Nov 142002
Authors: Jon Ackerman

The other day, a friend of mine asked that if I could play any position on a football team, which one would I choose?

So I thought about which position requires minimal work, but could allow you to be in the NFL and make millions. Being the long snapper crossed my mind, because, honestly, how hard could that be? Then I tried to spiral a snap 10 yards while bracing for a defensive line to collapse on me, and decided that’s not all too fun.

So then I was thinking I could be a kickoff specialist. You know, like the Broncos had when one guy kicked field goals and another guy kicked off. Then I was watching an NFL game and saw a kicker going after the returner, only to get blind-sided by a fullback. Yeah, not for me.

My buddy then said he’d want to be the field goal placeholder. Easy, right? Just go out and hold the ball so the kicker can kick it.

Yeah, I’d like that position about as much as a canker sore on my wedding night.

In a typical game, the holder is accountable for probably about five points – two extra point attempts and a field goal. Yet do we ever hear anything about him? No.

That is until he screws up. And I thought writing a column on deadline was pressure.

When Bradlee Van Pelt throws an interception, he gets another shot on the next possession. When Drew Wood misses a tackle, he can make up for it on the next play.

But if Joey Cuppari, CSU’s placeholder, drops a snap, he might not be able to redeem himself until next week.

The Raiders’ holder botched a snap Monday night against the Broncos, and if Denver hadn’t played about as good as a nursery school team, that missed extra point could have come back to haunt them.

With as close as CSU’s games usually are, a lot is riding on Cuppari’s fingertip.

Seriously, on any given extra point attempt, he has to be damned near perfect.

First, he holds the spot and lets the center know when the kicker is ready. Then he fields the snap, which could either make him jump up or field it like a grounder. And he can’t bobble it, because there’s no time for error – the kicker’s spikes are already swinging for his finger.

Then he’s got to stand the ball on end at the kicker’s favorite angle while 11 guys charge toward the ball. His finger can’t slip off, or everything goes to hell.

Finally, the laces have to be out. He doesn’t spin it enough and the kicker kicks it wide right.

Remember Ray Finkle the kicker in “Ace Ventura: Pet Detective?” He plotted to kill Dan Marino cause the laces weren’t out. These guys get no love.

Thanks, but I’ll stick to my day job.

Jon is a senior journalism major and the Collgian sports editor.

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

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