Found January 10, 2012 on
Fox Sports South:
One of these things is not like the others. One of these things just doesn't belong.
Anybody under 50 recognizes that jingle from "Sesame Street," but in football, the thing that's not like the others is the field goal kicker: that little guy with the clean uniform, the one who sits off by himself when he's not booting balls into a net; the one with all the superstitions and good luck charms; the one the coach barely mentions; the one who can go three months without full contact, but who gets all the glory after kicking the game winner.
Very few people even know his name unless he misses three or four in a crucial game. Then they know him enough to vilify him like he's an ax murderer.
But not anymore, at least not in Alabama. For Crimson Tide fans, their little guy made history on Monday night. And they will remember him and what he did for quite some time.
In one of the great redemption stories of the year, Jeremy Shelley, a former snowboarder and motor-cross racer who still looks like he would be at home shredding powder with Shaun White, kicked a BCS record five field goals to give Alabama its 14th national championship title.
All five of the kicks felt especially sweet since Shelley and his kicking partner Cade Forster missed four field goals in the Tide's only loss of the year on November 5: the first meeting with LSU. In that one, Foster missed three, including one in overtime that sealed Alabama's fate, while Shelley had one blocked.
Fan reaction was exactly what you would expect. Foster had to shut down his Facebook and Twitter accounts to stop the hate mail. One person even wrote, "If you tried to hang yourself you couldn't kick the chair."
"It was pretty bad, but there was a lot of good stuff, too, a lot of people who sent notes of support saying that they had faith in me," Shelley said. "And my teammates all supported me and Cade. They believed in us. That was the most important part."
Words of faith and encouragement are crucial to a kicker. That's why, after Shelley's second field goal attempt in the championship game was blocked, Nick Saban pulled him aside and gave him what he needed.
"He said he had faith in me and that he knew that I had that range," Shelley said. "He told me to just relax and don't try to kill the ball."
As simple as those words were, they were perfect: soothing and repetitious. Kicking is all about repetition. Saban knows that as well as anyone. That's why he used those words in that order.
"He said the exact same thing when we played LSU last time when I had one blocked," Shelley said. "It really helped me both times."
Don't try to figure out a kicker. It's like figuring out an artist or a poet or the guy who jumps off the Eiffel Tower holding his parachute in his hand. They're just different.
"You know, I've been visualizing about this for the last week," Shelley said. "That helped me see it once I stepped out on the field, you know, like it wasn't the first time."
In addition to the block, Shelley pushed another kick wide right, and he missed an extra point. That made him 5 of 7 in field goals and 0 for 1 in PATs, a strange combination for a record-setting night.
"I've never tried seven in a game before," he said. "I've never even tried five. Four is the most I've ever tried, and that was in high school. I'm a little sore. It was a busy night."
As for the burden being lifted from that earlier loss to LSU, Shelley, like all kickers, had long ago put the past behind him. "Every play is a new play with a life and history of its own," he said.
Of course he's still that thing that's not like the others. In the locker room after the championship the numbers on his jersey were still pearly white, and his hair was barely ruffled. Even Saban had trouble heaping the same level of praise on Shelley that he lavished on A.J. McCarron, Trent Richardson and Courtney Upshaw.
"Jeremy did a great job in the game," Saban said. "We have a lot of confidence in Jeremy. He doesn't have great range, but when we get it down there by the 25-yard line he does a pretty good job for the most part. We got one blocked and he pushed one to the right a little bit. But we're just going to keep on keeping on and keep giving him opportunities."
That's all Shelley or any other kicker ever wants.
"Everybody's always asked me about pressure of hitting game winners," Shelley said. "I've always said that you never know when the game winner's going to come. It could be in the first three minutes of the game. You think you're going to kick the game-winner as a dream, but looking back on it, hitting five field goalsI still can't believe it."
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BC profiled Alabama kicker Jeremy Shelley before the first Game of the Century and the kicking game and you guys laughed at us. “Kicking game, blah, blah, blah,” was all we heard. And then the kicking game became a huge story. It wasn’t necessarily Shelley missing all the important kicks, but guess who’s ass could be on the line tonight? Can you see a little Greg McElroy...
Tuesday, January 10, 2012 1:20 am ET
By Anthony Caruso III
The Capital Sports Report
The University of Alabama’s football team is the new BCS National Champion.
The Tide became the first team to ever win a BCS bowl by shutting their opponent out. It is also their second National Championship in three years.
Yet, the way they won the game was a bit nontraditional. They rode the...
Jeremy Shelley kicked five field goals and Trent Richardson broke a 34-yard touchdown run late in the fourth quarter as No. 2 Alabama beat No. 1 LSU 21-0 on Monday night - the first shutout in BCS title game history.
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Round 2 of Alabama-LSU was more of the same.
Jeremy Shelley kicked a 23-yard field goal, set up by a 49-yard punt return by Marquis Maze, and No. 2 Alabama led No. 1 LSU 3-0 at the BCS championship game Monday night.
The Southeastern Conference rivals met on Nov. 5 in what was dubbed the Game of the Century, and the Tigers won a touchdown-less, defensive standoff, 9-6 in overtime...
Jeremy Shelley redeemed Alabama's kickers. Shelley overcame a few errant kicks to equal a bowl record with five field goals in the Crimson Tide's 21-0 win over LSU in Monday night's BCS championship game, writing a feel-good ending for the little guys with the maligned legs. It meant Alabama (12-1) survived this time though its offense, again, kept getting turned back.
Jeremy Shelley kicked five field goals and Trent Richardson broke a 34-yard touchdown run late in the fourth quarter as No. 2 Alabama beat No. 1 LSU 21-0 on Monday night _ the first shutout in BCS title game history.
Jeremy Shelley redeemed Alabama's kickers.
Jeremy Shelley redeemed Alabama's kickers.
A staunch defensive effort, combined with a record-setting night from kicker Jeremy Shelley, propelled the University of Alabama football team to its 14th national championship with a 21-0 victory over LSU Monday night in the BCS National Championship Game.
So 30 minutes are in the book, and it's safe to say that the BCS National Championship game is going according to NO ONE'S plan. Alabama has a 9-0 lead, and really, if they had a bit better execution inside the red zone, they could be up by a lot more.
Here are 10 thoughts on everything so far, including what's happened, what's to come, and a closing thought from...
Jeremy Shelley kicked five field goals and Trent Richardson broke a 34-yard touchdown run late in the fourth quarter as No. 2 Alabama beat No. 1 LSU 21-0 on Monday night -- the first shutout in BCS title game history.
Somebody please explain how an undefeated squad rips through the regular season and falls apart in the national title game....anybody care to share?
The 2011 Allstate BCS National Title game was ridiculous from start to finish. Beginning with the fact that Alabama was voted into the number two spot by BCS voters back in December and ending with the fact that LSU crossed the...
New Orleans, LA (Sports Network) - Revenge is sweet...even sweeter when it comes in dominating fashion with everything on the line.
The Alabama Crimson Tide avenged their lone loss of the season and won the BCS National Championship as a result, using a stifling defense and kicking their way past LSU, 21-0, for the program's 14th title.
The "Rematch of the Century"...
Round 2 of Alabama-LSU was more of the same. Jeremy Shelley kicked a 23-yard field goal, set up by a 49-yard punt return by Marquis Maze, and No. 2 Alabama led No. 1 LSU 3-0 at the BCS championship game Monday night. The Southeastern Conference rivals met on Nov. 5 in what was dubbed the Game of the Century, and the Tigers won a touchdown-less, defensive standoff, 9-6 in overtime.