Every Team Needs A Kicker

Greetings from London. My brother in law and I flew in yesterday from Belfast to watch the Los Angeles Rams – Arizona Cardinals NFL game at Twickenham along with 72,000 other fans. I’ve been an NFL fan since I was sixteen when it was first aired in the U.K. Since then I’ve had a love/hate (mostly hate) relationship with the Washington Redskins; three time Super Bowl champions but, nowadays, perennial underachievers.

The match itself was a birthday present from Fionnuala and the kids and I had been looking forward to the day for almost six months. When it came I wasn’t disappointed. The NFL certainly knows how to put on a show. There were pyrotechnics, cheerleaders and marching bands, and that was all before a ball was kicked or thrown. In the end the Rams won comfortably in a very one sided match up but that didn’t deflect from our enjoyment of the day. 

I particularly enjoyed watching the teams warming up before the match started. The first players out to do so were the kickers. I wondered at this as their participation in the game is minimal. They don’t tackle, run or throw the ball. They just come on the field occasionally to try and kick a field goal or extra point after a touchdown. You could even argue that they are not even real American football players as their jersies never seem to get dirty. All they have to do is kick the ball through the posts. How hard can that be?

The kicker for the Rams was warming up at our end of the pitch. His preparation was meticulous, taking kick after kick from various distances and fine tuning his technique with every attempt. His accuracy was unerring and the strength of his kicking leg was incredible. At one point he converted a 70 yard kick. And that was him just warming up. As the warm up ended I remarked to my brother in law that the Rams kicker would not miss a kick during the match itself, such was his preparation.

And I was right, he didn’t. Five times the Rams offense got within scoring distance but were unable to score a touchdown. Five times the kicker came on and BAM, the ball went sailing between the post for another three points. The same went for the extra point attempts after the Rams scored a touchdown. In the end he scored 18 of the Rams total of 33 points. There are 50 players on a team yet he scored over half of their points. I left the stadium with a new found respect for a position I had once mocked as not being a ‘real’ American football player. 

American football teams, like all teams, are made up of people with different skills and abilities. They all have a role to play and, no matter how minor or insignificant that role might seem, without them doing so the team itself cannot effectively function. An American football team needs high profile players like the quarterback who regularly grab the spotlight and headlines. But they also need guys like the kickers who you might rarely see but who can win or lose the game with just a single kick. Their role within the team is just as important.

The same goes for life. We all have a role to play. You might be reading this now feeling insignificant and undervalued. You might feel inadequate and useless. That’s not true. You have an important job to perform in this game called life. You might not know what that is yet, you might be doing it now and not even realise it. Without it however, and without you, the world is a lesser place. You are needed and your time will come, like the kicker in the big game. So never undervalue yourself and your skills and talents. For without them the world is a duller place.

Be prepared. Stay focused and keep practicing. For your moment will come. God put you on this planet for a reason and has a plan for you. Never lose hope for the day is fast approaching when you are called off the sideline and thrown into the game. Your actions and your words could change someone’s life. Forever and for the better. You could be their lifeline. You just have to be patient and, like the kicker, hone your talent day after day so that when you are called upon the ball goes sailing between the uprights.

Every team needs a kicker. The team called humanity needs you.

What’s the biggest sporting event you’ve ever attended?

Are you a NFL fan?

Do you feel part of a team? Or are you sitting on the sidelines feeling lost and lonely?

Published by Fractured Faith Blog

We are Stephen and Fionnuala and this is our story. We live in Northern Ireland, have been married for 17 years and have three kids - Adam, Hannah and Rebecca. We hope that our story will inspire and encourage others. We have walked a rocky road yet here we are today, together and stronger than ever. We are far from perfect and our faith has been battered and bruised. But an untested faith is a pointless faith. Just as a fractured faith is better than none at all. We hope you enjoy the blog.

24 thoughts on “Every Team Needs A Kicker

  1. Living in the USA, we are surrounded by football from the late stages of August through February. The state in which I live is Alabama and to say that people in this state are crazy about football would be a gross understatement. Wherever we travel across the USA when people hear that our home is in Alabama, it’s inevitable that we then hear “Roll Tide.” It is a source of amusement for my husband and myself, since neither of us are big football fans. I am happy that you got a taste of football live and in person. No broadcast can truly capture what you experience when you attend the event live – hmmm, I feel a blog post coming on in the future about this. Have a blessed day.


  2. I’m glad you had such a great time! I’m more of a college football fan, as my husband and I went to a school where football is a huge part of the culture.

    I used to play ice hockey and was the goaltender. I loved being part of a team, even though I had a bigger role than my teammates, which I wasn’t the greatest at. We still had fun, win or lose, which I think is also important.


  3. Love this! I’m not an NFL fan but I am a college basketball fan! I went to a game at the Dean Dome back in 2008 and got to see my favorite player, Tyler Hansbrough, break Phil Fords scoring record! Go Tar Heels! Lol
    But in all seriousness, I loved this post! Great analogy!


  4. The NFL has really become a show, but the hard work and preparation that goes into it, oftentimes behind the scenes, really does get lost. The Philadelphia Eagles, playing your Washington Redskins tonight, lost their kicker earlier in the year. They signed another kicker off another team’s practice squad and he’s been a gem. I think that’s why fans love it so much, the stories that each new week generates. And as you point out, the kicker is often the guy everyone forgets about . . . until you need him the most. Great points. Thanks for the reminder of the role we all play! A wonderful message. God bless you.


  5. I don’t watch football anymore they have no respect for our flag idc if they protest but not during the national anthem so they lost me as a watcher my team is kneeling also so I’m done


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