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For their own good
Fifty years ago, they were screwed-up kids sent to the Florida School for Boys to be straightened out. But now they are screwed-up men, scarred by the whippings they endured. Read the story and see a video and portrait gallery.
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Just for kicks
Some jobs you just don't want.
By DAVE MURPHY
Published March 15, 2007
Some jobs you just don't want.
Pacman Jones' publicist.
Paris Hilton's mother.
Keith Richards' liver.
And, of course, Tim Marcum's kicker.
When asked how many players he has used at the position during his 13 years in Tampa Bay, Marcum just smiled.
"I know it's been at least four or five," he said.
He was joking.
The guy changes kickers the way some people change air conditioner filters. With the signing of Todd Sievers this week to replace Matt Leach (who replaced Bill Gramatica), Marcum has now switched kickers 23 times in his 13 seasons as Storm coach (2007 tally: three in three weeks).
Though Freud would have had a field day (heck, he probably would have had a tryout), the old-school, Texas-native Marcum insists he has no grudge against kickers.
"Between the pipes is all we ask," he said.
But Leach and Gramatica shouldn't hold their heads in shame.
Among the 17 men with whom Marcum has parted ways are the AFL's all-time leading field goal kicker, its single-game record holder for field goals and an NFL field goal champion.
Here they are, in chronological order:
1 Jorge Cimadevilla, 1995-96: Has a decent career with the Storm. And, by decent, we mean two seasons in which he hit 20 of 60 field goals. Leaves after the 1996 season to sign with Nashville.
2 Bjorn Nittmo, 1997: Well-traveled kicker who once appeared on David Letterman's show signs with Storm, only to leave before kicking in a game to try out with the Bucs.
3 Terry Belden, 1997: Storm signs the former Memphis kicker to replace Nittmo. "We think this guy, because he has kicked in the league and has performed pretty well, can help," Marcum says. A month and a half and nine missed field goals later, he is waived.
4 Rich Fall, 1997-98: Former Amsterdam Admiral of the World League finishes season, hitting 10 of 20 field goals and 33 of 38 PATs, but starts next season by missing two field goals and is released.
5 Nittmo, 1998: Bjorn lives! He made two field goals in the preseason with the Bucs but could not unseat Michael Husted. He returns to Storm, hits 13 of 30 field goals and 84 of 93 PATs and is promptly snatched up by Buffalo in the expansion draft.
6 Matt Huerkamp, 1999-2000: The first player since Cimadevilla to last an entire season. He hits 15 of 31 field goals and 79 of 87 PATs in 1999 and 8-of-20 and 48-of-53 in 2000 before a pulled muscle ends his season.
7 Jay Feely, 2000: Former Tampa Jesuit star lasts just one game with the Storm before being released. Two years later he hits 32 field goals for the Atlanta Falcons, tied for the NFL lead.
8 Justin Skinner, 2000: Spent some time in Jacksonville Jaguars camp. Has a decent season for the Storm, hitting 8 of 17 field goals and 17 of 22 PATs.
9 Mike Black, 2001-02: A virtual kicking dynasty, he lasts nearly two full seasons before tearing his ACL while trying to make a tackle at the end of the 2002 season.
10 Pete Elezovic, 2002-03: The kicker of the year with Albany in 1996, he replaces Black for the playoffs in 2002. By Week 4 of the following season, he is gone.
11 Ian Howfield, 2003: Lasts six games before being cut.
12 Black, 2003: Battles back from injury. Hits 12 of his first 14 kicks. Is released.
13 David Cool, 2003: Plays two games before being sidelined with bruised ribs.
14 Steve Kratz, 2003: Misses all three of his kicks in his first game. Goodbye.
15 Kenny Stucker, 2003: Tied AFL record for field goals in a game during a stint in Miami. Misses his only kick as a member of the Storm.
16 Howfield, 2004: Released after one game.
17 Black, 2004: Released less than a month after re-signing but still holds AFL career record for field goals.
18 Matt George, 2004: Hits 4 of 6 field goals but is injured in mid April.
19 Ignacio Brache, 2004: Finishes season, going 6-of-9 on field goals and 38-of-44 on PATs.
20 George, 2005: Goes 17-of-30 FGs and 97-of-106 on PATs
21 Bill Gramatica, 2006-07: Former USF star and Arizona Cardinals kicker goes 12-of-30 on field goals and 94-of-108 on PATs. In 2007 season opener, misses four PATs and is subsequently released.
22 Matt Leach, 2006-07: Former Florida kicker hits 4 of 6 PATs in only game but is released afterward for failing to hit the net on his kickoffs.
23 Todd Sievers, 2007: Former Austin kicker. Future former Storm kicker? Stay tuned to find out.