I don't want to freak anyone out, but here goes...AUSTRALIANS ARE TAKING OVER OUR PUNTING UNITS! Three, count 'em, three Aussies will be starting at the punter position for NFL teams this season: Mat McBriar of the Cowboys, Ben Graham of the Jets and Saverio Rocca of the Eagles. Why the sudden influx? Have NFL barbies been particularly shrimpless lately? Nope, turns out it's their mastery of the drop punt method, which the've adopted from their Aussie-Rules football days and which allows for greater accuracy. I'll let the eggheads at the Wall Street Journal explain:
The technique, which sends the ball spinning end over end instead of in a traditional spiral, typically allows punters to pinpoint their kicks to within five yards. It can also result in fewer odd bounces, including that ultimate punter faux pas — a ball that bounces into the end zone for a touchback.
I thought the ultimate punter faux pas was wearing those long socks with sandals? Let's get to the real issue here: kickers have long been the target of mockery from fans, sportswriters and teammates alike. But these three guys have Aussie-Rules backgrounds which, as I understand it, makes them extremely tough. So the next time you decide to taunt a kicker, be careful. Here's a good rule of thumb: before you say anything, tell him Paul Hogan died. If he wells up with tears, keep your mouth shut. How to Kick Australian [Wall Street Journal via Ben Maller]