Laces Out – A tribute to those lonely kickers

The life of a kicker is never an easy one. The majority of the time they tend to find themselves grabbing the headlines for the wrong reasons. Most kicks within the 50-yard range is an expectation for NFL standard kickers, an extra point something fans expect as a formality, even with the recent changes. It’s not so long ago that most stations didn’t even bother showing the extra point attempt.

In order to, grab the attention of the masses in a positive way you would need to do something special. Unless you make a kick that people doubt you can make praise seems to go missing. Miss one however and the pitchforks are out. The great Jan Stenerud, and one of the few kickers in the Hall of Fame, has said “I was starting to make a lot of 50-yard field goals 50 years ago and that was a big deal, now it’s a big deal , darn near, if you miss from 50.”. The expectations set on kickers rise and rise.

It’s a strange position in football. Most unlike any of the others. It takes a certain person to follow that path and they can be some of the most interesting and complex characters within the sport. Think back to the last interview you’ve seen a kicker make after a game. It’s usual after they’ve had an awful performance or missed a great chance. The media flock when there’s trouble at the kicking tee. It’s a position that possibly requires the most mental strength within the league.

Overall kickers have never gotten the respect they deserve. NFL legend Buddy Ryan once said, “Football kickers are like taxi cabs, you can always go out and hire another one.”, former Bucs coach John McKay once said “Kickers are like horse manure, they’re all over the place. They’re the outcasts within the sport.

Apologies for the long introduction, but kickers are close to my heart. I will confess that I used to play as a kicker on Madden 08 superstar mode. So, here’s to all those wacky kickers out there fighting through adversity, keep doing what you’re doing guys.

Top 5 Longest Kicks <Insert video>

Top 5 Big Kicking Moments <Insert video>

Top 5 Big Misses <Insert video>

Hall of Fame Kickers <insert slidehow , only 3 people>

Here comes the BOOM! <video of kickers tackling people>