November 20, 2011
Punters get a bad rap sometimes. Though hardly derided as much as kickers, they're not widely considered to be "real football players," an unfair distinction when you consider that some of the greats throughout history were fine athletes in their own right.
Sammy Baugh was a Hall of Fame quarterback. Ray Guy started at safety in college. Reggie Roby was drafted by the Cincinnati Reds.
Green Bay Packers punter Tim Masthay(notes) has a decorated sporting pedigree too. He was a four-year letter winner in football, basketball and baseball in high school and was an all-state receiver in Kentucky. Yet because he's a punter and because he had a starring role in a bumbling play in which he fumbled not once, but twice, millions will see him and reinforce the punter stereotype.
And I'll tell ya, after watching this play five times, I can't blame them.
This is where Masthay's sporting past may have been a detriment rather than a boon. Perhaps he was too confident in his ability to run while holding a football that he didn't concentrate enough, thus leading to the drop. Or maybe the stereotype is true.
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