Punting is an art form.
While that sentence might be enough to make a casual NFL fan sleepy, bear with me. Because the punt you're about to witness might be one of the greatest in football history.
During the Los Angeles Rams' 46-7 drubbing of the Indianapolis Colts, L.A. punter Johnny Hekker put on a show. He punted five times and put all five inside the opponent's 20-yard line. That's about as good a day a punter can have.
However, one punt stood out from the rest. This was a punt so magical that a clip of it has already garnered over 130,000 likes on Twitter. OK—maybe some of those likes are for the punt and some of them are for former NFL punter Pat McAfee's impassioned commentary.
Take it away, Pat (the following clip contains graphic language):
While the punt may look fairly typical to the untrained eye, McAfee knows better. The dude was a two-time NFL Pro Bowler—if he's this jacked up over a punt, it's truly something special.
The technique Hekker employed is known as a "banana kick." It's popular in Australian rules football, and it's quite different than the typical American punting form. While hitting the ball off-center allows Hekker to spin the pigskin so it has a better chance of bouncing sideways out of bounds, it's also extremely easy to botch. But Hekker had the talent and the guts to pull it off. A day later, the Rams rewarded him with a fat contract extension:
Rams signed Johnny Hekker to 2-year extension, tying him to L.A. for 6 seasons, giving him $10M gtd, highest punter guarantee ever, per source — Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) September 11, 2017
Coincidence? We think not.