Wednesday, November 22, 2006

The British are Coming!

Thanksgiving, that most holy of days when we gather at the harvest table and try to convince wives, girlfriends and others that, yes, in fact it is essential that I take my dinner in the den so I can watch the Bucs and the Cowboys fight it out on the gridiron! No, they are not "my" team...No, they are not really serious contenders...No, neither team has a dynamic quarterback...Yes, TO is over-rated...but, gaddamit it's Thanksgiving and I'm gonna watch me some football!

I thought it would be appropriate to point out a little piece in Orlando Sentinel (do you have any idea how hard it is to read through all these local papers?!) about another "crossover kicker" in the making. While there has been lots of talk about Aussie and Kiwi (I love that they allow themselves to be referred to with such silly-sounding monikers) kickers but it was only a matter of time before a few Brits saw the light.

You might not have the leg-speed or the upper-body strength to make it in the highly competitive world of European Professional Football, but if you've spent your whole life kicking a ball, the NFL would like to have a word.

This week, here's one to watch out for - Dale Brenchley of Lake Brantley High.
Until he was 13, football didn't mean first downs and field goals to Lake Brantley kicker Dale Brenchley. It meant nets and corner kicks.

When he moved to Central Florida from southeastern England in eighth grade, he started learning about American football, watching games with friends and playing Madden. He kicked for Lake Brantley's junior-varsity team as a sophomore, but then focused on soccer, becoming a star in the football of his youth. Now Brenchley has become a star for the other kind of football team.

His best quote:
"With soccer, you're 11 men doing the same thing," Brenchley said. "With football, it's just you kicking it, and it can be down to you. I was nervous, but I've gotten used to it. I like it."
See, that's the kicker spirit. The lone gunman. The gigolo. The star!

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