The penalty is one of the most exciting, or horrific, moments in all of sports, depending on which side of the situation your club is standing when the referee blows his whistle and points to the spot.
It's also one of the single most guaranteed chances for an attacking side to get on the board, with an estimated overall conversion rate of 89.4 percent.
Often criticized for being far too weighted in the kicker's favor, mathematicians and game theorists will tell you that the best chance at success for both the keeper and the kicker is to completely randomize the direction of the kick/dive while giving no indication of which way you're going.
Players, on the other hand, might tell you that it's just "a gut thing."
While that 89.4 percent success rate in the kicker's advantage may seem like more than enough, some players have found a way to make their own figures even more impressive than that.
Here are 15 of the most dangerous penalty takers for any Premier League keeper to face, and a bit of insight into what makes them so successful.
A special thanks to Mohamed Al-Hendy, David Hendrick and Devil In a New Dress for lending their opinions and providing assistance.
Scott Sinclair's first Premier League penalty goal, and first Premier League goal of any variety for that matter, came over the weekend when his newly promoted Swansea City side took on WBA.
The attempt was a spectacular display of calmness, composure and reliability. If Sinclair was nervous about netting his first top-tier goal of his career, he didn't show it. If he had any idea of where he was going to place his shot, he didn't show that either.
Approaching a penalty opportunity the way that Sinclair did is exactly what can make them so hard for keepers to save. Some will say that his lack of penalty experience just made him unpredictable, since lacking a track record gives the keeper no information to use to his advantage.
But if Sinclair approaches them all the way he did over the weekend, I'm sure there's nobody else Swansea would rather have at the spot.
Wayne Rooney's most recent penalty miss aside, the man is one of the most dangerous kickers a goalkeeper can face from the spot.
Converting in almost every opportunity, the Englishman almost never aims for the same part of the net twice. As game theorists will tell you, randomizing your targeted location is the kicker's best strategy when taking a penalty.
Rooney's trouble seems to come when he shoots for the roof of the net, hoping to put it above the keeper's reach as he dives. Maybe he should just avoid that strategy altogether, yeah?
Danny Murphy may be getting a bit "up there" in age, but he's still a terrifying presence for any goalkeeper when it's one on one from the spot.
In fact, Murphy's conversion rate is far and away one of the best in the Premier League, from a purely statistical perspective.
Murphy likes to take his shots high, aiming for the top corner or hoping to hammer it into the roof of the net. This causes the occasional miss far over the bar, but when he takes this approach and hits it correctly it becomes a nightmare for any keeper to reach mid-dive.
Mikel Arteta's latest penalty escapade, as controversial as the decision may have been, was a beauty.
The former Everton man picked his target in the right side of the net, gave no indication of where he was placing his shot and buried the goal with the keeper lying on the ground at the opposite end of the woodwork to give his side the 1-0 victory over Blackburn.
And it wasn't his first display of penalty-taking composure. The Spaniard was the go-to man for the job for Everton for many years before his late-summer transfer to Arsenal, and he boasts one of the most statistically perfect records in England.
Bolton may not be the most overwhelming side for a Premier League squad to defend, but in the event that they do concede a mistake or a bad foul in the box, they're in for some trouble.
Kevin Davies is not only the most proficient penalty taker on Bolton's roster, he's easily one of the most dangerous in the league, boasting one of the most impressive success rates in England.
He hasn't quite been called to duty as often as some of the other names on the list, but when he is he rarely disappoints. Unless your cheering for the other side, that is.
For well over a decade now, Liverpool fans have known that if their side gets to take a shot from the spot, Steven Gerrard is the man for the job.
He's calm, collected, great at picking a target and as my colleague and B/R featured columnist Mohamed Al-Hendy described him, "super clutch."
And with a conversion rate of 92 percent, Steven Gerrard enjoys success in his penalties far more often than the average, as well.
Speaking of Liverpool, with a dominating penalty record like Steven Gerrard's on the squad, Liverpool's Dutch striker/winger Dirk Kuyt doesn't get quite as many opportunities from the spot as he would like.
And maybe not as many as he deserves, either.
Kuyt has enjoyed success in nearly every shot he's taken from the penalty marker, relying on the strength of his kick to power the shot home.
When it's coming at you as fast as Kuyt likes to hit the ball, even the best keepers have trouble keeping it out of the net.
Speaking of Liverpool (again), the Reds picked up yet another statistically impressive penalty taker in the most recent summer transfer window: Charlie Adam.
Adam converted a penalty in Blackpool's playoff run to reach Premiership at the end of the 2010-11 season. While it may have been his most meaningful, it wasn't his first or his last.
Adam's penalty miss against Tottenham near the end of last season's EPL campaign was the first of his professional career, giving him a near-perfect statistical record. Famously, Spurs goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes conceded another penalty not 40 seconds later in the ensuing frenzy in the box, which Adam buried with ease to redeem himself.
OK, I know what you're thinking: "This guy is obviously a Liverpool fan."
I'm not, I swear. In fact, I loathe them with every ounce of my being. Hence the goofy picture of the Uruguayan striker (though, in my defense, it's difficult to find one that's not goofy).
But when it's time to go one on one with the keeper from the spot, nobody has as many successful names to choose from when it comes to penalty statistics as Liverpool.
With Ajax, Suarez was the go-to man, taking penalties more often than most names on this list, and burying them nearly 100 percent of the time.
This sort of record can sometimes build up a reputation and give a keeper plenty of information to utilize in the dreadful moment of the run-up. But that hasn't been the case with Suarez. He continues to be reliable from the spot, giving keepers nightmares for weeks following the ordeal.
When Darren Bent first joined Aston Villa, he was reportedly told by Ashley Young that he would not be taking up the club's penalty duties anytime soon.
Maybe that decision was a bit hasty, given that Bent has enjoyed far more success from the spot than Young has.
He's a consistent threat from the spot, great at picking a location and capable of putting enough power behind his shot to break it past the keeper's dive, even if the keeper guesses correctly.
Now on the list by popular demand, Arsenal's Robin van Persie certainly ranks among the most frightening players for any keeper to face from 12 yards out.
My initial hesitation in including the Dutch striker was derived from the information gathered from one of my primary sources in compiling these names: PenaltyHQ, who currently have RVP listed with a 75 percent conversion rate for his penalty attempts (significantly lower than the average).
Though the source is extremely useful as a launching point for initial research, it is a project that is currently incomplete in its effort to compile complete penalty statistics from every point in every player's career.
In truth, Van Persie still lacks a record with as much awe-inspiring flawlessness as some players on this list, but his technique and experience make him a force to be reckoned with on every level, and certainly as deserving of a nod as anybody else I've named.
Carlos Tevez may not be seeing much playing time with Manchester City these days, and I'm sure that there are plenty of players on their newly reinforced, high-priced roster that can bury a penalty kick as well as anybody, but none of them will be quite as skilled at it as Tevez has been.
Tevez boasts a fairly extensive penalty record, which in theory should make him easier to predict for the defending side. But he's not. Not at all.
Tevez is seemingly able pick a spot at random, and blast a frightening drive home, forcing the keeper to guess every time he approaches the spot. A cheat sheet is no comfort for goalkeepers when their defense lets them down and the ref points to the spot in the box.
Mark my words: Newcastle United's new Frenchman, Yohan Cabaye, is going to turn out to be one of the most dangerous men in the league from 12 yards out.
With his former club, Lille, Cabaye was often the easy choice to send to the spot when the referee makes that horrifying gesture that makes defenders plead for mercy.
With a 100 percent success rate in Ligue 1, Cabaye is very much one of the worst opponents a keeper can face in a penalty situation. Even if they don't quite know it yet.
With a powerful shot capable of sending any keeper backwards a few steps, it's no wonder that Tottenham Hotspur's Rafael van der Vaart boasts such an impressive penalty record.
Much of his penalty success came while featuring in the German Bundesliga for his former club Hamburg, but don't think he wasn't called on a couple of times in his stay in Spain with Real Madrid.
His blast-it-home method has earned him a success rate upwards of 93 percent, and made him a very easy selection for this list.
Gareth Barry is what you might describe as a "clutch" penalty kicker.
Barry approaches penalty opportunities with a cold calmness that sends shivers down the keeper's spine. That composure has been exactly what has made his so successful from the spot in the past.
Boasting a success rate upwards of 93 percent, despite having a relatively extensive track record, shows that there's absolutely nothing that Barry needs to change when taking the easy shot from 12 yards.
Frank Lampard has one of the most extensive penalty records among Premiership players today, and one of the most successful records to go along with it.
I suppose there's a good reason why the two would go hand in hand. You keep converting, you keep taking the kicks. It's a pretty simple formula.
And it's a formula that's resulted in Lampard being Chelsea's go-to man for the job for a decade. With a 93 percent conversion record over the past 10 years, there's nobody else that Chelsea fans would prefer to see at the spot.