’s accomplishments in his 13-season tenure with the Ravens and 20-year career in the NFL are too many to list.
The highlights include ranking fourth in NFL history in career points (2,004) and field goals made (471), seventh in field-goal accuracy (83.7 percent on 471-for-563 kicking) and first in field goals made outdoors (445) and field-goal accuracy outdoors (84.9 percent).
But for Stover, who retired after the 2009 season and will be inducted into the Ravens’ Ring of Honor during halftime of Sunday’s game against the Cincinnati Bengals at M&T Bank Stadium, the achievements pale in comparison to what he viewed as his true objective.
“It was bigger than just the game,” said Stover, who accepted at the team’s training facility in Owings Mills a signed football helmet from the Maryland Crusaders, a group of home-schooled high school football players whom Stover has financially supported. "It was bigger than just kicking for me. “It was always about the other guy, helping the other person to be the best they could be not only on the field, but off the field. That’s really what my main mission was.”
Stover, who left the Ravens after the 2008 season as the coaches elected to give the kicking duties to Steve Hauschka, then Billy Cundiff, said he approached team owner Steve Bisciotti after 2009 to clear the air on any possible misunderstanding. During that meeting, Bisciotti told Stover he planned to add the kicker as the seventh member of the Ring of Honor.
“Of course, you have to perform – flat out. You’ve got to kick the field goals, you’ve got to hit the big ones,” said Stover, who still counts being part of the 2000 Super Bowl-winning team as being one of his fondest memories. “… When you win a Super Bowl and you’re able to have a great effect like that as one of the players – even though you’re a kicker – it does help.”