The Giants heading to San Francisco to meet the 49ers in the playoffs has brought back painful memories for Giants fans of the last time that happened, nine years ago, when New York lost thanks in large part to a bad snap from a new long snapper, Trey Junkin.
But if those memories are painful for Giants fans, they’re haunting for Junkin.
“It still jolts me from sleep,” Junkin told the New York Daily News.
Junkin had a long and largely successful NFL career as a long snapper, but he knows most people only remember the last snap he ever made, a bad snap for the Giants on what could have been a game-winning field goal.
“For 19 years I tried to be invisible in my profession,” Junkin said. “Once I put my hands on that ball that day, that sh—y snap was my fault. I think about it every day.”
Junkin had already retired from the NFL before that playoff game nine years ago, but when the Giants’ regular long snapper was injured, they gave him a call and he came out of retirement for the playoffs. Maybe if that playoff run for the Giants had earned him a Super Bowl ring he’d feel differently, but Junkin doesn’t sound happy about his career in hindsight. He said he’s had six surgeries on his left leg and several surgeries on both shoulders.
“I took Vicodin pills on game days just to make sure my only focus would be on winning, never any pain,” he said. “I wanted to get hit in the head. Please! Hit me in the head. Just not the shoulder or anywhere else.”
Junkin was far from the only reason the Giants lost that game. The officials missed a blatant pass interference call after Junkin’s bad snap that should have given the Giants another chance, and the Giants’ defense gave up a 24-point lead. But Junkin accepted the blame for that game then, and all these years later, he still does.