Sunday, May 2, 2010

Hunter Smith: The Lonliest Guy In Football?

Smith was a great punter who rarely punted for the Colts. One imagines him sitting on the sidelines through another excruciatingly long Colts drive punctuated with 15 performances of The Iceman Cometh at the line of scrimmage that finally seems to be winding down with a third-and-17 at the opponent's 44. Smith grabs his helmet, straps it on, kicks his leg over his head a time or two, practices his drop -- and in that time Manning has thrown 23 yards to Reggie Wayne through an opening the size of a Chiclet, and Smith sits down again. in 2006 Smith played in 16 games and punted 47 times, which we all know is less than three times a game. Brian Moorman punts that much before Kevin Harlan has his throat completely cleared. Another way to look at it is this: In 10 years of punting for the Colts Smith was in the top 10 in yards per punt six times; he was never in the top 10 in punting yards. When the Colts let go of Smith in 2009 it wasn't because he couldn't do the job any more; it was because the Colts forgot what job he was supposed to do. The football equivalent of the Maytag repairman.

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