The Small, Intense, Unfairly Exclusive World of Football Placekickers

Brent Grablachoff says he isn’t a yeller, but six hours into his second day in a row of coaching, he sounds like one. He’s trying to pump up 18 high-school football players competing to see who can connect on the longest field goal; this contest is the grand finale of his two-day camp for teenagers who want a shot at becoming kickers and punters.

It’s 93 degrees in Toms River, New Jersey, but it feels hotter on the unshaded artificial turf, and over the constant thud of high schoolers’ cleats connecting with footballs, you can somehow hear Grablachoff’s increasingly hoarse voice. “Fifteen minutes of chaotic kicking!” he yells, or at least tries to. “Coming your way, guys!”

He keeps moving the ball back, and as the contest progresses, he’ll winnow down this already-small group to just one or two players.

In a way, it’s a small-scale illustration of the years-long process it takes to become a kicker.

Read more. [Image: AP/Al Behrman]

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-KICKOFF COVERAGE’S: HISTORY OF THE 32 IN 32-

-CAROLINA PANTHERS-

1995

PANTHERS GO 7-9 IN THEIR FIRST YEAR IN THE NFL:

During the 1995 NFL Expansion Draft, Rod Smith was the first player selected by the Panthers. During the 1995 NFL Draft, the Panthers made their first significant addition (in terms of long-term contributions to the team) by drafting Penn Statequarterback Kerry Collins. Upon entering the NFL in 1995, the Panthers and Jacksonville Jaguars set about building their respective squads with a luxury not afforded to previous expansion teams: free agency. The Panthers made excellent use of the tool, picking up wide receiver Don Beebe, linebacker Sam Mills, and placekicker John Kasay. The Panthers won the annual Hall of Fame Game against the fellow expansion Jacksonville Jaguars 20–14 (a game known as the “Battle of the Big Cats,” due to the similar nicknames of the franchises) on July 29, 1995.

The home games during the season were played at Clemson University, as the Panthers stadium in Charlotte was still under construction. This made the Panthers the only sports team in one of the Big Four leagues ever based out of South Carolina, even if only for one year. The Panthers originally wanted to play their first season in Williams-Brice Stadium in Columbia, South Carolina, which was closer and more accessible to Charlotte, but the University of South Carolina turned them down.

The Panthers first regular season game was against the Atlanta Falcons in the Georgia Dome. The Panthers scored on their first three possessions to take a 13–0 lead before the Falcons rallied to win 23–20 in overtime. The Panthers first home game (in Clemson) was a 31–10 loss to the St. Louis Rams. Following an 0–5 start to the season, the Panthers won their first game against the New York Jets 26–15 on October 15, 1995, after Sam Mills returned an interception 36 yards for a touchdown. Later that year, the Panthers stunned the league by not only winning four consecutive games (an expansion team record), but defeating the defending Super Bowl champion San Francisco 49ers 13–7, the first time an expansion team had beaten the reigning champs. The Panthers finished their season 7–9, more than doubling the previous record of a first year expansion team.

Ben Johnson is the placekicker for the Messina High School Football team.  He is best friends with fellow football players, Pete Donovan and Claude Mayes. Ben is like most guys in Messina. He loves football and Nascar, but he’s also a political junky and a huge James Joyce fan.  He’s ambitious, but keeps that to himself.  He’s smart and funny, an excellent athlete, and generally able to charm anyone besides ex-girlfriend, Bea Leo.  Which, of course, drives him insane. 

Ben is played by Patrick Fleury.  A native Virginian and graduate of Fordham College at Lincoln Center, Patrick is thrilled to be a part of this production. He has appeared recently on TV in Celebrity Ghost StoryI Killed My BFF, and a promo for Cutthroat Kitchen. He has worked with Pam Mackinnon in a workshop of “A Map of Virtues” for Clubbed Thumb. Some favorite theatre credits include “Our Town” (Doc Gibbs), “Desire: A Varsouviana” (Stanley), “Little Town Blues” (Vernon), and “Richard 3” (Hastings).  Patrick is a proud member of Less Than Rent Theatre. Also, be sure to check out Eclectic Boogaloo on FunnyorDie.com for some sketch comedy. For more information about Patrick, and to see what he’s up to, check out www.patrick-fleury.com

Ex-Redskins Kicker Moseley: ‘No Red Men’ Complaining About Team Name

Mark Moseley, who was the Washington Redskins’ placekicker from 1974 to 1986, is one of the former players participating in the Washington Redskins Original Americans Fund visits to reservations, such as a recent one to Rocky Boy’s Indian Reservation in Montana. Moseley is also doing the media rounds, which on Sunday night included a chat on News Channel 8’s “Sports Talk After the Game,” a local Washington, DC sports talk show.

Giants keep Brown as kicker, cut McManus

Josh Brown will be the New York Giants’ placekicker for the second year in a row. The 35-year-old veteran won a training camp competition over strong-legged rookie Brandon McManus, a promising 23-year-old they believe will draw interest from other teams. http://dlvr.it/6kSMCV

Will Muschamp surprises pair of Gators walk-ons with scholarships

Michael McNeely, a wide receiver, and placekicker Frankie Velez lived out childhood dreams Friday when Florida coach Will Muschamp announced after practice the two walk-on players would be placed on scholarship this season.

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Colts, Eagles swap players they were planning to waive

Well, this is interesting. The Eagles announced Wednesday they had traded rookie tailback David Fluellen to the Colts for rookie placekicker Cody Parkey. Earlier Wednesday, the Eagles said they were waiving Fluellen, a Toledo product. And the Colts, for their part, had announced Tuesday evening they would be parting ways with Parkey, who played collegiately…



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Colts, Eagles swap players they were planning to waive

Well, this is interesting. The Eagles announced Wednesday they had traded rookie tailback David Fluellen to the Colts for rookie placekicker Cody Parkey. Earlier Wednesday, the Eagles said they were waiving Fluellen, a Toledo product. And the Colts, for their part, had announced Tuesday evening they would be parting ways with Parkey, who played collegiately…



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Faulkner’s Golob named to CFA NAIA Starting Lineup

Faulkner’s Golob named to CFA NAIA Starting Lineup

College Football America 2014 Yearbook Encyclopedia is proud to announce that Faulkner kicker Cameron Golob has been named to the College Football America NAIA Starting Lineup, CFA’s version of an All-America team.

Golob was NAIA’s top placekicker in 2013, leading in field goals (17) and total scoring among kickers (118).

College Football America 2014 Yearbook Encyclopediafeatures 926 college…

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UA expects to be better in kicking game

UA expects to be better in kicking game

UA expects to be better in kicking game

Charlie Ragle has only been the UA’s special teams coach for two years, but he knows the drill: With fall camp comes questions about placekickers.            from Phoenix – Sports http://ift.tt/1os2d4J via IFTTT from Scottsdale Brilliant Info http://ift.tt/X7J6Tp via IFTTT from Amazing Advice http://ift.tt/1pi5rb2 via IFTTT from Arizona Marvelous Secrets ht…

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UA expects to be better in kicking game

UA expects to be better in kicking game

Charlie Ragle has only been the UA’s special teams coach for two years, but he knows the drill: With fall camp comes questions about placekickers.            from Phoenix – Sports http://ift.tt/1os2d4J via IFTTT from Scottsdale Brilliant Info http://ift.tt/X7J6Tp via IFTTT from Amazing Advice http://ift.tt/1pi5rb2 via IFTTT from Arizona Marvelous Secrets http://ift.tt/1okzAHv via IFTTT […]

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UA expects to be better in kicking game

UA expects to be better in kicking game

UA expects to be better in kicking game

Charlie Ragle has only been the UA’s special teams coach for two years, but he knows the drill: With fall camp comes questions about placekickers.            from Phoenix – Sports http://ift.tt/1os2d4J via IFTTT from Scottsdale Brilliant Info http://ift.tt/X7J6Tp via IFTTT from Amazing Advice http://ift.tt/1pi5rb2 via IFTTT from Arizona Marvelous Secrets ht…

View On WordPress

UA expects to be better in kicking game

UA expects to be better in kicking game

Charlie Ragle has only been the UA’s special teams coach for two years, but he knows the drill: With fall camp comes questions about placekickers.            from Phoenix – Sports http://ift.tt/1os2d4J via IFTTT from Scottsdale Brilliant Info http://ift.tt/X7J6Tp via IFTTT from Amazing Advice http://ift.tt/1pi5rb2 via IFTTT from Arizona Marvelous Secrets http://ift.tt/1okzAHv via IFTTT […]

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UA expects to be better in kicking game

UA expects to be better in kicking game

Charlie Ragle has only been the UA’s special teams coach for two years, but he knows the drill: With fall camp comes questions about placekickers.            from Phoenix – Sports http://ift.tt/1os2d4J via IFTTT from Scottsdale Brilliant Info http://ift.tt/X7J6Tp via IFTTT from Amazing Advice http://ift.tt/1pi5rb2 via IFTTT from Arizona Marvelous Secrets http://ift.tt/1okzAHv via IFTTT […]

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