Special Teams and Me: A Retrospective on My Football Journey
Updated: Jan 11
When I was younger, football was just another sport for me. Just a bunch of big guys running into each other. It wasn't until I discovered special teams that I saw the true beauty of the sport. Within this article, I would like to reflect on my journey of documenting Special Teams in the game of football.
I began watching football in 2017 when I realized that my girlfriend's parents were huge football fans, in an effort to have something in common with them. I quickly became a fan of the NFL's Baltimore Ravens but it would take me another 4 years before I honed in on what I love about the game. Justin Tucker's impressive performances as the team's Kicker not only helped the Ravens win games but also sparked my interest in the role of Special Teams in the game of Football. This was also around the time when I dived head-first into how statistics were gathered and analyzed in today's day and age; I wasn't happy with what I saw. In 2021, I took a leap of faith and determined it was within my ability to write about Special Teams. I may have been in over my head.
As you can see, I did not have the greatest idea of what was important regarding kickers and punters. I thought field goal percentage was the only important statistic for Kickers and didn't even track field goal length or even points scored. I figured that the only relevant statistic regarding Punters was the average number of yards per punt, which just isn't true. I would post "articles" on Reddit at this time.
After a year of inconsistent year writing about the subject, I decided it was time to change things halfway through the year. With the help from the ever-helpful CFL community, I finished the year tracking the following statistics;
I determined it was important to start tracking points scored, longest field goals, and field goal lengths for Kickers as well as punts inside the 25 yard line for Punters. I also began my very own Power Rankings. After about 10 weeks, I unexpectedly moved in with my girlfriend and put my writing aspirations on hold for the time being. I came back in early 2022 and wrote for 13thmansports.ca for some time before I had to break off on my own to pursue my own style. With the inaugural USFL Season beginning, I decided to start my own website (BetweenTheGoalposts.com) so I would have somewhere to host my work.
With the start of the 2022 CFL Season upcoming, I wanted to really buckle down and focus on what I wanted to get out of this new-found hobby. I determined I needed to consolidate a few stats and expand my scope elsewhere, specifically in the Punting department;
At the end of 2022, I regrouped and I believe I had a deeper, more meaningful understanding of Special Teams statistics. As I continue to write into 2023, I am aware that I need to take another look at some areas of statistics/analysis in order to improve the accuracy and depth of my articles. I understand that there is always room for growth and improvement in my writing and I am dedicated to learning and developing further as a writer.
Keep your eye out for a New Article coming this month regarding how I will be discussing new tools and techniques of analysis.
Thank you for reading and supporting my articles. Your interest and engagement are appreciated and I am grateful for the opportunity to share my knowledge with you. I hope to continue providing interesting and informative content for you in the future.