Carroll (Southlake, Texas) kicker Ty Cummings is all too familiar with the popular theory that “kickers shouldn’t miss field goals because that’s all they have to practice."
“Our automatic counterargument is that quarterbacks shouldn’t throw interceptions,” Cummings said. “All they do is throw passes for three hours during practice. But, yeah, I know that one isn’t as strong. People are harder on us because they only see us as a last resort. We’re the guy they call in to win the game when no one else can.”
For that reason, according to Cummings, missing a field goal is the “most embarrassing and devastating scenario.”
“It’s just so lonely out there after you miss a field goal,” Cummings said. “You’re never more alone than you are after that. It’s not a good time.”
That’s an understatement.
We had Cummings and two other kickers expound on that embarrassment and dish on fail-proof methods to play it off.
Ty Cummings, Carroll (Southlake, Texas), 2013
Committed to: Houston
The Initial Reaction: “You know immediately that it’s not going to be good. It’s pretty much immediate depression. The worst is when you leave the kick short because the other team can return that. It’s just the worst feeling ever. It’s heartbreaking. It really is. You just let everyone down. You just want to get away. Seriously.”
The Play-off: “You can turn around and look at your holder as if to say, ‘What are you doing?’ It’s pretty much throwing him under the bus, but at least the attention is completely off of you. Sometimes that works, but sometimes it doesn’t. It’s hard to play-off.”
Daniel Carlson, Classical Academy (Colorado Springs, Colo.), 2013
Committed to: Auburn
The Initial Reaction: “Well it pretty much sucks big time. You failed basically. I immediately think about my teammates and how I messed them up by not making the field goal. You don’t have any allies when you miss a field goal. And that feeling lasts for a few minutes and that feels like an eternity. I’m really hard on myself, but I should be because I cost the team points.”
The Play-off: “Well, if you’re gonna play it off, the first person to blame is the holder. It could be a number of different things that you could point to like him not having the ball tilted in the right direction or anything like that. I’d say that’s the best way to play it off. Tell on him.”
Miguel Garza, West Mesquite (Mesquite, Texas), 2013
Committed to: Undecided
The Initial Reaction: “The first thing I do is look up at the scoreboard and see if me missing that field goal even mattered. I know that’s crazy, but you’re grabbing at anything because you’re so embarrassed. Then I just start looking around at my teammates to see how mad they are. They’re usually pretty upset. You don’t have any friends for the next few minutes. Only your family in the stands doesn’t hate you.”
The Play-off: “Well, I would love to try and play it off but my coach was actually a kicker in college so he knows if I’m just making excuses. I really don’t have a way to play it off. I wish I did, but he watches really closely when I’m kicking and if I miss he already knows what happened before I get to the sideline. I don’t have time to make something up.”
Follow Jason Jordan on Twitter @JayJayUSATODAY.