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The 61-Year-Old Football Player

Vietnam vet Alan Moore is back on the college gridiron as a placekicker

Alan Moore oldest college football player

Smiling Alan Moore is congratulated by teammate Don Lee after kicking an extra point for Faulkner University. — Photo by David Bundy/AP Photo

Alan Moore was a crackerjack college football placekicker before the Vietnam War, two marriages, three children and decades of construction work intervened.

But people who convert blueprints into buildings tend to complete things. So at 61, Moore is playing college football again, to the delight of Faulkner University, a tiny Christian college in Montgomery, Ala.

See also: Joe Paterno still coaching Penn State football.

"I'm having a lot of fun," says Moore, a full-time student who has a private room in a dormitory and is working on a bachelor's degree in liberal arts. "It's just wonderful to be around all those kids."

In a concession to his age, the dry-witted, 5-foot-7, 170-pound placekicker hews to a specialized workout routine. "I don't do a lot of stretching," he deadpans, "because everything is already stretched to the limit and I don't want to break it."

Moore avoids the weight room, too. What if a blocked kick causes hulking young opponents to stampede his way?

"My job is to kick," Moore says, his tone making it clear that violent gridiron collisions aren't his thing. He won't rule out tackling opposing players, but "they have to be real slow," he says. "They have to be so slow that you'd need a calendar, and not a stopwatch, to time 'em."

History-making performance

When Moore trotted onto the field Sept. 10, wearing the Faulkner Eagles' cobalt-blue home uniform, history was made when he calmly scored a point after a touchdown that boosted the Eagles to a 25-0 advantage over visiting Ave Maria University. (The Eagles won the game 41-19.) Moore became the oldest person to play in a collegiate game, according to the Associated Press.

The late George Blanda, who set the National Football League record as the oldest player at 48, was a pimply whippersnapper compared with Moore, whose Eagles are in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics.

Hailing from Taylorsville, Miss., Moore first donned helmet and pads as a seventh-grader. In 1968, as a freshman at Jones County Junior College in Ellisville, Miss., Moore's kicking helped his team clinch a national championship.

Military service brought football and college to a halt. Finding himself attached to the Army's 4th Infantry Division, Moore conducted reconnaissance sweeps in the central highlands of Vietnam. It's a chapter of Moore's life he politely declines to rehash.

Next: Back to campus life. >>

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