Via Larry Brown Sports:
Atlanta Falcons kicker Matt Bryant has emerged as one of the better place kickers in the league this season. He has converted timely and clutch field goals all year long, including the game-winner against the Seattle Seahawks last weekend, but kicking footballs a long way isn’t his only rare talent.
Bryant told reporters on Thursday that he learned the mating call of an alligator while watching the National Geographic channel one day and has been able to perfect it.
“I was watching the National Geographic Channel one day, and heard them mimicking the mating sound that brings an alligator,” Bryant said, via USA Today. “So I figured I’d try and mimic the sound. Sure enough, a baby alligator came up from a retention pond behind our Tampa home.”
Bryant also claims he has used the mating call as a distraction when he is having a poor round of golf. While participating in a charity golf event in Myrtle Beach, S.C. last year, he says he frightened some members of his foursome — including offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter — by summoning a gator.
“If I’m not having a very good round, I’ll say, ‘Hey, watch this’ and do the alligator call,” Bryant said. “I did it a couple of times at Mr. Blank’s outing. The biggest one that came up from the pond was probably between 6 and 7 feet.”
But don’t worry, Bryant has learned that there is a fine line between communicating with the reptiles and putting himself and others in harm’s way.
“We were in Cancun for an event and were playing golf when we heard something thrashing in the mangroves,” he explained. ”I did the sound and, all of a sudden, the thrashing stopped. And from me to where Tony Gonzalez’s locker is (12-feet away), a saltwater croc stuck his head up. He was a 12- to 14-footer. He scared everybody, scared me. So I stopped making the sounds. I’ll talk with them now. But it’s from a distance.”
Thank goodness for that. This is the same Matt Bryant who had this funny story to tell about his game-winning kick against Seattle, so we know he has a great sense of humor. The question is: Do you believe that he is actually an alligator whisperer?