the study of the kicking components within sports

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Definitive Preview Guide to Super Bowl XLV

With Super Bowl XLV almost here, the media blitz has been in full force. For those that don't have the time to read, listen to, and watch the vast array of available information, Kickology provides you with the following essential pre-game information. Once you've read this, you will be fully prepared to enjoy the game.

Pittsburgh Steelers

Long snapper: Greg Warren
  • Greg first learned the snapping trade from his coach at Southern Wayne High. Coach Bon Warren was well versed in long snapping, having played that position back in the day. He also had time to put in extra work with Greg, as they are father and son.
  • In a recent interview, he discussed his three trips to the big game, "The first one happened so quick, because it was my first year in the league and is was almost like a blur. It was like that whole season I was just trying to make it and stay in the NFL. At the time, the Super Bowl was just another game. I’m glad I didn’t overthink it because it might have changed things. The second time I was hurt, so I feel like the third time will be more special, because I can appreciate it a little more. Being injured twice and tearing two ACLs, I didn’t know if I’d ever get this opportunity again. It really makes you appreciate every game and especially a game of this magnitude."
  • Greg assists with the charity golf tournament run by Sport For Special Kids, which provides resources to existing organizations to help further their ability to provide sports and physical activities for kids with physical and developmental disabilities.
Punter & holder: Jeremy Kapinos
  • Like Greg, Jeremy also learned his trade from his high school coach, at West Springfield High. Coach Bill Renner wasn't Jeremy's father, but he did have a strong punting background, having been the punter for the Green Bay Packers for two years.
  • The Green Bay connection also applies to Jeremy himself, as he too spent two years with the Packers. He recently discussed going up against his old team in the Super Bowl, "It’s just ironic. I don’t have any other words for it, I guess. There’s one goal, and there’s only one team that gets to hoist the trophy, and that’s what we want to do. It wouldn’t matter if it was old Joe [Paterno] on the sidelines, I’d still want to beat him.”
  • When Jeremy made the switch from soccer to football, his parents limited his options to a kicking role due to concern over potential injuries at other positions. Ironically, it was an injury to a punter, Daniel Sepulveda, that led to the Steelers' job opening which Jeremy filled.
Kicker: Shaun Suisham
  • Like virtually every kicker these days, Shaun started out playing soccer, but unlike most, his favorite sport was hockey. His high school team-mate Marv Barr noted, "Hockey was his passion, and he was a really physical defenceman. If you had asked him back then what he was going to do after high school, he would have never said he’d be going on a scholarship to be a college kicker."
  • Shaun discussed the possibility of kicking the game winner in the Super Bowl, "I would just be happy to win. I don't care how it happens. If I'm asked to kick the field goal, great. But winning is what's important to me. I have great peace knowing that I've prepared the way I should, and I put myself in the best position that I can when I'm on the field. It allows me to relax, and just worry about putting the foot on the ball. If I do that, it should go exactly where I want it to."
  • Shaun runs hosts the annual Kicking It For Kids, a free non-contact fundamental football camp for boys and girls, in his hometown of Wallaceburg Ontario.

Green Bay Packers

Long snapper: Brett Goode
  • Brett got his start in football at the Fort Smith Boys & Girls Club, whose mission is to help youth of all backgrounds develop qualities needed to become responsible citizens and leaders..
  • In a recent interview he discussed the prospect of playing the Super Bowl, "This being the greatest show of football and being able to be a part of it with a great franchise like the Packers is really just an unbelievable dream come true.... It's awesome that it's close. You couldn't ask for a better place to have a Super Bowl this close to home."
  • Brett's best friend on the team is quarterback Aaron Rodgers. Their activities include playing Go Fish and playing guitar at open-mic nights at area coffee houses.

Punter & holder: Tim Masthay
  • Tim played baseball and basketball at Murray High School in Kentucky, and after the football coach convinced the reluctant Tim to add football, he added punter, placekicker, kickoff returner, wide receiver to his resume.
  • Masthay recently commented on where the past year has brought him, "Technically I was under contract with the Packers at this time [last year], but I hadn't been up here yet. I was still tutoring 20 hours a week at the university and going to the gym by myself. It's kind of surreal. I'm sure when the season's over, I'll really reflect a lot. But I'm just excited to be going to Dallas for the Super Bowl."
  • Most NFL players are involved in various charitable activities. Tim got a head start in that regard during college at the University of Kentucky. As his coach noted at the time, "He's the complete definition of student-athlete. And not only is he outstanding on the football field and in the classroom, he also finds enough time to devote to charitable causes."
Kicker: Mason Crosby
  • Mason's father, Jim Crosby, recalls how things began when he son was ten years old, "We liked to go out and throw the football around all the time. Because he was also playing soccer, I said, 'Hey, Mason. Let's kick some field goals.' He kicked a 30-yard field goal, and I was like, 'Man, something is going on here.' He fell in love with kicking really quick after that."
  • Mason discussed the possibility of kicking the game winner in the Super Bowl, "Obviously, when Vinatieri hit his [first] game-winner, it defined him as the clutch kicker he is. Those moments are the ones every kicker looks at and says, ‘It's a defining moment.' It's the opportunity you hope you get at some point.... Every day, I think I've been embracing it a little more. I've been getting asked, ‘What if it comes down to a game-winning kick?' First off, it's always been my way to look at that first kick. It's the Super Bowl, first time I get a chance to be on the field, I want to go out there and make that statement, then we'll go from there."
  • Mason serves on the board of directors for a charity based in his hometown called Eagle Locker, an organization that aims to raise awareness of the homeless teen problem in Georgetown and to obtain city funding to build a center for homeless teens that would provide shelter, counseling and academic assistance.

1 comment:

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