After missing the potential game-tying field goal as time expired in the AFC Championship against New England last season, is there anyone in the football-watching universe that somehow wanted to be wearing Billy Cundiff's cleats?
My apologies for failing to notice Scott Norwood and Gary Anderson's raised feet in the back of the classroom, but yes there was: Kyle Williams. His two fumbled returns merely hours later booked the eventual Super Bowl-winning Giants' airfare, hotel suites, and spa appointments.
What's worse, there isn't even room for pariah punt returners in "Rashad Tarkenton's" scapegoated placekickers club hidden somewhere in Canada, and we still haven't met their mother.
Either fortunately or unfortunately (depending on your human side or lack thereof), neither Cundiff nor Williams will be suited up for the belated HarBowl. Williams is on injured reserve with a torn ACL, while Cundiff was cut by both Baltimore (paving the path for subsequently released rookie Kai Forbath) AND San Francisco, who brought him in late to compete with a struggling David Akers.
Ray Lewis, Joe Flacco, and Colin Kaepernick hardly leave any room to revisit the ingenious irony in that, and once more special teams sails wide left and floats under the radar.
Defense wins championships and offense sells tickets, but according to purple dinosaur and alleged Minnesota Vikings fan Barney, "everyone is special in his or her own way." As Adam Vinatieri, Desmond Howard, and David Tyree all have proven, special teams play truly determines the outcome of games.
It will be no different in New Orleans next Sunday with All-Pro specialists hyperventilating into paper bags on each sideline, but who has the advantage: the Ravens or the 49ers?