Two weeks ago, Clint Stitser had a lot on his mind. At work, he had to manage realty properties, clients, escrows and listings. At home, he had a 5-month old baby girl named Avery, and a wife that needed help around the house.
He was out walking the dogs before work, when his phone rang, with a call from his football agent.
“You’re going to New York,” the voice said, to try-out for the Giants.
“Well, holy crap, I’m three hours away from the airport,” Stitser remembered thinking.
From there, he had a lot different things on his mind for Monday morning.
“I drive back home, get everything packed, get the house in order,” he said. “I get on the plane, travel 11 hours, get in–and mind you I’m on west coast time– get in to New Jersey at 1 a.m.”
Tuesday morning is his tryout with the Giants.
“I wake up at 6 a.m. [EST], and off we go for the workout,” he said. “I end up having a good workout there, but they end up going with Rhys Lloyd.”
Stitser had a plane ticket back to Nevada at the end of the day, and arrived at Newark Airport with his football gear.
“I decided to check my bag and everything because I didn’t feel like lugging it back across the country,” he said. “As I’m getting ready to load the plane, the phone rings and they say, ‘Do not get on the plane! Go back to security, you’re going to D.C.’”
The only problem was that his luggage was already checked, and his cleats and everything were already stowed under the plane.
“I go, ‘Hey, can I have my bag back?’ And they’re like, ‘Nooo, you can’t.’”
After a quick phone call to the Redskins, they assure him that he doesn’t need his gear, that they’ll set him up with some when he gets to town.
“So I go and walk out of security, get a ticket and walk right back in, get on a plane,” he said. “The plane got delayed an hour and a half, because Newark always gets delayed. Then we’re on the tarmac for another 45 minutes because there’s a line of 25 planes, which is typical.”
Now two and a half hours late, Stitser finally takes off and lands in Washington. He arranges to meet his team representative at baggage claim, but doesn’t see anyone when he gets there.
“They have people at the door for me and they’re like, ‘Where are you?’ And I’m like, ‘I’m at the baggage claim.’ And they’re like, ‘No, you’re not.’ So I felt like an idiot, and I was like, ‘I’m pretty sure this is a baggage claim.’”
“They flew me into Reagan International, whereas they thought they were going to fly me into Dulles.”
So gear-less and in the wrong place, he grabbed at taxi to the team facilities, and from there, “everything else was pretty vanilla.”
On Wednesday of last week, kicker Graham Gano had his child and Stitser had his workout. He was admittedly exhausted, but the workout went well, and he was signed to an NFL roster.
“Then they go, ‘Well, we’re leaving for Indianapolis tomorrow, where are your clothes?’” he remembered. “And I say, ‘Well, they’re in Reno!’”
“‘Well, you better ship them to Indianapolis,’” they told him. “‘And you better get to the mall to get some stuff to travel in.’”
After a whirlwind tour, Stitser said he was very happy to be with the Redskins, and that he wouldn’t have it any other way. He also said that realty is the perfect job for a kicker trying to break into the league, because he has associates to pick up the slack when he’s with a team.
“I don’t have a commitment to any particular company, but I can still earn a living in the event that I’m not kicking,” he said.
He is a real character, and also a glass-half-full guy, who has enjoyed the journey that brought him to D.C.
“It would be a lie to say that it hasn’t been challenging, but I certainly enjoy it,” he said. “This trip has been great, it’s been really fun.”
Tags: clint stitser, graham gano, kicker, washington redskins
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