Odds and (burnt) Ends: Dessert Medley: Special Teams Assortment

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Today’s course requires a bit of table-setting, so please bear with me.  The medley itself is ST, accompanied by random chance, luck, and superstitions.  Our Dude wrote of game day traditions.  Mine, once I’d received my game day jersey, was that and my hat while at the games, but at home, I’m clumsy.  I’m clumsy, so I only gear up when I feel we need some mojo, y’know?  Like the rally cap thing.

So, having written on the O and the D, I wanted to complete the loop, but Special teams are, well, special.  The TV crew covers most ST plays almost as an afterthought, and 3, maybe 4 ST players are the most you are really aware of during the game, the kickers, a returner, maybe another guy.  What to write about?  Then Sunday happened, and I knew.  Butker missed – twice. 

Football is still a brutally unforgiving game, despite the injury situation’s ongoing improvement, but not just physically.  At the NFL level, small things can balloon, today’s G.O.A.T. can be tomorrow’s goat, and even with perfect recovery an injury can sidetrack or derail a career.  Nowhere is this more obvious than on the ST unit.  The majority of the time that the ST unit’s on the field, half the people are only paying half-attention to it, and the other half aren’t watching at all.  The rest of the time, every eye is focused on the screen.   And for every shining moment in the spotlight, there are likely to be more moments in the doghouse.  

Which brings us back to Buttkicker.com, he of the two missed kicks.  Think about those kicks, for a moment.  Neither was notably long, not really.  He missed both in the same direction, but they were well separated by time.  The only other thing they have in common must be Butker, right?  It wasn’t a windy day, or any weird weather, or icing the kicker.  Obviously, the only thing they have in common is Butker. 

What if I told you that’s wrong?  What if I told you that two stray gusts of wind threw two completely separate kicks off in the same direction and by much the same amount?  What are the odds?  And yet that, I am pretty sure, is exactly what happened.

You see, I watched the first miss, and something caught my eye.  The orange ribbon on the right-side upright (TV view) had been blowing left, which was why I thought he’d missed – but as the camera panned across, the opposite pole’s ribbon was dangling limply.  Since there was no follow-on remark about wind, I presumed that it’d been nothing of note – but I didn’t forget it, either. 

Remember my “jersey mojo” thing?  Late in the 4th, 4th-and-nine, and things are looking grim.  Mrs. BRAG looks over at me and says “Don’t you think it’s time to gear up?”, and gear up I faithfully did – sitting down just in time to see that jaw-dropping play in its entirety.  Team Mojo FTW! right?  Stayed geared, Butker missed again, and we are still savoring the sweetness of the end, tonight.  But that’s just a nice story about a sweet coincidence.  Sports superstitions aren’t magic, they don’t bend the fabric of time and space.  But many of us have them.  Why?  Well, they’re fun, of course, and often traditional – but so are fireworks, and few people, even those who like fireworks, get too bent out of shape if they miss out a year.  Sports superstitions are taken a mite more seriously.

Remember Butker’s kicks?  Well-separated by time and situation?  When I was talking this over with Tony, he told me it was funny, a neutral fan who was attending with a relative mentioned to him that he’d felt a gust of wind, right after the snap on the second Butker miss.  The second one.  Remember what I saw with the ribbon?  That was the first one.  Those two kicks have evidence to support the probability that two separate, stray, random gusts of air blew two well-spaced kicks in the same direction and by about the same amount.  Life’s tough on Special Teams.

I don’t know about anyone else, but I’m keeping my gear on standby, just in case. 

Shack’s closed!

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Berserker
Berserker
12/11/2018 6:49 pm

I think Butker just got cold. He’s used to kicking about twice as much during a game….

Cheat Code
Cheat Code
12/11/2018 5:14 pm

Butker is on thin ice. He’s one miss away from a visit to Tony’s dungeon.

Anthony Stratton
Reply to  Cheat Code
12/11/2018 6:24 pm

My underground sex pool?

Chiefsfan115
Chiefsfan115
12/11/2018 2:07 pm

I thought watching the game live that the wind blew the first kick out. The snap was bad on the second kick that was missed.

starry1
12/11/2018 1:22 pm

The second missed kicked at the end of regulation was a bad snap and ball placement.

Team Player
Team Player
Reply to  BleedingRedAndGold
12/11/2018 1:47 pm

Nope. The article is a conversation starter. We aren’t Another Place, we endorse participation

Team Player
Team Player
Reply to  Team Player
12/11/2018 1:48 pm

(And, yes, there IS a mouse in my pocket)

Panzer85
Panzer85
12/11/2018 1:21 pm

Mahomes is Odysseus and the Football Gods are mad for mocking them this season and so the ship crew (Watkins, Morse, Ervin, Hill, BUTKER, etc.) suffers. But eventually the Gods returned (Berry) and found favor in Odysseus and brought him home to reign once more!

HawaiiFiveOh
HawaiiFiveOh
Reply to  Panzer85
12/11/2018 2:47 pm

Who was Mahomes looking at when he threw the pass to D-Rob?

Nobody.

Team Player
Team Player
12/11/2018 1:20 pm

I must be downright curmudgeonly today. After selecting a Qb coach as the person to become the passing-dominant OC to run his offense, Zimmer demanded a running offense -halfway through the season- trying to hammer a square peg into a round hole. So he fires the OC after a game where they couldn’t run and replaces him with a QB coach. Brilliant.

And the quote from the offseason about expecting loyalty to trump free agency from assistant coaches? Set my teeth on edge.

A Lunar Ting
12/11/2018 1:03 pm

Bill Belichick is on a conference call with Pittsburgh media currently.
He sounds as enthralled and thrilled as always.

He mentions that the Steelers are "playing extremely well."
He also mentions, as one part of his proof, the Steelers' kicking game

?

— Chris Adamski (@C_AdamskiTrib) December 11, 2018

01lowbird
12/11/2018 12:57 pm

Two weeks in a row…..
I see the article headline, I want brisket.
Im 100% making Brisket this weekend.
Pics to follow

Anthony Stratton
Reply to  01lowbird
12/11/2018 1:00 pm

If my niece wasn’t getting married this sat I’d come down and shoot an episode for the Arrowheadguys YouTube channel.

How rude of her!

01lowbird
Reply to  Anthony Stratton
12/11/2018 2:40 pm

I BBQ newd fwiw

Anthony Stratton
Reply to  01lowbird
12/11/2018 5:06 pm

We’ll get more dicks…uh…clicks that way.

starry1
Reply to  Anthony Stratton
12/11/2018 5:08 pm

No. No you won’t.

Spider
Spider
Reply to  01lowbird
12/11/2018 7:00 pm

comment image

starry1
Reply to  01lowbird
12/11/2018 1:23 pm

I need brisket!

HawaiiFiveOh
HawaiiFiveOh
12/11/2018 12:43 pm

Yeah but some fans say he missed kicks this season so he’s anti-clutch.

BuckeyeMike
BuckeyeMike
12/11/2018 12:21 pm

Need that dessert. Good analysis.

BuckeyeMike
BuckeyeMike
Reply to  BleedingRedAndGold
12/11/2018 2:21 pm

Looking forward to it

Falco16
Falco16
12/11/2018 12:17 pm

One thing A coworker noticed is he thinks Butker favors the left hash and on the misses he was on the right hash.

Maybe we need to be more conscious of that when running on third down when there’s a good chance of setting for three

backbone313
backbone313
Reply to  Falco16
12/11/2018 2:21 pm

He was so money at training camp. He would set up on the left, the right, the middle, the sidelines, on top of the scissor lifts… didn’t matter! Through the up rights.

He had bis moment now. He will not want another this season.

Straybrit
Straybrit
Reply to  Falco16
12/11/2018 3:39 pm

OK – time to edjumacate the iggerent furriner.

What controls which hash mark is used for a field goal?

HockeyWinger
HockeyWinger
Reply to  Straybrit
12/11/2018 3:44 pm

Inside the hash marks, the ball is placed where the play stopped. Outside the hash marks (and out of bounds) the ball is placed at the hash on that side.

Straybrit
Straybrit
Reply to  HockeyWinger
12/11/2018 3:47 pm

Thanks – I now feel I can BS with more confidence 🙂

Falco16
Falco16
12/11/2018 12:14 pm

Hmm good to I know there might have been some windage. I was legit thinking he misses in OT and it’s time to cut him.

The one in OT wasn’t a cake walk it started to fade left.

Let’s hope he gets favorable winds from here on out. We need special teams to be special.

Anthony Stratton
Reply to  Falco16
12/11/2018 12:57 pm

My boss was in that EZ and said there was no wind, buy the second he heard the thump of the kick he could feel a gust kick up.

I couldn’t tell b/c i was blocked from the wind.

01lowbird
Reply to  Anthony Stratton
12/11/2018 12:59 pm

UGH……………… reply fail

Anthony Stratton
Reply to  01lowbird
12/11/2018 1:13 pm

Noob…

Mink Farmer
Mink Farmer
Reply to  Anthony Stratton
12/11/2018 1:13 pm

Even the wind is bringing down the ban hammer now? Unreal!

RDD India
RDD India
12/11/2018 12:01 pm

Nice write up BleedingRng. I heard commentator remarked @ the football lace facing opposite. I dunno, may be I didn’t hear it right, I was in agony . Anywho, I do buy the Hand oh God reaching from Heaven’ as a reason! Again very good write up. Thanks for it.

KCChef
KCChef
12/11/2018 11:56 am

OK … Who Farted ? …

Team Player
Team Player
12/11/2018 11:46 am

Love the writeup- but you missed the real culprit. Winchester is so inaccurate that there is no comfort zone for the holder and kicker. Watch every long snap this season. I don’t see him back next year.

Falco16
Falco16
Reply to  Team Player
12/11/2018 12:15 pm

The one snap was low and in, but DC2 got it down. I don’t blame the snap.

Team Player
Team Player
Reply to  Falco16
12/11/2018 12:20 pm

I’m talking confidence. Seriously 2 out of 3 long snaps – punts and FG’s – are way off line. That kills trust even when a snap happens to be good. Kickers are creatures of habit. It’s about practice and consistency.

87t
87t
Reply to  Team Player
12/11/2018 1:58 pm

It creates hesitation, and in return, f’ups. I figured there would be more competition this year. Willing to bet there is next camp.

KC Dude (A.K.A Zif)
12/11/2018 11:26 am

If this was a South American soccer team it would be explained by the hand of God reaching down from the heavens and knocking them away.

Team Player
Team Player
Reply to  KC Dude (A.K.A Zif)
12/11/2018 11:31 am

The hand of God knocked it in for Maradona. Are you talking retribution or karma?

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