In the annual GQ “NFL Kickoff” — yeah we didn’t know such a thing existed — Browns linebacker Scott Fujita was asked what players say to kickers after they misses a big field goal.
“It depends who your kicker is,” said Fujita. “When I was in Kansas City
with Morten Andersen, you didn’t say a word. His track record spoke
The Saints didn’t have a Morten Andersen last year. They had Garrett Hartley, who still faced many doubts after an early season suspension.
“Last December when I was with New Orleans, our
fat punk kicker, Garrett Hartley, missed a game-winner and we lost for
the second week in a row – that was one of the times you want to grab a
guy and tell him to [bug ] off,” Fujita said. “But Hartley was young, and I didn’t
want to mess him up for good, so I just bit my lip and said, ‘Hey, man,
don’t worry about it — it was a team loss,’ which of course was a total
Awesome. “Fat punk kicker” now must enter the derogatory kicker lexicon alongside “idiot kicker who got liquored up.”
(Hartley getting called out isn’t a shocker. In my week down at the Super Bowl, Hartley easily led the Saints in ego:status ratio.)
Fujita followed up his story by saying he was happy he didn’t say anything to Hartley, who wound up becoming a hero in the NFC Championship and putting together perhaps the best Super Bowl kicking performance of all time.
Not bad for a fat punk kicker.
(Hat tip to Waiting for Next Year for catching this story.)