While most of the attention cast upon the most recent edition of Gentleman’s Quarterly will continue to focus around LeBron James, the former Cavaliers small forward was not the only athlete with Cleveland ties to be featured. Newly acquired Browns linebacker Scott Fujita stepped in admirably for a quick-hitter that is quietly tucked away within the middle of a feature.
The issue of GQ also included their annual “NFL Kickoff,” which typically features a smattering of alternative takes on the gridiron. Ranging from their rendition of the “NFL Frankestud” all the way to “Five Ideas” that would inherently make the game better, various columnists give their takes on the 17-week league.
In a feature coined “We’ve always wanted to know,” Fujita tackled the rarely-answered question about what players say to their kicker after he misses a big field goal.
“It depends who your kicker is,” said Fujita. ”When I was in Kansas City with Morten Andersen, you didn’t say a word. His track record spoke for itself.”
But since not every team can have their own Morten Andersen, the veteran Fujita discusses the other, younger side of the place-kicking spectrum.
“But last December when I was with New Orleans,” Fujia continued, ”our fat punk kicker, Garrett Hartley, missed a game-winner and we lost for the second week in a row – that was one of the times you want to grab a guy and tell him to [bug ] off. But Hartley was young, and I didn’t want to mess him up for good, so I just bit my lip and said, ‘Hey, man, don’t worry about it – it was a team loss,’ which of course was a total lie.”
Fujita did follow up with the fact that he was glad that he did not go after Hartley following the loss as the “fat punk” would later convert the field goal that sent the Saints to their first Super Bowl in franchise history and was also very instrumental in the team ultimately becoming victorious. The Vince Lombardi Trophy has a tendency to erase any previous ill will, and the Fujita-Hartley case is no different.
Thankfully for Fujita’s current placekicker Phil Dawson, he is definitely more Morten Anderson than Garrett Hartley having the youngster topped by 207 field goals made to this point in their respective careers. Dawson has converted 83.3 percent of his career attempts (ninth among all-time career leaders) and is only nine days removed from crushing a 58-yard field goal against the Green Bay Packers in preseason play. And if the numbers aren’t enough, Dawson is the man responsible for the “Phil Dawson Rule” that allows field goals and extra points off of the crossbar or uprights to be reviewed. Stanchion, for the win.
And also fortunate for Dawson is the fact that he of 229 conversions is now on Fujita’s team.
“Oh, one other thing,” Fujita added. “You always, always talk [crap] to the other team’s kicker after he chokes.”
(AP Photo/Bill Feig)