A special one hour Aussies Abroad special, ‘Taking A Punt’, will premiere this Tuesday January the 1st, 2013 at 9pm on ESPN & ESPN HD and is set to be a must watch for any Aussie NFL.
The punter position has been the area where most Australians have found success in the NFL and is often where most Australians are introduced to the game. ’Taking A Punt’ is a unique, all-access look at what it takes to be an Australian NFL punter and the games and challenges that take place off the field.
The report looks past the glitz and glamour of the world of American football punting into what is involved in getting to the top and then desperately trying to stay there. Through conversations with Australian players who have been there and done it all such as Darren Bennett, Ben Graham, Sav Rocca, and Mat McBriar, you’ll get an inside look at the most cut-throat business in the world.
The pressure to succeed and survive is unimaginable, with literally thousands of men fighting for only 32 jobs. Multi-million dollar contracts can be torn up and thrown in the bin at any moment. Just ask Ben Graham who was fired 3 times in 5 weeks in 2008 before playing in the Super Bowl a month later. Sav Rocca talks of the necessity of playing through injury in order to retain your job & protect his career including his struggles this season with a serious knee injury.
As well as looking at the business side of the sport, the report explores the technicalities of the art of punting.
Punting is much more than just kicking a ball and while we regularly hear about our Aussies doing great things in the NFL, very few of us really know the high degree of technical difficulty involved in punting. Darren Bennett provides an on-field tutorial discussing various scenarios and punts as well as the evolution of punting.
The report also looks at the Australian punters of the future, with Prokick Australia punting academy organiser Nathan Chapman discussing the upcoming wave of Aussie punters preparing to take on the US.
Taking A Punt is an exciting expose of what it really takes to play in the NFL and the ruthless world that now is professional sports and will feature the following:
- The pressure & nerves of NFL gameday
- The ruthless behind-the-scenes business
- The mental side of the game, estimated by Mat & Ben to be at least 75-80% of the challenge, if not more
- The high degree of technical difficulty involved in punting – like the golf swing, it can never be mastered
- The evolution of punting, including an exclusive on-field tutorial with Darren Bennett, taking us through various different scenarios & punts
- Ben Graham talks of his remarkable 2008 season, which saw him fired 3 times in 5 weeks before playing in the Super Bowl a month later
- Sav Rocca talks of playing through his knee injury this year in order to retain his job & protect his career
- Jy Bond talks of the tough decision to give up & walk away after three years of trying to break into the NFL
- We speak with Nathan Chapman (who runs the Prokick Australia punting academy) about the coming wave of Aussie punters taking on the US
- Ben Graham reveals his plan to start an Elite Kicking Academy in Australia
For more TV info check out our latest Australian NFL TV Guide.