10/31/2006: "MY SON THE NFL PUNTER"
At present time your Bona Fide Sports Expert does not have a Bona Fide Sports Expert Jr. Hopefully in the future an Heir to the Throne of sports journalism will be born. Just like any other father who is a sports lover, I would like for my boy to grow to be a football player. The reason is because, like Al Bundy, I was a pee-wee football star (ran back a punt for a TD first time I touch the ball), I was a high school football star (7 catches 150 yards 2 TDs in my last high school football game, playoff loss that was the QB fault for playing like ďGarbageĒ Harrington), and a Flag football monster at The Ohio State University (3 intramural championship playing the Slash Role of QB, WR and safety, before I got a girlfriend and realized there was something better than the thrill of victory if you know what I mean). The NFL is my expertise, I watch every game twice (once on the NFL Sunday Ticket, then on DIRECTV shortcuts on Thursday) and I have decided when Junior Littal does come into this world I am going to make him into a World Class Punter.
What???????????????? Please let me explain.
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Punters I have determined is the best job in the world, right above being the pool boy for the Playboy mansion. Lets break down the other positions in the NFL to explain why Punter is they way to go for your offspring.
I understand you want your boy to be the next Joe Montana, but they fact of the matter is they are more likely to end up like Quincy Carter sipping grey goose on a curb in Ontario somewhere. Even if you do groom your boy to be the perfect QB it is a 30/70 shot that he will be able to handle the mental pressures of the NFL and will probably end up like Joey Harrington. To be honest, if you want to groom your son to be a QB, it would be better to groom him to be the backup QB everybody loves the backup and they get paid handsomely to hold a clipboard, just ask Damon Huard or David Gerrard.
DON'T LET YOUR SON BECOME QUINCY CARTER:
You think your little one is the next Barry Sanders the way he jukes you around the kitchen when you are trying to get him to take a bath, so you think RB is the way to go. You would be wrong, first off RB is the position that has the shortest life expectance in the league (3 years), secondly even if you are good it is hard to get paid and lastly they think you are washed up at 30. Throw on top of that Running Backs take more punishment than anyone else on the field; it is more likely will end up like Earl Campbell crip walking in a nursing home.
A couple of things your boy needs to be if he is going to be a WR, he has to be flamboyant, outspoken, confident, flashy and independent (wonder how I ended up at that position). If you boy can ball he can definitely become a star at the WR position, but there are a few negatives. The bias sports media seem to have an obsession with flamboyant, outspoken, confident, flashy independent guys. It is called ďT.O.Ē disease. Also playing WR can be hazardous to your sonís health where safeties who wish they were WRs are just looking to take their head off.
Your boy has to be Artetha Franklin fat, meaning as a teen he will probably have an eating disorder. Besides being a fat boy, it isnít like offensive lineman are a hit with the ladies. The money is good if you are a left tackle, but on the flip side the only time your boy will get notice is when his QB is getting sacked or he gets called for a false start. Worst donít let your boy be drafted by the Broncos because while Wile E Shanhanan and the Running backs get all the love, you canít even speak to the media to get your shine on.
IF YOUR SON LOOKS LIKE THIS AT 12 HE HAS A CHANCE TO BE A DECENT OL
Normally in the NFL there are only 3-4 premium TE and they get paid less the most #2 or #3 receivers. Basically a Tight End was too fat to play WR and too skinny to play O-Line, so they made him a TE.
First off forget about making your son a D-tackle unless your boy is a colorful personality like Warren Sapp. More than likely he will only get notice if he stomps on someoneís head like Albert Haynesworth. Defensive End is the place to go for the glory and the money, but in reality you almost would be better off trying to make him into a quality QB because premium defensive lineman are hard to find.
Besides Punter, Linebacker maybe the best way to go with your boy. Linebackers can become celebrities at all three position (middle, strong and weak). The two qualities to be a LB being fast and being big can be trained. The downside is it is a hard way to make a living beating your head against offensive linemen, fullbacks, and running backs for 10 years. Very difficult to come away from that position healthy. Plus you need a good name like Dick Butkus to stand out.
The bizarro Wide Receivers. The pros of grooming your boy to be a DB is that the money is good (for corners, not so much for safeties) and now it is consider a glamour position thanks to Deion Sanders. The cons are that there are very few premium corners in the league and even the premium corners are mostly remember for when they were burned. See Champ Bailey vs. Jerry Porter. I am sure Champ has had 20-25 games since then where he has played excellent, but have a conversation about him and Jerry Porter torching him on Sunday Night will come up.
This is possibly the worst career choice your son can take. The kicker is never considered a part of the team, but he can be responsible for the destruction of a team. Look at someone like Neil Rackers, last year he was perfect, this year because of two missed kicks he will be partly responsible for the Dennis Green firing (when it happens) and the downfall of a promising season for the Cardinals. Scott Norwood canít show his face in the city of Buffalo. Unless your name is Adam Vinatieri being a kicker puts you and your son on constant suicide watch, sort of like being Mike Tysonís maid.
LACES OUT!!! (sorry I couldn't help myself)
This brings us to our position of choice:
Average salary for NFL punter: $800,000 a year. That is a great salary for someone who only works 16 weeks a year, doesnít have to practice full time and rarely gets injured. The punter is only called upon when someone else fails. If you see the punter too much it isnít his fault it is the offense fault for being so bad. Even when it is a screw up on the punt it almost never his fault. If it is a bad snap it it the long snappers fault, if it is a block punt it is the line protection fault and if it is a punt return for a TD it is the coverage unitís fault. If that punter canít make the saving tackle, then well he is just the punter, but if he does make the tackle he is a hero. The punter is almost never responsible for the outcome of the game. If your son is lucky enough to be the punter for an explosive offensive team like the Colts he may only have to punt twice a week. Lets say the punter makes 40 punts a year on a good team, that is $20,000 per punt where else can you make that type of living. Plus with all the benefits of being an NFL players. Sure the punter may not be getting the Scarlett Johansson looking groupies, but they are better looking than what your Bona Fide Sports Expert gets (no offense to the lovely ladies who email me daily).
Here is the best part; you can train your kid to be a punter. They have schools were you can send you lad to be a punter. You can get instructional videos, like those Tom Emanski ones I am sending to the Detroit Tigerís pitching staff. The only downside is if your son decides he wants to be all macho and stick his nose in the tackle he will probably end up with his brain scramble worst than Ben Rothlisberger. So when the Bona Fide Expert Jr. comes into this world instead of hoping he becomes the next Reggie Bush I will be planning for him to become the next Reggie Roby (RIP).