Forget wanting to be a sports agent. I want to be a kicker. You know, the guy who sits on the bench for the majority of football games counting his money as his team does all the real work. How talented do you have to be to hit kickoffs that go for touchbacks, kick game winning fieldgoals, and execute onside kicks that completely change games? I am being entirely sarcastic. In fact, I have always been a strong advocate of paying more attention to the value of having a good kicker. That being said, I was very excited when former NFL kicker, Owen Pochman, sent me a copy of his book, I’m Just a Kicker, for review.
I have to hand it to Owen on this fantastic read. From the very first page, I was hooked, never wanting to put the book down. In fact, I stopped running on the treadmill in favor of working out on a stationary bike so that I could be sure to get some reading of the book done every day. Honestly, the guy is not just a kicker. He is an excellent writer.
Throughout the book, Owen has a chip on his shoulder. He hates the way that kickers are treated and cannot stand being referred to as Kicker. It was the one position that he had a chance to perform at, so he did his best to try to change the stereotype of the standard NFL kicker.
It was not easy for Owen to get on a professional team. He was athletic since birth and was not exactly a pro when it came to hitting the books. His life seemed destined for failure when he went from being the most athletic at his age to becoming one of the smallest at 5’3 and 95 lbs entering high school. The poor kid was thrown into garbage cans by the football players and was relegated to playing soccer. Luckily for him, he excelled in the sport, which eventually opened up a door into being a successful kicker.
Besides the fascinating read about Owen’s remarkable determination to reach his goal of becoming an NFL starting kicker, his book is chalk full of humorous lines and stories. If he had not mentioned that he was a Mormon and went to BYU about a thousand times, you would never know what faith he followed. Okay, maybe the fact that he was a virgin until his early twenties and that he had to build up enough courage to dry hump a girl in college would give it away. The guy starts off his book with a bang. Throwing you into a bathroom stall where you have to take a piss into a cup while someone is staring at your junk in order to perform a drug test. It only gets better, with references to rubbing Icey Hot on his nuts in his normal workout routine and being caught naked in the San Fransisco 49ers hot tub while others yelled, “Ball Soup!”.
For all the shame he endured, he had a fairly successful career, dated Playboy Playmates, and was even asked to be on The Bachelor before his good friend Jesse Palmer was eventually selected. There was really only one area that I thought had any sports agent importance. Near the end of the book, Owen discusses how his agent ended up dropping him in a form letter. The agent did not even have the courage to do it on the phone. He still had teams interested in him, and the agent still let him go. I think Owen is doing just fine without that undisclosed agent.
A new Allstate Auto Insurance commercial features President Palmer from the show 24 saying, “No one knows who the kicker is…until you need him. Kind of like car insurance. Are you in good hands?” Before I was sent I’m Just a Kicker, I had no clue who Owen Pochman was. After reading his story, I would love to one day meet him in person. I feel like a lot of people close to him are in good hands.