The other day I was enjoying a latte at my local with a girlfriend, and she suddenly grabbed my arm, sloshing a little double hazelnut onto my wrist.
"What are we going to do without Josh?" she implored, baby blues puddling. I shrugged and said, "Get a new kicker?" She gasped, horrified. "But what about all those games he won for us?"
I decided to explain a few things about kickers to her. Perhaps some others have this misconception about the importance of kickers. Josh seems to, so maybe this will be helpful to him as well.
First of all, kickers are the runts of the NFL litter. I am almost as tall as Martin Gramatica, and I topped his playing weight with both of my pregnancies. The only way someone that size is setting foot on a pro football field is as a turf installer, or as a kicker. It is the only way someone that size is stepping onto a college football field. The whole Gramatica line is proof you can turn a decent soccer player into a decent field goal kicker in an afternoon.
Don’t get me wrong; I respect the hell out of them. Someone who weighs a buck seventy with preternaturally large thighs, and he manages to carve out a career in the NFL? More power to you!
It is the safest place on the field, and you still make a very nice living. Better yet, you are instantly a hero just by showing up and doing your job with an 80 percent success rate. If there had been any indication they were going to let a woman do it two decades ago, I would have given it a shot.
So, go dude, y’know? But don’t get all crazy, thinking you are indispensable. You are not. You are interchangeable. At best.
Secondly, what kind of a kicker name is Josh Brown? I seriously considered naming my son Xerxes Arrowsmith, because all the really good kickers have weird names. Vinatieri and Kaeding are the top fantasy kickers for the ’08 draft. Top prospects coming out of college? The first five are Carmody, Mehlhaff, Longest (I’ll take him!), Serna, and Coutu. That is a great kicker class!
In Seattle, we have newscasters with better kicker names: Harry Wappler, Theron Zhan, and my favorite, Gulstan Dart. Josh Brown? He is your mechanic, your accountant, the bartender at the corner bar. He is number 10 on the FFL list, between Gostkowski and Elam. I would be happy as a lark to see either one in a ‘Hawk uniform. Or we have the four-time champion Seattle Sounders to go to.
Thirdly (and this is just for Josh), Seattle is such a baaaad town to leave. Really, leaving in and of itself is enough to make the average fan consider you dirt. When you mouth off as you leave, you are dead to the serious fan. You have insured a lifetime of being booed each and every time you return to the Northwest.
Take A-Rod. He helped save our hometown nine, and helped to get our sparkling jewel of a stadium built. When he became a free agent, he decided to test the market, citing the exact same reason as Josh: "It isn’t about the money, I want a chance to play for a winner."
Then he took $252 million to play for the Texas Rangers. They won a whopping 73 games his first year, finishing dead last in the division. They got roughly the same result the next year.
It is eight years later and we are still booing him. Enjoy the money, because the wins (and cheers) will be scarce. The Rams won three games last year. Perhaps with Josh they can win four. None of them will be against the Seahawks.