Whatever happened to all those wild-and-crazy kicking brothers - the Zendejas boys, the Gogolaks, the Bahrs, the Gramaticas - who only made two-thirds of their kicks?
I'll tell you what happened to them - Martin and Bill Gramatica now run the Gramatica Kicking Camp in Florida, where they are producing the next generation of can't-miss robo-kickers; I assume they spend at least an hour instructing campers how not to tear an ACL while celebrating a first-half field goal.
The numbers are eye-popping:
In 1967, NFL kickers made 51 percent of their field goal attempts. In 2008 - a year in which Sebastian Janikowski attempted a 76-yard field goal; who knew then-Raiders coach Lane Kiffin was a visionary? - NFL kickers made a record 84.5 percent. This year that mark likely will be broken, and kickers are making two-thirds of their attempts from 50 yards and beyond.
Maybe it's time to reconsider the field goal, as in GET RID OF IT.
Does it make sense that you have to drive the length of the field to get six points but only have to make a couple of first downs to get three? We're almost to the point where all you have to do is cross midfield to have a shot at a field goal. In soccer, you don't see 'em get to midfield, stop the game and allow a guy to kick it uncontested between the posts for half-a-goal.
By the way, in a high school game in the state of Washington Thursday night, senior Austin Rehkow kicked a 67-yard field goal as regulation expired in Central Valley's 62-55 overtime win over Shadle Park.
The Redskins signed the kid this morning.
Ask The Slouch
Q. Is it true that there was some discussion about shutting Tim McCarver down before the end of the season? (T. Ponton; Columbia, Md.)
A. If McCarver were ever held to a "word count," he might've gone 15 years between complete games.
Q. A la A-Rod, have you ever tossed a poker chip with your phone number to an attractive woman? (Jeremy Simms; Chicago)
A. That's actually how I first met Toni. But before calling me, she took the chip and doubled it at roulette.
Q. The NHL now has canceled regular-season games through Nov. 1. What do you do now? (Mark Ralston; Rock Hill, S.C.)
A. This is when my Strat-O-Matic hockey set pays for itself.
Q. Is it true that Michael Vick was spotted in the bakery aisle at a Philadelphia grocery store carrying a loaf of bread like a football? (Ed Rose; Medford, Ore.)
A. Pay the man, Shirley.
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