Pro sports can make for strange careers, but none are more bizarre than the unstable existence of an NFL placekicker.
It is hands down the most insecure role in football if not all sports. Macho teammates think kickers are weak wannabe athletes in undersized pads, head coaches consider them an inconvenience all too prone to failure, and most legitimate agents don’t deem the position worthy of representation. Even a kicker’s own mind can undercut him, with one wrong thought sending him into a career-ending case of the “yips,” leaving him unable to ever kick straight again.
The inevitably frustrating and disturbingly funny lot of a placekicker is brought to vividly witty light in THE POINT AFTER: How One Obsessive Kicker Learned there was More to Life than the NFL by Sean Conley. Conley doggedly chased the unicorn dream of being a pro kicker as it repeatedly turned into a nightmare. His pursuit saw him pinball through three NFL teams, discovering that just getting the chance to show off his talent was a daunting challenge. Along the way, he hired and fired a slick Brooklyn agent who favored gold chains and shiny pink tracksuits, fought through a string of “almost there” moments with contracts dangled and then yanked away, and did time in the NFL purgatory of the European League. His season spent kicking for the Scottish Claymores was the final straw, leading him to hang up his mismatched cleats.
On the back of his savage disappointments, Conley discovered the pure, simple joy of family, and found a new passion and career in teaching yoga. A uniquely humorous and human story, THE POINT AFTER is ultimately a tale of personal redemption.