Kevin Ballinger is former long-snapper for the Purdue Boilermakers. More importantly, he's very funny. You can see for yourself via his Twitter account, his old blog and his very own Cribs video. Kevin is going to periodically write for Hot Clicks and check in about what life is like for a former Division I football player (who didn't exactly play the most glorious position) who is now an Endoscopic Specialist. Below, is an introductory post. He will be back next week with a tale about intramural athletics.
My name is Kevin, but my friends call me "Booty." I was given the nickname the first week of practice my freshman year at Purdue University where I was a 6-foot-3, 182-pound long snapper scared out of my mind. One of the kickers forgot my name so he referred to me as "New Booty." It was later shortened to "Booty," and that pretty much set the tone for my collegiate career. I am 90 percent sure most of my teammates thought my last name was actually "Booty" and I am 100 percent sure none of the coaches would have recognized me in or out of a football setting. From what I have been told, the coaches were going through the roster and the head coach said something to the effect of, “Who is Ballinger?” Shockingly, I was quickly cut from the team after that meeting.
I would like to think my sophomore year was an intentional redshirt by the coaching staff; a delayed gray shirt if you will. My sophomore (or redshirt freshman) year I was a year older, a year smarter (you grow up a lot after a six-month stent working at the local Abercrombie in the mall) and a year heavier so I was given another shot…after a third tryout. I have never been great at any sport, but I have always been just good enough to get by and play; luckily for me, enough guys got hurt and graduated by my senior year that I was 240 pounds and fortunate enough to start for my beloved Boilermakers on the field-goal team.
If you ever get the chance to be a field-goal long snapper for a Big Ten team, I recommend you do it. You will not necessarily get all of the fame as a Jim Everett or a Ryan Kerrigan, but it still rules. My career highlights include, but are not limited to: starting 13 games, getting free Nike wristbands, and shoving Penn State's Devin Still and calling him the b-word (luckily my teammates quickly broke that one up because that could have gotten ugly). I also started a blog my senior year about life as a long snapper. Turns out we do not really do a whole lot. The blog has since been retired, but I still run my twitter account 100 percent on my own. You will not find me on MySpace because, unfortunately, it was hacked about eight years ago. I apologize for any inconvenience.
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Here is the latest installment of This Week in Unnecessary Censorship.