(This week's "ad" from Jayhawker, who is pumped for tonight's AFC West showdown.)
Another week, another inexcusable Aguayo missed kick.
Roberto Aguayo's sub-70% field goal percentage is dead last in the NFL, behind even the kicker Aguayo replaced, Connor Barth, whom the Chicago Bears signed off the street just a week before their first game of the season.
NFL players must go into the job knowing that careers are short. If you're a kicker and you hit about 60% when the league average is about 85%, your career might be shorter than most. As such, it is important for players to prepare for life after the NFL.
But what do NFL players do after the NFL? A select few are famous enough to jump into careers of broadcasting and endorsements, but that is not the reality of the majority of NFL players.
What do you do when Tampa Bay no longer needs your kicking abilities?
Martin Gramatica (3rd round, Tampa Bay, 1999)
The most famous of Tampa's kickers, Martin, along with brothers Bill (4th round, Arizona, 2001) and Santiago (undrafted, all teams, all years) formed Gramatica SIPS International, a company that makes energy efficient panels.
"There is no better feeling than knowing you've made a positive impact in someone's life. It is our responsibility and privilege to help provide a safer, more energy efficient product that will reduce the cost of ownership."
-- Martin, Bill, and Santiago Gramatica
Going beyond SIPS, the Gramaticas formed The Gramatica Family Foundation, whose mission is building energy-efficient homes for disabled combat veterans. Among their fundraising events is an annual kickball tournament:
Martin has clearly set the bar high for the rest of this list, providing for both wounded veterans and undercapitalized siblings alike.
Michael Husted (Undrafted free agent, Tampa Bay, 1993)
After the NFL, Husted formed his own kicking consultancy, Husted Kicking. Along with some other ex-kickers, he has also formed a sort of "kicking combine" that happens in Mobile, Alabama during the Pro Bowl.
For $600, you too can kick in front of special teams coaching interns who the rest of the NFL coaching staffs are trying to keep busy and out of the way during Senior Bowl practices.
According to Husted, it was well received by the NFL coaching community, as one unnamed special teams coach called it "genius". I'm sure this will change NFL teams' current practice of just holding tryouts on their practice field whenever they need kickers any day now...
Donald Igwebuike (10th round, Tampa Bay, 1985)
The Nigerian soccer legend turned late 1980s Buccaneers kicker, Igwebuike's NFL career ended with an indictment accusing him as a co-conspirator in a heroin smuggling operation. He was acquitted of the charges, despite wiretap recordings of him referencing numbers that just happened to coincide with the amount of heroin seized from the co-conspirators (who pled guilty). Igwebuike's phone discipline would have made Avon Barksdale proud, though, as he never specifically referred to drugs. Despite going free, he would never kick in the NFL again.
Igwebuike's life after the NFL sounds... kind of familiar. Donald formed the Donald Igwebuike Kicking Academy, which "offers private, 1-on-1 lessons for aspiring kickers and punters". Or, perhaps, I should say offered, as the website is now a big fat Server Not Found. Obviously driven out of business by Husted Kicking.
John Carney (Undrafted free agent, Tampa Bay, 1988)
Two time Pro Bowler, one time All-Pro, John Carney had many years of success in the NFL, none during his two-year stint as a Tampa Bay Buccaneer, where he failed to unseat Donald Igwebuike from the starting job.
Since leaving the NFL, John Carney has... oh come on. *sigh* John Carney has formed Carney Coaching, a training consultancy. Carney has the Carney Training Facility (CTF), in which women learn how to run on sand.
But the real winners are the products.
There's the Kick, Punt, and Train Like a Pro DVD, which sells both from carneycoaching.com and on Amazon for a completely reasonable $45 (recently discounted from $59). It comes with a Free Power Balance bracelet, but only if you buy from carneycoaching.com
Next is the Carney Portable Inflatable Goal Post, which may cost $2,650 but will one day, God willing, find its way into my backyard.
Best of all is the Carney Punting Stripe football. Despite not being a punter, Carney has revolutionized punting training with a football that is carefully marked to indicate how the ball should be held.
The mark is forged onto the ball with a high tech process that absolutely cannot be duplicated with some athletic tape.
Obed Ariri (Round 7, Baltimore, 1981)
Donald Igwebuike is not the only Nigerian to placekick for the Buccaneers. Obed Ariri kicked for the team in 1984, and was the first Nigerian to play in the NFL. Ariri was Igwebuike's idol, and was the person that convinced Igwebuike to attend and kick for his alma mater, Clemson. Ariri bounced around the league for a few years, kicking in Tampa only for the 1984 season.
After his NFL career, he moved to St. Petersberg, FL, and took up a career as a cab driver.
Neil O'Donoghue (Round 5, Buffalo, 1977)
Look at this Irish bastard. The man's full name is Cornelis Joseph Connor Dennis O'Donoghue. Born in Dublin, O'Donoghue was a train ticket collector at 17 years old, when a friend approached him about pursuing a sports scholarship in the US. O'Donoghue received a scholorship to play soccer at Saint Bernard college, but when that school closed its soccer program, he transferred to Auburn and took a stab at football placekicking. After being drafted, he was cut by Buffalo five games into his rookie year, and joined the Buccaneers the following season, where he lasted a couple of seasons, blessing us with this savvy play on a botched field goal snap:
O'Donoghue earned his real estate license during his playing days, and has worked to some degree selling real estate (here's him asking some punctuation-averse questions about properties on Trulia in 2008), but an article from a few months ago says he has since moved on to selling cars, which apparently has been his more steady post-NFL job.
Steve Christie (Undrafted free agent, Tampa Bay, 1990)
Despite being All-Pro in his rookie year, the Buccaneers dumped Christie after two seasons, after which he joined Buffalo and lost Super Bowls en route to his entrance into the Buffalo Sports Hall of Fame.
After football, Christie did a little local sports media (radio broadcast for the mighty Buffalo Bulls of the MAC), before moving into the world of sports agent. He is a certified agent for CFL players, as well as manager for some small musicians. His company website has that GeoCities-but-in-2016 feel that no doubt attracts all the best clients.
In 2014, he also scored a victory in a battle against cancer, having a 4-inch tumor removed from his rectum. (Jesus Christ, could cancer maybe lay off the '90s Bills?)
Bill Capece (Round 12, Tampa Bay, 1981)
Capece only played in the NFL for 3 seasons, but that was enough to become Tampa Bay's 6th most prolific field goal kicker in franchise history. Following the NFL, Capece became a sheriff's deputy for 29 years, 17 of which were spent watching over the Leon County Library in Tallahassee.
For 17 years, Capece kept the library from falling into chaos from unruly teenagers and stealth masturbators. As the Tallahassee Democrat wrote, "anything can happen at a public facility open seven days a week". Capece survived his library beat with only minor bruises and two divorces.
Van Tiffin (Undrafted free agent, Tampa Bay, 1987)
An All-American at Alabama, Van Tiffin joined the Buccaneers as an undrafted free agent. He played 4 games for the Buccaneers, attempting kicks in 3, and converted 5 of his 6 field goal attempts (83%). Still, the Buccaneers cut him after 4 games, and he finished out the season in Miami, playing in only one other game (1 FG attempt, missed).
Following his lone season in the NFL, Tiffin returned to Alabama and joined the family business: Tiffin Motorhomes, a company founded by his father. Van works as the company's Research & Development Manager.
Matt Bryant (Undrafted, Iowa Barnstormers, 1999)
Bryant had some tough sledding to reach the NFL, kicking for one Arena team and two NFL Europe franchises before becoming the New York Giants kicker in 2002. He kicked for the Buccaneers from 2005 to 2008, and built the franchise's 2nd best field goal percentage all time, trailing only legendary Buccaneer Connor Barth.
After the NFL, Bryant... well actually, he's still f*cking kicking, at 41 years of age, behind only 43 year old Adam Vinatieri and slightly-older-41 year old Phil Dawson. After Tampa, Bryant went to Atlanta and became that franchise's #1 most accurate kicker of all time. His field goal percentage in 2016: 92.3%.
Connor Barth (Undrafted free agent, Kansas City, 2008)
Tampa Bay's most accurate kicker of all time, Barth played for 6 seasons in Tampa, in a Grover Cleveland-like pair of non-consecutive stints. As a junior in college, Barth was the only kicker in the NCAA to maintain a perfect 100% field goal percentage. Despite his 83.8% FG% and 99.3% XP% as a Buccaneer, Barth was let go this offseason.
After Tampa, Barth was scooped up by division rival New Orleans for training camp, was released, and then was signed by the Chicago Bears. His field goal percentage in 2016: 76.5%.
So there you have it. Insulated windows. Kicking coach. Heroin smuggling. Cab driver.
Real estate agent car salesman. CFL agent. Library cop. RV R&D. Eventual successful kicker. What sort of trail will Aguayo blaze?
Denver at Tennessee
Arizona at Miami
New Orleans at Tampa Bay
Seattle at Green Bay
Baltimore at New England
Week 13 Results
Certis: 5-0 oh jesus christ
Rat Boy: 1-4
Season to Date
Rat Boy: 33-31
Running Man: 14-10