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a Hanging Target

Discussion in 'Chargers Fan Forum' started by SDRaiderH8er, Dec 10, 2009.

  1. SDRaiderH8er
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    SDRaiderH8er Well-Known Member

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    http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/2009/dec/10/1s10sullivan/

    Mike Scifres is aiming to miss.

    The punter deemed most likely to dent Cowboys Stadium’s colossal high-def screen will try to avoid targeting that massive target Sunday afternoon. Even the high priest of hang time has to coexist with his teammates, and the last thing Scifres wants to do is force fellow Chargers to sprint down the field on a do-over.

    “In a game situation, it’s not something you try and do because those guys are going to have to come back and run again,” Scifres said yesterday afternoon. “If you’ve got guys running down the field and they’re tired, (the opponent) could run the next punt back for a touchdown because your guys are winded and can’t get to where they want to go.”

    Perched just 90 feet above the playing field, and measuring 160 feet from stem to stern, Jerry Jones’ Texas-sized TV set has become a popular and reachable pregame target among NFL punters. Yet except for a preseason boot by Tennessee’s A.J. Trapasso, no one has nailed it during a game.

    Maybe that’s a matter of time. Or maybe that’s a matter of priorities.

    “I think every visiting punter has hit it during warmups,” Cowboys spokesman Rich Dalrymple said. “I think they feel it is their obligation — they are intrigued and it is the manly thing to do. But when they find out that we aren’t awarding stuffed animals for the number of times it is hit in warmups, they go back to just punting.”

    Though no prize has been promised for being the first punter to plunk the board in a regular-season game, the man ultimately responsible will surely earn a lasting distinction.

    Former Raider Ray Guy, probably the greatest punter of his era, says the first question he generally gets concerns the kick he caromed off the Superdome video board at the 1976 Pro Bowl in New Orleans. YouTube video of Trapasso’s preseason punt had been viewed 90,920 times as of yesterday afternoon.

    Though Scifres’ 45.9-yard net average ranks only eighth among NFL punters, his reputation for altitude kicking has created a palpable buzz preceding his first trip to Cowboys Stadium.

    When Dallas punter Mat McBriar estimated that he could probably hit the board 50 percent of the time if that were his goal, he was quick to add that Scifres, “is probably going to be peppering it.”

    “If anybody can hit it, I’m sure Scifres can hit it,” Trapasso said in a telephone interview. “He’s one of the guys who sets the standard in the league. He’s extremely explosive when he punts.”

    Trapasso, a free agent since the Titans released him last month, has spent part of his unemployment watching Cowboys games on television and has wondered whether the height of the board had been raised since he hit it. The Cowboys’ Dalrymple said that was not the case, despite concerns expressed by Titans coach Jeff Fisher, co-chairman of the league’s Competition Committee. Physics professors interviewed by the Dallas Morning News estimated that the booming kicks of the league’s best punters could exceed 100 feet in height and might soar as high as 125 feet. The Cowboys have countered by emphasizing the strategic value of kicking toward the sidelines (and away from their video board) rather than in the center of the field.

    When strategy dictates that the distance of a punt is of more importance than its angle, though, Mike Scifres need not strain himself to reach the rafters.

    “I’ll tell you what, if he’s back there punting from the 10- or 20-yard line, it’s going to be close (to the board),” Chargers place-kicker Nate Kaeding said. “He probably doesn’t want to think about it a whole lot, kind of like a short par-5 on a golf course. Say you kill a drive and you have an 8-iron in. Those are usually the ones you end up shanking. You don’t want to worry about killing it and hitting the scoreboard.”

    Scifres was so eager to avoid the subject yesterday that he rebuffed multiple interview requests before consenting to chat.

    “I think I can reach it,” he admitted. “(But) if you’re going to hit it, the time to do it would be in pregame. In a game situation, I don’t think that’s the place you want to do it. …

    “I’m not going to say if I hit the perfect punt, I’m not going to hit it, but going into it that’s not going to be my main focus. My main focus is trying to get (Patrick Crayton) to fair-catch it because that guy’s as dangerous a returner as there is. So you want to get it up in the air as high as you can.”

    Seeing Scifres in the presence of reporters, Chargers defensive lineman Jacques Cesaire quickly surmised the subject matter and volunteered his own view.

    “Before the game, he’s going to be staring down the JumboTron,” Cesaire said. “He’s almost going to tease it. But once the lights are on and it’s game time, the JumboTron is dead.”

    (Technically, JumboTron is a Sony trademark. The Cowboys’ board is a Mitsubishi product. But you get the idea.)

    “It’s going to help his street cred if he hits one up there,” Kaeding said of Scifres. “If it can be done, he’s the guy to do it.”

    Maybe so, but Scifres’ street cred may not be enough to mollify those teammates who would be required to run the play a second time in the event of a close encounter with the HDTV. Scifres said he has already heard from punt team regulars Kassim Osgood and Jacob Hester about avoiding unnecessary sprints.

    “He better not hit that scoreboard or there are going to be problems,” Osgood said. “I’ll be on the sideline cussing him out.”
  2. bigmike.x.09
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    bigmike.x.09 Well-Known Member

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    i cant take this thing seriously :lol: its gunna be funny as hell when he dings the SOB, im thinking top play.
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  3. RM24
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    RM24 BoltTalker

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    Put a Hole in that Thing SciFi!!! :tup:
  4. SDRaiderH8er
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    SDRaiderH8er Well-Known Member

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    I put 15 grand of my Bolt Bucks up in the Bookie Area that he is going to hit it.
  5. LV Bolt Fan
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    LV Bolt Fan Well-Known Member

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    You're gonna lose that bet.:yes: (But I'd like to see him,call his shot.) :tup:
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  6. AnteaterCharger
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    AnteaterCharger Calibrating Bolttalk, Podcast by Podcast Staff Member Super Moderator Podcaster

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    I wanna see him bring it down like the satellite in the Snickers commercial
  7. SDRaiderH8er
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    SDRaiderH8er Well-Known Member

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    its only money, and you cant take it with you.
  8. Airw0lf
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    Airw0lf BoltTalker

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    The article implies that if he hits it then the play will have to be done over.

    Is that right? I remember being at the season opener in 2007 against the Bears and our punt hit the overhead skycam thingy...the bears went for the ball, fumbled it and we recovered.

    At least that is my recollection of the events.
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  9. Enormo
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    Enormo BoltTalker

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    Sounds like someone is a bit defensive about the organization's ****** planning.
  10. SDRaiderH8er
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    SDRaiderH8er Well-Known Member

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    IF……………………….


    If we are inside the 2:00 minute warning and we are pinned up inside our 20 yard line.

    How much time does one think you could waste by hitting that scoreboard during play?

    If Scifres hits that scoreboard all they do is call the ball dead and you have to re-kick the ball. Rotate in a couple of fresh players and do it again. Rotate in some more fresh players and do it again.

    We could use their field to our advantage.

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