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Rocca Came Here To Win A Championship

Posted by Brian Tinsman on January 4, 2012 – 2:29 pm

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Shortly before Christmas, I had the opportunity to talk football with Australian Broadcasting Corporation correspondent Craig McMurtrie and his cameraman Louie Eroglu at Redskins Park.

It turned out that not only has Redskins punter Sav Rocca been a punting stud in Washington this season, but he’s also turned heads 10,000 miles away in his native Australia.  The reason why the American correspondents were uncharacteristically focused on sports that day, was to cover Rocca for the a national radio and television piece in Australia.

Here’s the radio clip, read in an authentic Australian accent: Read more »

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Rocca’s Punts Turning Heads Down Under

Posted by Brian Tinsman on December 22, 2011 – 2:24 pm

AP Image

Australian Broadcast Corporation (the other ABC) correspondent Craig McMurtrie and his trusted cameraman Louie Eroglu have been based in Washington, D.C. for about a year now, covering the many political and social happenings in the United States.

Prior to August, the NFL and Redskins weren’t really on their radar for newsworthiness.  But that was before the Redskins signed famous Aussie footballer-turned-NFL punter Sav Rocca.  With the tremendous season that he’s putting together, it’s making waves overseas.

Craig McMurtrie

“We don’t typically do much sports stories,” admitted McMurtrie, “But there haven’t been that many Australians on the Redskins roster.”

McMurtrie and Eroglu were recently out at Redskins Park to interview Rocca about his life and career as an NFL punter.  I headed them off with a conversation that gave me a better idea of Rocca’s past, and them a better idea of Rocca’s present.

As McMurtrie explained it, Australia is geographically segmented by the different football codes, be it AFL, rugby, etc.  But regardless of the local sport, Australians know Rocca, the 13th-leading AFL scorer of all time.

“Sav Rocca is a famous AFL name, he’s a storied player,” he said.  “He’s well-known, particularly in Melbourne and in places where Aussie Rules is played in Australia, because we play a number of football codes in Australia.”

“We’re interested in his success, and we’re interested in how his playing for the Redskins, which is one of the most storied sports franchises in the world.”

Rocca ranks among the league’s best in every meaningful punting category this season, and has helped to bring international intrigue to the Redskins.  The only thing that Australian fans don’t understand, is how their beloved kicker has been relegated to six kicks per game and no opportunity to score points.

“The more ardent NFL fans maybe understand, but for most Australians, there wouldn’t really be an understanding of what a punter does,” McMurtrie explained.   “Sav in his AFL career, not only would have been used to being one of the stars, but would have been on the ground for the whole game, just running his heart out.  And the idea of him standing on the sidelines and going out for punts on maybe three or four plays a game is extraordinary.” Read more »

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