Monday, November 28, 2005

That Not-So-Fresh Feely

Before the fourth quarter of Sunday’s showdown with the Seattle Seahawks, New York Giants kicker Jay Feely had been virtually automatic this season.  He was perfect on extra point attempts and made 23 of his 25 field goal tries.  So no one would have expected him to miss three potential game-winning kicks as the Seahawks ultimately triumphed in overtime.  Here are some possible explanations for Feely’s failure to deliver.


He assumed there would be a false start.  The Giants committed an amazing 11 false starts in the game, so he figured it would be a waste of time to be ready on the first snap.

The game was so good, he didn’t want it to end.  The contest was a matchup of NFC division leaders and was tight throughout the game.  Once this entertaining offering finished, the day’s only remaining action was the night game between the 2–8 Saints and the 2–8 Jets.  Feely simply wanted to reward viewers by prolonging their last watchable option on Sunday.

He wanted to work on his kickoffs.  A tireless worker, Feely felt he needed more practice on his kickoffs.  Therefore, he refused to take the easy way out by converting on the 40–yard attempt at the end of regulation.  His decision paid off as the Giants lost the overtime coin toss, and Feely got to kick off one more time.

He was too caffeinated from Seattle’s coffeehouses.  Instead of Gatorade, Feely consumed endless cups of espresso on the sidelines during Sunday’s game.  As a result, he was enormously jumpy and distracted.  And really annoying to teammates during timeouts.

New York was just looking to keep pace with Dallas.  Coming into this week, the Giants were tied for first place with the Cowboys.  Dallas had already lost in overtime on Thursday.  Feely sent a message that the Giants were ready to match their division rival’s every move.

He temporarily thought he was A.J. Feeley.  Many fans confuse Jay Feely with A.J. Feeley, the backup quarterback for San Diego.  Jay himself got into a fog, convinced that as a mediocre quarterback, there was no way he could convert on the field goal attempts.

He wanted to remind Giants fans of their last Super Bowl title.  New York last won the Super Bowl as Scott Norwood’s 47–yard field goal attempt sailed wide.  Feely assumed that the team’s always-sentimental fans would enjoy being reminded of that great memory.

The fans had a rare opportunity to see a tie.  The NFL has only had one tie in the past eight years.  As a Falcon, Feely was part of the last stalemate – a 34–34 thriller against Pittsburgh in 2002.  Knowing that the Seahawks have never had a tie in their history, he wanted the Seattle fans to experience something new.

He just wanted some attention.  Feely was recently overheard venting, “It’s like I’m invisible around here!  It’s always Tiki this, Eli that, Jeremy… C’mon, somebody talk about ME!”  The New York media will grant his request.

He temporarily thought he was Ace Frehley.  The Kiss lead guitarist wants to rock ‘n roll all night – not kick a stupid ball!


Feely will look to bounce back in an NFC East showdown next week against Dallas.  In the meantime, his outlook has already brightened.  The Jets lost 21–19 Sunday night when former Ohio State kicker Mike Nugent was short on a 53–yard attempt at the end.  Feely can sympathize with Nugent, but he’ll choose not to – Feely went to Michigan.