Ah, the plight of the kicker. He kicks a game-winner, and the praise for the victory gets distributed evenly among the quarterback, running back, head coach and defense, while the kicker maaaaaybe gets a mention in the ninth paragraph of the game recap.
If he misses that potential game-winner, though, the loss is his, his alone, and he should immediately light himself on fire because he is worthless, as a player and a human being.
This is not far off from the viewpoint of Browns linebacker Scott Fujita(notes). Fujita was with the Super Bowl champion Saints last year, and they ended up losing a Week 16 game to Tampa Bay after kicker Garrett Hartley(notes) missed from 37 yards.
Here's what Fujita told GQ (gracias, Waiting for Next Year) about how he feels about kickers missing big kicks.
“But last December when I was with New Orleans,” Fujia continued, ”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. 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 lie.”
Fat punk kicker. That's nice. The same fat punk kicker did go on to kick the Saints into the Super Bowl with a 40-yarder in overtime of the NFC Championship game, so at least he can console himself with that.
Oh, and the fat punk kicker still plays for the world champions. Fujita's in Cleveland.
Fujita acknowledges that he's glad he didn't verbally assault Hartley, so I say we chalk this up to a good old-fashioned "name-calling is bad" lesson. May any young kickers who ever share a roster with Scott Fujita in the future benefit from this experience.