Giants Punter Matt Dodge Kind Of Blames Bad Game Sunday On 9/11
Heading into the season, new Giants punter Matt Dodge had some big shoes to fill. With the retirement of Jeff Feagles during the offseason, the onus was on the rookie punter to at least perform adequately as he became accustomed to life as an NFL punter. Unfortunately, that has not been the case. Dodge struggled mightily through the preseason and did not do much to impress Giants fans on Sunday when he was involved in a blocked punt that went for a safety, something which prompted the fans to begin chanting “Fea-gles” in unison. Via The Star Ledger:
“I actually chuckled at that,” the rookie seventh-round pick said. “I know it probably wasn’t the right time to laugh. I was like, ‘Man, I have to do something here. I’m here to kick a football, so I need to hopefully end on a high note.’”
It’s good the kid has a sense of humor about matters such as these and put it quite plainly that he understands that his job entails a “need to kick the football,” no more, no less.
But during a meandering discussing regarding his punting, Dodge went with a unique reason for his shortcomings on Sunday: 9/11.
“The game was exactly the same. That’s what I have to remind myself,” he said. “But you definitely take in the atmosphere, what we’re remembering, playing in front of a great fan base, just remembering what happened on 9/11. My brother went over there and fought in Iraq.
“(But) at the end of the day I just need to kick the football. Don’t think about anything else.”
Now, by no means do I intend to disparage Dodge’s love for this country or the sacrifices his brother made enlisting in our military and fighting in Iraq, but you cannot go with that as an excuse, even a little bit, especially in New York. I understand that 9/11 is a sensitive issue not to be taken lightly in any situation, but come on, Matt Dodge, you can’t go there, man. As far as I know, no one else on a New York-based team used 9/11 as an excuse for their performance this weekend, although Rex Ryan still has time to and might want to look into it.
NY Giants punter Matt Dodge: ‘I just need to kick the football’ [The Star Ledger]