This Week in Milford

September 17, 2018

Teenage Kicks

Filed under: football, Gil Thorp — nedryerson @ 6:16 am


I’m still trying to wrap my mind around how Sam Finn came to be known as the BEST punter on the team. He’s a lineman and long snapper. How did he start getting reps at punter? Has he seen any game action at punting, and if he did, who snapped the ball to him?

The next logic puzzle for today concerns placekicker Freddy Malouf. He has a soccer background which is not uncommon among placekickers. How often do soccer players kick a stationary ball? Is that supposedly an analogous skill to placekicking? I really don’t know. Soccer is not really my area of expertise. I do realize that there is nothing in soccer like punting (except occasionally by goalkeepers) so Freddy’s cluelessness makes sense.

Now, as to Gil’s teaching method of punting….well, we’ll just chalk this up to a limitation of static art. Still, Gil’s punting demonstration makes me sad. But to be fair, Gil is probably supposed to be showing Freddy some components of punting and not the whole nine yards (which is how far Gil can punt with his knee.)

Today’s post title refers to this classic two and a minute slab of pop from the Undertones. This is one of those songs that I find myself listening to repeatedly because one time through is not enough.



  1. From an NFL football in panel 1 to a Canadian football in panel 3.

    Could Sam Finn become the first punter to snap the ball to himself? Are we really getting another special teams story arc just (checks Milford Mudlark Record Book.xlsx) 7 years after the Brody Abro Asperger’s story arc?

    Comment by billytheskink — September 17, 2018 @ 8:10 am

  2. Gilberto you fucking knob-headed non-coaching idiot… This is only a “dilemma” because you’re making it one.

    1. I’m hard-pressed to think of any instance where having the kicker and punter be the same player has ever worked out… I dunno, maybe having something to do with muscle memory and two different kicking motions?

    2. GOD DAMN IT TO HELL FUCK SHIT PISS TITS BALLS RUBIN!!! A player who can punt with consistent distance and accuracy has a very valuable and specialized skill set. YOU CAN MAKE ANY OL/TE INTO A LONG-SNAPPER! JESUS H. CHRIST I LEARNED THE BASICS IN JUST ONE AFTERNOON BACK IN HIGH SCHOOL! But nooooo, let’s convert the kicker into a punter instead! MUCH easier, amirite??

    Comment by hitorque — September 17, 2018 @ 8:45 am

  3. Gil just go for it on 4th down you conservative pud! I remember reading a article in Sports Illustrated about a successful high school coach in Arkansas maybe. He rarely punted , if ever.
    I remember a great college punter/kicker named Russell Erxlevan (something like that). I think the Saints drafted him in the first round. Didn’t work out in the NFL. I think he gave up one of them. I’m thinking it was place kicking.

    Comment by Jive Turkey — September 17, 2018 @ 9:30 am

  4. The name of Russell Erxleben is one of a bazillion pieces of useless trivia taking up all the space in my brain. But he’s sure as heck not a good role model for high schoolers. Take it away, Wikipedia…

    “After an NFL career lasting six years, [Erxleben] became a currency investor. Convicted of securities fraud in 1999, he was released from federal prison in 2005. He was again convicted of investment fraud in 2014 and sentenced to 90 months (seven and one-half years) in federal prison.”

    Oopsie. Anyways, it’s too bad Coach Gil is trying to find kicking specialists at this late date. Too bad he spent the entire summer and early September farting around with some lame “participation trophy” golf tournament instead of working pre-season football practice.

    Comment by jvwalt — September 17, 2018 @ 10:05 am

  5. Jive Turkey…Russel Erxlaben was a great college kicker, but in those days, they got the advantage of placing the snapped ball on a rubber block ; not so in the NFL, so he wasn’t shit and a wasted 1st round pick for sure.

    Comment by franku2016 — September 17, 2018 @ 10:30 am

  6. Erxleben was an old-style straight-away kicker too, a technique that benefitted much more significantly from being able to use a tee than soccer-style (particularly for accuracy, the technique’s ultimate undoing, it always packed plenty of power). Straight-away kicking was a dying technique when Erxleben was drafted (that Mark Mosley kept it alive into the 80s was a minor miracle), and the issues not kicking from a tee were well-known at the time so the Saints belief that he would be NFL-caliber at both placekicking and punting was baffling. Well, maybe not for the Saints, who a few years after Erxleben also thought they could effectively employ QB/WR/P swiss-army knife Guido Merkens effectively. Now there’s a name even this strip couldn’t have made up…

    Erxleben’s son Ryan punted competently for Texas Tech a few years ago. Erxleben himself has been in and out of prison for securities fraud since his retirement from football.

    Comment by billytheskink — September 17, 2018 @ 11:25 am

  7. This guy can snap
    This guy can kick
    You’ll not see nothing like the Mighty Finn!

    Everybodys trying out for kicking votes
    Some are punting moonballs, others are hitting goalposts
    The players are in despair, every trainer and coach
    But when Finn the Kickerman gets here, everybodys gonna jump for joy.

    This guy can punt
    This dude can kick
    You’ll not see nothing like the Mighty Finn!!

    Comment by robmize2013 — September 17, 2018 @ 11:37 am

  8. @Jive Turkey: I don’t know if we’re talking about the same people, but back when I was in high school (early 90s) I remember reading in SI about some small doormat high school out west (AZ? NM? CA?) that went winless the previous season decided to never kick or punt since nobody tried out for the team that could do either. Every 4th down they went for, and every touchdown they went for 2, and surprisingly enough they went from going winless the previous year to a moderately successful 6-5, iirc…

    Comment by hitorque — September 17, 2018 @ 12:08 pm

  9. But seriously, I’m honestly shocked that Rubin hasn’t stolen this for a storyline yet… It just SCREAMS “Milford”

    Comment by hitorque — September 17, 2018 @ 12:09 pm

  10. So when do we get a soccer season storyline?? More kids are playing that than anything else… Why does Mudlark Soccer exist only for the sole purpose of supplying the random ill-fitting spare part for the football roster?

    Comment by hitorque — September 17, 2018 @ 12:13 pm

  11. No hitorque I read this story in the last 10 years or so. Pretty sure this coach won state championships. Smaller schools. His thinking was why get punt blocked, punt return for TD, shank, bad snap when I could use 4 downs to get 10 yards? Which is good strategy at that level.

    Comment by Jive Turkey — September 17, 2018 @ 12:41 pm

  12. Gil is teaching this kid how not to punt a football

    Comment by franku2016 — September 17, 2018 @ 1:55 pm


    Comment by Roscoe P. Soultrain — September 17, 2018 @ 3:30 pm

  14. When I was in high school in the upper mesolithic, I read an even then old book about football strategy. It included an elaboration on the quick kick. A small college team which was a forty point underdog took the opening kickoff, then punted on first down. The opponent was completely surprised and the punting team downed the ball deep in the opponent’s territory, and contained them. They blocked the opponent’s punt, and immediately drop-kicked a field goal. They used a variety of similarly surprising plays, with the result that the opponent had to be ready for everything on every play. And they won the game. The game was played in perhaps 1925, when football was still based on speed and deception.

    But the guys are right. Good accurate punters are rare. Almost any athletic lineman can learn to be a long-snapper.

    Comment by vaganova — September 17, 2018 @ 3:36 pm

  15. Gil still uses the drop- kick strategy from the 1920’s

    Comment by franku2016 — September 17, 2018 @ 6:29 pm

  16. Thanks for the link. Arkansas, I was right. My reading comprehension has improved since my school days.

    Comment by Jive Turkey — September 18, 2018 @ 11:44 am

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