Ian Bostock: Paolite’s Sports Expert

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It seems to me like there is always one person on the team that is left out. The player who does something that always helps a team, but is never noticed for it.

As a football player, the guy that stands out for me is the long snappers and holders of any football team.

A long snapper can be used in many situations on a football team. Much like a center, who snaps the ball to a quarterback, and long snapper, snaps the ball at a distance from 5 to 15 yards depending on the snap needed. From the punting unit to the field goal unit, the long snapper is a valuable asset to the team.

I heard a quote while watching an NFL game the other day. A long snapper was injured, and the announcers started to discuss the significance of his position.

The announcer said that the long snapper should have more recognition on the team. The announcer stated how important the long snapper is, and his chemistry with the special team units are irreplaceable.

Unnoticed, I think that is an understatement.

I feel like unappreciated is a better word for it. It’s like this: you send in one guy to snap one ball to another guy. The snap goes over his head, the play is ruined. All the pressure that the kicker had is gone, because he no longer had anything to do with the play. It is no longer the offensive lines fault, they protected how they were told, and the ball didn’t do what it was supposed to.

Yet the long snapper gets looked at like the puppy that peed on the floor. He gets booed, hate-mail and faces losing his job. The poor guy probably feels like the world is on his shoulder. Yet, he gets no respect when he does something good.

Think about all the times a long snapper has got no thanks for his part. In 2001, the New England Patriots won Super Bowl 36, and their first Super Bowl in franchise history. Everyone remembers Adam Vinatieri’s game winning field goal, but no one remembers Lonie Paxton. Paxton was the long snapper for that Super Bowl team, and he never even got mentioned once for what he did. I mean the man snapped the game-winning football and got no mention on any sports show; just a picture on the wall in the New England Patriots’ trophy room.

Now I’m not saying that every long snapper is unappreciated, but people please give them some more respect. As a fan don’t go unaware of this unknown player. Tell him good job, even if he isn’t the most known player on the team, just give the guy a pat on the back. You don’t know how much it means to a player just to get some recognition.

Quarterbacks, running backs, safeties and defensive ends all get credit for what they do, but I think it’s about time that long snappers get the respect they deserve.

Blog by Ian Bostock