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Before Doug Flutie's "drop kick" extra point last Sunday. The last known "drop kick" was made by me. I have video footage of the "drop kick" extra point from 1990, I was a sophomore WR at the University of LaVerne. It was the last game that legendary coach Roland Ortmayer coached. Coach Ortmayer or "Ort" was featured in an article (A Most Unusual Man) for Sports Illustrated in the 1989 College Football Preview. He coached at LaVerne for 43 years from 1948-1990. Ort was unorthodox to say the least. He didn't swear, he didn't use a playbook, he let the QB call his own plays, there were no mandatory practices, he doesn’t watch game film of opponents, he never kicked anyone off one of his teams, but most of all he believed that football should be fun. One time on Halloween Day, instead of our normal practice uniforms he grabbed a bunch of old game jerseys and pants, circa 1947. We looked like those players right out of those black and white NFL Films highlights except we didn't wear the leather helmets. It was the most fun I had ever had at football practice. I used to mess around and kick "drop kicks" before practice. In the week leading up to our last game vs Claremont-Mudd-Scripps Ort called me over and asked me if I could do it consistently. During PAT practice he had me do it with the snap and the defense coming at me. I had only done them for fun by myself with no pressure. I kicked a few and Ort told me, if we had a big enough lead in the game that we would try it. I told my family and friends about the possibility of the "drop kick." My Parents and Grandparents traveled all the way from Fresno to see my last game. When I lined up for that kick, I was the only one in the backfield and I was nervous. I had made hundreds of these kicks before. This time was different; Claremont was confused and called a time-out. I kept thinking about what would happen if I missed, the embarrassment and how my friends and teammates would razz me. I was told this later but the referees were also confused. During the time out they looked at Ort with puzzled looks on there faces. Ort yelled, "Drop kick!" The referees gave a nod and a look as if to say; alright let's see this drop kick. The whole play took about 4 seconds but it seemed a lot longer to me. The snap was good, I dropped, kicked, and watched as the ball spun end over end like any other extra point. It didn't go very far but it was good. The crowd erupted, my teammates were going crazy, and I saw a huge smile on Ort's face as I was running and jumping off the field as if we had won the Rose Bowl. It seemed fitting to do something so out of the ordinary for a man who is anything but ordinary. To see the video footage of my kick at LaVerne: Right click below, choose "Save Target As", save it to your computer, and play. (It takes a few minutes to download) http://www.washingtonunion.net/FitzDropKick3.mov The link below is a website that chronicles interesting kicking facts including "The Last Known Drop Kicks" http://www.mindspring.com/~luckyshow/field%20goals%20of%2060%20yards%20or%20more.htm Before Doug Flutie's accomplishment on Sunday, the last "Drop Kick" in the NFL was an extra point on December 21, 1941 by Ray “Scooter” McLean for the Chicago Bears in a 37-9 win vs the New York Giants in the NFL Championship at Wrigley Field. Before mine in 1990 the last "drop kick" extra point in NCAA history was in 1950 by Gene Simmons of West Virginia, he kicked 19 of 20 extra points by drop kick that season. Aaron Fitzgerald 10233 N. Recreation Fresno, CA 93720 (559) 916-7894
posted by coachfitz13 at 08:27 PM on January 03
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