One may wonder, can somebody truly be a badass on special teams? The answer is a 100% yes. Next time you watch a game, instead of watching the kick returner take it back, watch everybody else. You will be overwhelmed with tons of cheap hits, tons of shit talking, and clean hits that make you wonder how that guy is even alive. Kick off and punt return is just a true battlefield.
Kicker: Adam Vinatieri
I like to call Vinatieri the “Soul Crusher”. At the age of 45, this badass is still kicking absolute bombs, sending his new kick holders to holding school (yes, it is a thing) and crushing opposing teams dreams like its nothing. Vinatieri has a had a very lengthy 22-year career, and it has earned himself a number two spot on the all-time scorer’s list only trailing Morten Anderson (ahead of notable greats such as Randy Moss, LT, Emmit Smith, etc.).
Punter: Marquette King
This Oakland Raider punter is making punting cool for the first time ever. He has given the position the swag it needs. As a matter of fact, King’s jersey was the first ever punter jersey I ever saw in a store. You can catch King dropping coffin corner bombs on the opposing team week in and week out (especially this season because the Raiders forgot how to football). What I love most about King are his countless celebrations that will just leave you laughing.
Kick Holder/ Kickoff Specialist: Pat McAfee
This guy right here is my hero so I may be a little bias. McAfee was a punter for the Colts for a short period of time due to injuries and surgeries he had over the years. I spoke briefly about Vinatieri sending his new holders to holding school, well this is the guy. McAfee told the story on his talk show through Barstool Sports, and it may be one of the funniest stories ever.
McAfee isn’t just a funny guy when he played he actually would lay the wood on special teams. I remember one hit where he hit the returner so hard, he went airborne. McAfee was a close second for the starting punter on this, but King had a little edge on him.
Kick Returner: Devin Hester
Greatest. Kick. Returner. Ever. Hester had a relatively short career, but this badass somehow managed to hit Sportscenter almost every night for a crazy return during his moderately short career. Honestly, Hester was a shitty receiver and if it wasn’t for his return ability, he would have never played a snap in the NFL. Hester had the blazing speed and moves that gave teams nightmares about special teams (And me on Madden 06). The guy was a human cheat code. To tell you how good of a returner he was and how bad of a receiver he was, he had more kick returns for touchdowns than catches (20-16 Absurd). One moment that sticks out to me with Hester is when the opposing team went for a field goal, but it was short. Hester fielded the kick and walked at a normal pace out of the end zone and then took off for over 100 yards to the house.
Long Snapper: Nobody…
Sorry long snappers, you all are soft. Nobody can touch you until a certain amount of yards? Softer than Charmin.
This concludes week 2 of this series, and I hope you enjoyed this article. Remember to stay tuned for fresh daily continent from myself and the rest of the Mid American Crew. Thank you so much for spending another Friday with me.