With a handful of exceptions, kickers don’t receive much respect — and if you’ve ever seen Garo Yepremian attempting a forward pass (or making a cameo on “The Odd Couple”), you might know why. But in the aftermath of the Eagles’ narrow win over the penalty-plagued Raiders yesterday, David Ackers’ understudy paid him a huge compliment. Though it would’ve meant more coming from a non-kicker.
From the Philadelphia Daily News’ Sam Donnellon :
He has argued for years that he is an athlete by nature, kicker by trade. And it’s not that he wasn’t believed. It’s just when a guy speaks eye-to-eye to you in a locker room full of stadium-sized football players, in a locker room full of discolored limbs, of braces, of casts and tape – well, it’s like, “Yeah sure.”
“They call him a kicker, but he’s not a kicker,” Mike Bartrum, his kickoff replacement, was saying after Akers winced the Eagles to a 23-20 victory over the Raiders with a 23-yard field goal in the waning seconds of the game. “He’s a football player.”
“A tough guy,” Bartrum also said, a description that echoed throughout a locker room more relieved than celebratory.
The gratitude shown to Akers was in stark contrast to the treatment of Cowboys kicker Jose Cortez, as noted at Cowboys.com.
When Jose Cortez missed his first extra point attempt thanks to Jon Condo’s snap bouncing in to holder Tony Romo, Larry Allen not only got in Cortez’s face, but he yanked off his helmet and shoved the kicker – all causing Fox sideline reporter Tony Siragusa to say something to the effect of, “Either Cortez knew it wasn’t his fault or he’s stupid for not running away from Larry Allen.”
All is well that ends well, but Cortez said he’s never had a teammate come at him like that after a missed kick, although some observers thought Cortez might have said something to Condo for the low snap.