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Sunday, December 27: Notes On The New Kicker

Posted by Matt Terl on December 27, 2009 – 11:07 am

I’ve already talked about Shaun Suisham making his return to FedExField tonight, so it seems like a good time to take a closer look at new kicker Graham Gano. Dan Steinberg has the nuts and bolts for you over at the Washington Post, covering Gano’s remarkable athleticism in high school and college (no, seriously!) and the seeming inevitability of his NFL future.

These are a few … other things. Less essential things, some might say. (Although those people would be wrong. But still.)

  • Gano’s celebratory pointing (as pictured up top of this post) is completely unironic, even after extra points. I found this out in the most awkward way possible, of course, by trying to ask him about it as if it were goofy or strange. Nope. “That’s just what I do,” he told me. “I’ve done it since the UFL season. It’s just my way of giving praise to God for giving me the ability to do it.”
  • If punter Hunter Smith — who showed up on the injury report on Friday — can’t go, Gano is the backup punter. Which should be fine, since he went to Florida State largely on a punting scholarship and tried out for NFL teams as a punter.

  • Gano is Scottish, although he doesn’t have an accent. Actually, that’s not fully true. He says the word “Scottish” with a just the faintest hint of a brogue. “When people say where am I from,” he explains, “I’ll say Scotland. And, I mean, two of my brothers are from Scotland, and my mom, she’s fully Scottish as well. I was born there and I lived there a little bit, then I moved to Canada for three years, then back to Scotland for three more.”
  • Anyhow, by coincidence or act of fate, his locker is — you guessed it — in what Fred Smoot has dubbed the International Corner. “They put people in the neighborhood that deserve to be over there,” Smoot says. “He deserves to be over there. I just feel like grabbing a Heineken and playing a bagpipe right now. I’m glad to have him over there.” (NOTE: No, Heineken is not Scottish. I’m sure Smoot meant Glenfiddich and just misspoke.)
  • Gano has not, however, played the bagpipes or eaten haggis. Gano tries to be helpful, though: “I had a buddy named Rowan on my soccer team growing up; he was Irish, and he was actually really good at playing bagpipes.” And as far as haggis goes, he remains optimistic. “I haven’t tried it yet,” he says. “I want to, though. My family has, and we had shirts that said stuff about haggis because it’s a big Scottish thing, but” — he turns wistful — ” … yeah, maybe one day.”
  • Fred Smoot has also not tried haggis. “No, I haven’t,” he said, looking intrigued. “Do you put that on crackers?”

Now don’t you feel more prepared to watch him kick tonight?

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