Why Aren't There Any Black Kickers in the NFL?

Discussion in 'Odds & Ends' started by USS Tang, Nov 25, 2012.

  1. USS Tang

    USS Tang Rookie

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    My guess it's because they're so athletic that they can win out for a spot at any other position. But ...still...why aren't there any at all?
     
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  2. Ronaldo

    Ronaldo G.O.A.T.

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    Forgot about Reggie Roby?
     
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  3. USS Tang

    USS Tang Rookie

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    Obviously, I have. For whom does he play?
     
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  4. Ronaldo

    Ronaldo G.O.A.T.

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    The Heavenly Bodies now
     
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  5. hollywood9826

    hollywood9826 Semi-Pro

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    I remeber roby on the SKins and Dolphins. I think he played for a few other teams as well. He was a punter, and he would actually wear a watch on his wrist on the field. I remember them saying he was drafted by the cincinatti reds to be a pitcher but wanted to go to college.
     
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  6. Dedans Penthouse

    Dedans Penthouse Hall of Fame

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    Athletic or not, there aren't many black kickers (and to include punters) simply because there aren't many black kickers and punters, period.

    Why? A number of reasons. On top of the list, is the fact that many football teams at the high school level do not place much emphasis on the kicking game. Often they find a good athlete that can do double duty in a regular position capacity as well as a kicker and/or punter. Added to that, most coaches DO NOT have a good technical understanding of proper punting and kicking techniques beyond the standard type of 'coach speak' : ("er, head down and follow through...") <-- duh, got it Coach... :rolleyes:

    With the advent of the soccer or "sidewinder" style of placekicking, the placekicking position has become more of a pure specialist's position (e.g. a recruit from the soccer team) as opposed to the old school "straight-on" style of place kicking where a fairly athletic guy with a strong leg could perform the role of two positions, e.g. LB/K.

    Punters on the whole are usually the better athlete, the reason being that punters aren't hitting a stationary ball from a fixed position but instead have to handle a variable snap from center 14 yards away, executive a proper drop and kick a ball (often directionally) that is suspended in air at contact. This is why there have been many "skill position" players who've punted at one time or another during their college or pro career.

    Add to that the fact that kicking on the high school football team is not considered a very 'sexy' position (not as "cheerleader-friendly" as e.g. QB-lol). Kicking (and punting) as with any skill requires "putting in the time" to learn and master. And be the high school kid school black or white, there aren't that many who stick with it (e.g. during off-practice hours) to succeed at the higher levels. At the highest levels, kickers (esp.punters) are far above average athletes than the average Joe. The Oakland Raider kicker and punter (Sebastian Janikowski and Shane Lechler) are a good example. Futher, the successful ones have a mental toughness that's above the norm as well, considering the circumstances/consequenses (56 other guy's playoff money on the line, anyone?..). The list of quarterbacks who've punted is a long one featuring a number of very prominent names. Black quarterbacks in particular who have punted include Kordell Stewart and former great Randall Cunningham.

    Gene Mingo was the 1st black placekicker back in 1960 (also a RB) with the Broncos and kicked for the Steelers as late as 1969 & 1970. RB great Cookie Gilchrist kicked for the Bills in '62 before becoming a full-time RB. Greg Coleman (brother of St. Cardinals Vince Coleman) had a 12-year career punting in the NFL throughout the 1980's. "Modern" black place kickers/punters include Reggie Hodges, Rodney Williams, the previously-mentioned Reggie Roby, Justin Medock (unfortunately waived by the Carolina Panthers this past week after missing FG's in 3 consecutive games) and Cedric Oglesby. Marquette King is a rookie punter that the Raiders put on 'Injuried Reserve' list back in August, essentially "stashing" him away. Raw but with great potential, he looks to be Oakland's heir apparent once the great Shane Lechler moves on. One imho to keep an eye on.

    The point is, you need to want to "put the time in" because athleticism alone won't get you (black or white) past the high school level.
     
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  7. jaggy

    jaggy G.O.A.T.

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    Randle El would punt in college on occasion.
     
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  8. USS Tang

    USS Tang Rookie

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    Thanks, Dedan. Excellent analysis!
     
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  9. RealityPolice

    RealityPolice Rookie

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    Deron Cherry of the KC Chiefs was drafted as a punter and switched to safety upon entering the pros.
     
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  10. r2473

    r2473 Legend

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    He played for Waterloo East (about 30 minutes from my hometown in Iowa).
     
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  11. krz

    krz Professional

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    Just an observation but, it's funny that generalizing a group of people in this sense is ok.
     
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  12. volleygirl

    volleygirl Semi-Pro

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    The only black place kicker I can remember was Donald Igwebuikwe of the Bucaneers. He wasnt terrible but I think he was kicked out of NFL because of a drug problem. he was actually from somewhere in Africa.
     
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  13. Rock Strongo

    Rock Strongo Legend

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    We're too busy running and jumping.
     
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  14. Ronaldo

    Ronaldo G.O.A.T.

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    Jeremy Lin must keep you in stitches.
     
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  15. krz

    krz Professional

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    Last edited: Nov 26, 2012
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  16. Ronaldo

    Ronaldo G.O.A.T.

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    What do you mean, funny?
     
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  17. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    When I played high school football, the blacks wouldn't allow any black to be a kicker on either our SophFrosh, JV, or Varsity teams.
    That role was saved for the Mexcans, non athletic white boyz, or us Asians.
    The Mexican's kicked the farthest and most accurately, but didn't take to hanging with blacks or white jocks, and the one's we tried out, didn't like tackling anyone.
    The WhiteBozys would have fit right in, but coach was black.
    That left the two Asians, RayWong (6'2", 275 lbs.) and me, 5'2", and 103 lbs. (I was NOT the smallest guy on our JV team, as our nose tackle was lighter in weight, and grew to be an all city player). I kicked for the last 9 games of JV, none during junior year varsity (recovering from broken fibula), and every game of my senior year. I liked tackling big runners, so coach had to find a way to let me play D.
     
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  18. atatu

    atatu Hall of Fame

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    Off topic, but it really is a crime that Ray Guy isn't in the Hall.
     
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  19. Ronaldo

    Ronaldo G.O.A.T.

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    No punter is in the HoF
     
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  20. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    A quick PC tip: when you speak of folks by referring to skin color, you want to stay away from putting the word "the" in front.

    Good = blacks or Mexicans.

    Bad = "the blacks" or "the Mexicans"

    You're welcome!
     
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  21. Fearsome Forehand

    Fearsome Forehand Professional

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    No one. Roby has been dead for about 7 years. May have committed suicide or accidentally overdosed as they never announced a cause of death, only that he was found dead in bed.

    It is surprising that there are not more black kickers. Especially since so many play soccer.

    I suppose it is a result of racist elements within the kicking community. :)

    More likely, just a lack of focus. Although black colleges like Grambling, Bethune, Florida A&M, et al, must have black kickers but only the best make it to the NFL so it is a numbers game.
     
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  22. Doubles

    Doubles Hall of Fame

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    That's a real shame, too.
     
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  23. Sumo

    Sumo Semi-Pro

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    While you're at it don't classify a country as a race. "The French" really hate that.
     
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  24. stringertom

    stringertom G.O.A.T.

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    Igwebuike was cut by the Vikings after his stint with the Bucs, then had a couple of short stints with minor league ball. His drug "problem" was an indictment for conspiracy to import heroin but he was acquitted six months after being charged.

    Trivia bit...he has a national title ring, kicking for Clemson's championship team.
     
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  25. Bartelby

    Bartelby G.O.A.T.

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    In its 1950 The Race Question, UNESCO declared that "A race, from the biological standpoint, may therefore be defined as one of the group of populations constituting the species homosapiens", which were broadly defined as the Mongoloid, Negroid, and the Caucasoid "divisions"

    But

    The European Union uses the terms racial origin and ethnic origin synonymously in its documents and according to it "the use of the term 'racial origin' in this directive does not imply an acceptance of such [racial] theories".[116][117] Haney López warns that using "race" as a category within the law tends to legitimize its existence in the popular imagination. In the diverse geographic context of Europe, ethnicity and ethnic origin are arguably more resonant and are less encumbered by the ideological baggage associated with "race".


     
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2012
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