For years, football fans have been led to believe that kickers are different from all other players. Strange in some ways. Quirky even. Maybe it's because the guys that play the position usually are smaller, perhaps less athletic than their teammates.
Kickers are a different breed. Certainly, I've uttered that phrase a few times, despite never having played the postion. It's easy to dump on your favorite team's kicker when he misses a field goal that might win the game.
After this weekend's round of games, I have a newfound respect for kickers.
Tampa Bay kicker Matt Bryant booted three field goals in the Bucaneers win over Green Bay. It wasn't so much that Bryant was perfect on Sunday, but rather he had just buried his infant son 24 hours prior.
Having lost an infant son myself, I can relate to what Bryant must have been feeling.
Tryson Bryant was laid to rest in Texas on Saturday. The 3-month old boy died last Wednesday and an autopsy report won't be ready for weeks, leaving the family to guess what went wrong.
Matt Bryant told ESPN that he talked to Tryson throughout the game on Sunday. . "I wanted to be focused to lift Tryson up, to put him in the spotlight. I was going to go 3-for-3 today. It didn't matter. I wasn't going to let anything screw up the day when I had the pportunity to acknowledge him again."
Bryant says he briefly considered sitting out the game against the Packers, but showed up ready for work on Sunday, after returning from Texas.
As for my personal experience, coping and grieving is difficult. For Matt Bryant, he obviously felt that suiting up would help him get past the loss. Thankfully, he contributed to his team's win.
And more importantly, lil' Tryson forever will be remembered.
Those are the highlights... Stay tuned.