Make Punting Great Again

Fun Fact of the Day:  You already knew that big NBA stars like Steph Curry and Kevin Durant have big sneaker contracts, but did you know that those big shoe deals also come with detailed fashion calendars? Before the start of each season, shoe companies provide detailed lists of each model and color that their stars are expected to wear to each game.


Today’s Rundown

COLLEGE FOOTBALL

Wakeyleaks.  A radio announcer for Wake Forest’s football games was fired for trying to pass along the team’s secret game plans to opponents. Wake Forest got a little suspicious after they found materials about plays they had not run before in the visiting team’s locker room. Afterwards, they ran a full-blown investigation and discovered that the announcer was a former Wake Forest player and assistant coach. Ever since he was let go from the team 2 years ago, he tried to screw Wake Forest over by contacting various opponents to give them the inside scoop. 

 

MLB

Dude looks like a lady.  Ever year, MLB teams haze their rookies by making them dress in crazy costumes, including Disney princesses, cheerleaders, and even Lady Gaga. As you can tell from that list, cross-dressing is a perennial favorite. But MLB is finally catching up with the changing times and they are banning all costumes that may be offensive based on race, sex, nationality, age, sexual orientation, or gender identity.

 

NFL

A poopstorm. The Seattle Seahawks’ vocal cornerback Richard Sherman called the NFL’s Thursday Night Football (TNF) games a “poopfest.” He explained that the short schedule between Sunday and Thursday games means that players don’t get enough rest and can easily get injured. Afterwards, he called out NFL execs for pretending to care about player safety but hypocritically putting players in danger every Thursday. Other reasons to hate TNF.  People have also been blaming the poopy Thursday lineup for the NFL ratings decrease. With primetime football games scheduled for Monday, Thursday, and Sunday nights each week, the NFL just doesn’t have enough great matchups to fill all those time slots.


Spotlight on Marquette King

Punting is usually one of the least exciting parts of a football game… but not when the Oakland Raiders’ Marquette King is playing! King’s fun dance moves have put punting back on the map—or maybe on the map for the first time. Here’s what you need to know about King:

Not your average punter.  Punters don’t usually get a lot of glory or chances to celebrate, but King makes his own opportunities. Over the past 2 games, he’s gotten noticed for his post-punt dance moves, including pretending to ride a horse and dancing with the penalty flag. You know King has officially arrived, because he was even rumored to be romantically involved with Kim Kardashian. Unfortunately, his moves have also drawn some negative attention from his coach, who says he needs to tone it down because they can’t afford his 15-yard excessive celebration penalties every week.

A lot of leg.  King isn’t just a flash in the pan; he’s also great at his job. His powerful kicks produce some of the longest hang times in the biz. Hang time is crucial because the longer the ball stays in the air, the more time the defending team has to go down the field and guard against the return. King’s hang times often reach 5.85 seconds, more than a second longer than the average NFL punter.

One of these things is not like the others.  Even though the NFL is nearly two-thirds African American, King is currently the only black punter and there have only been 5 black punters in NFL history. Why?  No one knows for sure, but Greg Coleman (the first black punter, back in 1976) speculates that it’s because of the low supply of jobs available. Because it’s a low-impact position, most kickers stick around for a long time. With such little turnover, most college kickers can’t go straight to the pros. They have to have the means to spend a couple years practicing after college and some even hire really expensive private kicking lessons. That’s just another reason King is so special. He was largely self-taught and he was able to go straight from Fort Valley State University to the NFL as an undrafted free agent.