Hunter the Punter
May 20, 2011 Leave a comment
Earlier today, Bob Kravitz posted an excellent article on Hunter Smith and his retirement. He talks about Smith’s upcoming book and his new band. I really urge you to check it out. Here is what I managed to write up on Hunter, one of my favorite Colts.
“Hunter the Punter”, as he was known, got a head start into Colts fans’ hearts because he attended and played at the University of Notre Dame, located inSouth Bend,Indiana.
Hunter Smith’s turning point though was early in his career. The day before the Cowboys visited the Colts, Deion Sanders said that if he got to the punter, he knew he was gone. So the next day, Hunter punted to Deion (and it wasn’t a very good punt, either). Deion broke it and got to the punter. And Hunter Smith brought him down. Colts fans have adored him ever since. Check out the play on you tube here.
Hunter was always an above average punter, and his locker room influence was incredible. He was a man of enormous character, and that added to the fan’s love. He truly was a perfect Colt, fitting the model that Jim Irsay, Bill Polian and Tony Dungy set by putting the biggest influence on character.
Hunter was also in a Christian band, Connersvine. He is a devout Christian, and remarkably, his first ever kiss was on the altar at his 2003 wedding to his wife Jennifer.
Hunter is the only special teams player in NFL history to run and throw for a touchdown. He was twice in his career the AFC special teams player of the month, and he won a super bowl with Indy.
The day he was let go by Indy was a very sad one for me and many other Colts fans. However, his replacement, Pat McAffe, is an excellent young punter, but has nowhere near the character and locker room impact of Hunter.
A few months ago, Nate Dunleavy of 18to88.com inaugurated some more players into his Classic Colts section. Hunter Smith was one of them. Here is his write up of Hunter the Punter”
“Hunter the Punter was the most popular Colt that fans hated to see on the field. Indianapolis’s punter for ten seasons was always
well liked in part because he was a Notre Dame graduate. A man of impeccable character, Smith was also an excellent athlete, able to run
and throw as well as kick. One of his smartest moves was to develop a rugby style punt that died easily inside the 10 yard line. Knowing that
the Colts had a top offense, it was more important that he pin teams deep with a short field rather than try to boom long punts. Despite a
fraction of the attempts of other punters, Smith managed to pin at least 20 balls inside the 20 yard line in six different seasons.
His two greatest claims to fame include an excellent hold on a key field goal in the playoffs against the Baltimore Ravens when he
took a bad snap and managed to get the hold down in time for Adam Vinatieri to make an important kick. He also famously tackled Deion
Sanders on a punt return. Sanders had bragged that he knew he would score if he saw a punter trying to tackle him. The next day, Smith
dragged Sanders down short of the goal line, showing what great speed he possessed.
He also plays in a band.”
Hunter the Punter: One of the most classy and most classic Colts.