Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Welcome home, Nick the Kick!

Ah, good news on the Redskins front, as University of Maryland cult hero and folk legend Nick "The Kick" Novak returns to the area to assume place-kicking duties for the burgundy and gold.

Nick the Kick -- the Pretty Boy Floyd of Maryland football.

all-time scoring leader in ACC football history, Novak's collegiate career began under much humbler circumstances. As a redshirt freshman in 2001, Novak just plain sucked. I mean, he was some kind of garbage. He started the season 4 for 11. He couldn't kick his grandmother off the couch.

that all changed on October 11, 2001 -- five years TO THE DAY that he joined the Redskins on a (hopefully) long-term basis -- when the Terps drove into field goal range at Georgia Tech with the clock winding down. In hostile Atlanta, Maryland faced a 46-yard field goal to tie the score on the final play. True to the form he had theretofore displayed, Novak had earlier shanked a 32-yarder. I remember a chorus of groans as he took the field. No one could watch.

Nick approached the ball, took a deep breath, the kick was up, and he pushed it just over the cross bar. YESSSSS!!! He then nailed a game-winning 26-yarder in OT. The Terps had beaten Georgia Tech on the road to preserve their undefeated season. Wow - read that last sentence back. Was that really just five years ago? Gah.

So anyway, the rest is history. After getting laid by no less than 11 New Jersey sorority girls immediately upon his return to College Park, Nick the Kick never looked back. And neither did we. And now, he's back in the area, kicking for the Skins. Welcome home, brother. Welcome home.

Novak Will Replace Hall [Washington Post]
Unbeaten Maryland Tops Georgia Tech [New York Times]
Novak Named Tatum Award Winner By ACC []

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(photo credits: CSTV, Corbis)