76-Day NFL Warning: Rise of the Trick-Shot Specialist

What’s that? You were wondering exactly how many days until the start of the NFL season? Well, you’re in luck! We here at the Triangle are set to spend the next three months providing a daily reason to get excited about pro football’s return.

Here’s something you may not know about me — I’m a long-snapping nerd. I bet you didn’t even know that was a thing. Well … I did it in high school, and I actually got to the point where I went to a few regional camps that are designed to help kids get recruited. It’s a very strange skill that’s actually quite easy to get obsessive about. Can I time my rotations so the laces are out every time? Can I hit the goalpost from the goal line? The 10? The 20? There are always tiny, self-imposed feats to be had. In college, it became more of a dorm trick. We’d have one too many Busch Lights on a Wednesday night and see if I could get the ball down the entire hallway. The R.A. wasn’t crazy about that.

I mention this because earlier this week I learned that the Rams had brought in for a tryout a long-snapper who may or may not have benefited from a trick-shot video he put on YouTube. Reading a bit more, it seems like Jorgen Hus, who hails from Saskatoon, wasn’t getting a shot based on his aptitude for snapping the ball off a roof and into a garbage can, but as Hus noted, “it probably didn’t hurt.” Like any undrafted free agent, Hus’s chances at making the team (especially with entrenched starter Jake McQuaide onboard) are slim, but his chance with the Rams is another example that appears to be something of a trend.

Earlier this offseason, the Lions, without starting kicker Jason Hanson for the first time in more than 20 years, brought in Norwegian YouTube star Havard Rugland for a tryout. Again, Rugland has a pretty slim chance at actually making the roster (David Akers is also with the team now), but that he’s gotten a shot at all is something to be celebrated. With the amount of offseason work these teams do, and with the amount of turnover among kickers, there’s no sense in not seeing what a few novelty acts can do when placed in an actual football setting. I’m sure it won’t be long before YouTube actually lands someone a roster spot, and that is something I can get onboard with. The Internet — the real land of opportunity.

Filed Under: Detroit Lions, NFL, Robert Mays, St. Louis Rams

Robert Mays is a staff writer at Grantland.

Archive @ robertmays