Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Super Bowl - Jeff Feagles

Football is clearly a young man's game. The average length of a career in the NFL is three and a half years. That's right - 3-1/2 years. So basically, your chosen career is over before you hit your late twenties - and that's if you are an average player. Clearly Jeff Feagles is above average. He is playing in his 20th NFL season. Of course, the main reason for this is that he is a punter. Even so, he has been at it for a long time. He has played for five teams in his career after playing at Miami and winning a national championship in 1987. This week, he'll be punting for the Giants in Super Bowl XLII - and he'll be doing it near his hometown, Phoenix.

Feagles was born March 7, 1966. He is almost as old as I am. Like me, he graduated from college in 1988. Due to his longevity, he holds just about every punting record in the NFL, including most punts and punting yardage. He is also a skilled negotiator. For most of his career, he wore number 10. When the Giants traded for Eli Manning on draft day in 2004, he agreed to let Eli have number 10 in exchange for Manning funding the Feagles family vacation. So he switched to number 17. When the Giants signed Plaxico Burress as a free agent the following year, he agreed to let Plax have 17 in exchange for a new outdoor barbecue addition to his house. He now wears 18. Well played. Here are some of his more obscure stats from his career:
  • He's made a total of 7 tackles in his career. He did not make a single tackle until 2002, his 15th season. I think I found the key to his longevity.
  • He's 0-for-8 passing in his career. His career passer rating of 39.6 is only slightly lower than Ryan Leaf's (50.0).
  • He's lost three fumbles in his career, but he's recovered five fumbles. He's +2!
  • Career rushing stats - 18 carries for -3 yards. He had a 12 yard gain for a first down in 1994.
  • He holds the NFL record for consecutive games played, although it's a bit easier to punt for 320 games in a row rather than do what Jim Marshall did - play defensive tackle for 282 consecutive games.
Anyway, why would I write a post about a player that I have no previous connection to, and who plays the least demanding position on the field? Because he is my age and he's still playing professional football. Good on you, Jeff.

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