- Cullman, Alabama

Top Sports

July 6, 2006

Players fans love and hate

NFL Hall of Famer Lou Groza once said, "Old place-kickers never die, they just go on missing the point."

There has been a lot of talk in recent years about kickers and their importance to the game.

There has been a song written by Adam Sandler about the ups and downs of a kicker titled "The Lonely Kicker."

ESPN's mans-man Sean Salisbury said there is no place or use for kickers in today's game. He even said they were not real athletes.

This comes from a guy that threw just as many interceptions as he did touchdowns.

But is this true? Is there too much credit given to kickers when they hit a game winning field goal? Is there too much blame put on kickers when they miss?

"A kicker is a hero one day and a villain the next," said Cullman football coach Mark Britton. "My kicker (John Nyquist) is very level headed, and we have talked about it. We don't lose confidence in him. If your quarterback throws an interception you don't stop throwing the football. It's the same for a kicker."

Cullman's John Nyquist is hoping to sign a scholarship to kick at the collegiate level and I think he secretly wants to play for an SEC school.

Who wouldn't want to kick at Death Valley in front of 92,000 people?

"It would be crazy to kick in Death Valley," Nyquist said. "There are so many fans, it would just be crazy."

What most people don't realize, kickers are not always just given scholarships. They earn them every day.

Former Cullman and Alabama kicker Brian Bostick was an All-SEC kicker his senior season. What most people don't know is that he started his career as a walk on and earned his scholarship.

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