Nappy shakes up expectations at place-kicker

Published: Friday, September 16, 2005 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Friday, September 16, 2005 at 3:02 a.m.
The season started roughly for Eric Nappy.
First, the restaurant owned by his parents burned down in the summer. Then, as he ran through the tunnel for the first time, someone stepped on his foot.
"My toe was throbbing," he said. "These kicker's shoes are pretty light."
But he finally was able to realize a dream when he took the field Saturday night to try a for-real extra point. After Chris Hetland missed an extra point, Nappy got the call.
"I felt good about it, but I felt bad for Hetland," Nappy said. "It was definitely more intense than I thought it would be."
Nappy made both of his tries. Urban Meyer said this week's place-kicker will be a game-time decision.
  • IN THE NFL: Pro scouts should pay special attention to the wide receivers playing in Saturday night's game between Florida and Tennessee.
    Because on the NFL opening day rosters, no college had more pass-catchers in the play-for-pay league. Tennessee and Florida each have six. Florida's are Jabar Gaffney, Reche Caldwell, Travis Taylor, Darrell Jackson, Ike Hilliard and Taylor Jacobs, who is battling a toe injury in Washington and may not be activated again this week.
    The Gators and Vols are also tied for the second-most players in the NFL with 37 each. Florida State has the most with 42.
    Perhaps the most surprising former Gator who made an NFL team would be cornerback Reynaldo Hill. Hill had an undistinguished career at UF with one interception in 1,166 plays and was the 218th pick of the NFL Draft.
    And as far as the cupboard being bare when Steve Spurrier left, there are 12 players from the 2002 team now in the NFL and seven others who have been on NFL rosters at one time.
  • BCS BALONEY: And now we bring you our weekly rant against the BCS and the way college football decides its champion, brought to you by the movie "Dumb and Dumber III, Roy Kramer's Revenge."
    The problem isn't just with the inane Harris Poll, which has replaced seven members and is still without a woman, or the coaches' poll, which has nothing to do with the coaches.
    The computers are a joke, too. Evidence? Both the Massey and the Colley computer rankings, each used by the BCS, have New Mexico at No. 1. USC is 45th in the Massey poll. I know it's early, but that's ridiculous.
    Combine that with the polls of pollution, including the Harris where current Carolina player and voter Brentson Buckner (on his Web site) had Oregon State 12th one week and out of the top 25 the next after it beat Boise State and you see the mess we're in.
  • JUST DUMMY: So the phone rings and the voice on the other end says you can win a free week at a resort hotel by answering a short survey. You hang up, knowing it's a scam.
    That's what we all should have done when Myles Brand said recently that the NCAA was going to be a kinder, gentler and more flexible organization.
    The NCAA's decision not to let basketball teams play an extra game to raise money for Katrina victims is asinine. The concern is that not every school will be able to schedule a game giving the ones who do an unfair advantage.
    So what? If you raise millions of dollars to help people who are disadvantaged in the first place, does anyone really care if it helps Syracuse win a December game against Illinois-Chicago?
  • COMING HOME: The Sugar Bowl may end up in Baton Rouge and we know the Saints are there for four games. Think it's a coincidence that the first of those Saints' games in Tiger Stadium on Oct. 30 is against Miami?
    Which is, of course, coached by Nick Saban.
    Hopefully, he runs to the right bench.
  • WUERFFEL HOUSE AGAIN: Danny Wuerffel will be honored at halftime Saturday night (which is not a good omen for the Vols) by representatives of the World Sports Humanitarian Hall of Fame and the Heisman Trophy. Wuerffel will be given the Tradition of Excellence Award, which was initiated to honor a former Heisman winner who is an outstanding humanitarian.
  • FOOTBALL FIX: Here is why college football is better than anything else - it never disappoints.
    Every weekend, you know you are going to get a major upset, a scare for a highly-ranked team, an overtime game, a high-scoring wow game and a play you've never seen even though you thought you'd seen everything.
    Two reasons - there is more parity than ever and there are so many games every Saturday. And Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.
    College football is like going to the grocery store - don't like what's on this aisle, go one over.
    And so we have this great weekend with so many games we know are going to be good and others that are going to surprise you. One to watch for - what if Pitt, which lost to Ohio and former Nebraska coach Frank Solich, beats Nebraska, which is coming off a 5-6 season under Bill Callahan, Solich's replacement?
    Or what if Oklahoma loses again? Or Illinois wins again? Or Vanderbilt goes to 3-0? Notre Dame is glad Urban Meyer said no, Florida is glad Bobby Stoops wasn't interested, Illinois is glad Florida fired Ron Zook and Pitt is wondering what it saw in Dave Wannstedt.
    How I do love this time of year.
  • GOOD CAUSES: Betty Dale, whose son Chuck died of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, is organizing her annual 3-mile ALS walk. It will be Oct. 1 at 9:30 a.m. at the Health Park Pavilion. The last three walks have raised more than $75,000. Chuck Dale was a pitcher at Gainesville High and Florida. Call 376-1446 for more information ... Florida fans heading for Tuscaloosa for the Alabama game might want to go early and take your sticks. The Charley Pell Memorial Golf Tournament will be that Friday in at Old Colony Tuscaloosa to benefit Mental Health. Call Jane Davis, at 334-242-3107 or Ward Pell at 256-413-3280 for more information.
  • PAT-POURRI: If I had a vote, I'd have Texas No. 1. What team has done more than winning in Columbus? ... And Vince Young is my Heisman leader as we speak. ... In theory, you could have MVPs in both leagues who are not in the playoffs - Chicago's Derek Lee and New York's Alex Rodriguez. I'm partial to Andruw Jones and David Ortiz myself. ... Remember who picked the Indians to win the AL Central? ... OK, forget that I also picked the Diamondbacks. ... Be safe.
    You can reach sports columnist Pat Dooley by e-mail at, or by calling 374-5053.
    You can hear The Pat Dooley Hour each weekday from 11 a.m. to noon on The Star 99.5-FM.

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