Saturday, August 01, 2009

Day 50: Great Feets of History!

Kicking is a fine art

Okay, I know "feets" is not a word, but forgive my little play on words as I begin 10 days of looking at some of the more memorable kickers and punters in Columbia history.

I could have waited until the final 10 ten days to spotlight these guys, but then I remembered this classic song from Adam Sandler and I had to give the kickers their due right away.

It makes sense to start with Matt Pollard '90, who still holds the record for the longest field goal in CU history at 50 yards in a 1988 loss to Lehigh.

Pollard came to Columbia from Highland Park High School in Dallas, Texas where he was an All-District kicker and punter in that football hotbed.

In his sopohomore year of 1987, Pollard only saw limited duty as a kicker as he focused on this punting. He provided fans with one especially exciting moment on Homecoming against Yale, when he threw a 37-yard TD pass to John Robinson '89 on a fake punt in the 27-13 loss to the Elis. A serious injury later in that season put his career in doubt, but Pollard still make 2nd Team All Ivy as a punter that year.

But Pollard was back for '88 and it turned out to be his signature year. He hit 14 of 15 PAT's, 10 of 12 field goals, (including that 50-yarder), and finished the season making his final six FG's, (a streak he extended to seven in the '89 opener to put him in a tie with John Rocholl '09 who hit seven in a row in 2005). Pollard was named to the Honorable Mention All Ivy squad as a kicker for 1988.

Speaking of John Robinson, he has lost out on his bid to become athletic director at University of Houston. I know a lot of us were rooting for him.


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