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Cundiff Moving On, But Have We?

Sam Koch Sums Up the Feelings of Ravens Nation

“No player had a more devastating ending to 2011 than Billy Cundiff,” Sports Illustrated’s Don Banks wrote recently.

It’s pretty hard to argue that point at least among those that are Ravens fans.  I’m sure that if you’re like me you remember where you were and who was next to when Cundiff’s 32-yd game tying Field Goal attempt sailed wide.

It’s a day that will live in infamy in Baltimore football history.

But a new season is only about three months away and with it the hope of redemption and a chance to achieve the ultimate in the NFL – a Super Bowl title.

Billy Cundiff would love to forget the 2011 season. Coming off a Pro-Bowl season in 2010 this past season was a struggle. Even before “The Miss”, he blew a few kicks down the stretch, dealt with a leg injury and exhibited a troubling lack of range all year, converting just one of six attempts from 50 yards out.

Can Cundiff find the redemption he seeks in 2012?

He seems to think so.

“What’s in the past is in the past,” he said Wednesday, the first time he’s spoken to media in months. “If you don’t win a Super Bowl in this league, then what you do doesn’t really matter for the most part.”

“It’s all about moving forward,” he said. “That’s the big thing for me. I would have liked to have made that kick, but at the same time, it didn’t happen.”

While Cundiff appears to have moved on I can only wonder if the Raven’s fan base has?

I think we all know the answer to that question is a resounding NO. Fans aren’t quick to forgive players who fail in crunch time and often those failures come to define the career of the athlete involved. Just imagine what the response will be when Cundiff’s misses his first Field Goal this season. Of course he’ll miss, because he’s human and sometimes kickers miss but after such a deflating mistake can he ever get back into the fan’s good graces?

I think Cundiff faces a huge uphill battle and while the franchise publicly have done nothing but support him they did at least acknowledge that the man who signed a $15 million dollar contract a year ago would have to compete for his spot.

Who he’ll face off with in this competition is anyone’s guess?

Shayne Graham who lost out to Cundiff in the kicking battle in 2010 and came in for a successful albeit short stint last season is not available. He signed with the Houston Texans for the upcoming season.

Undrafted rookie Justin Tucker from Texas was brought in to tryout and promptly booted a 55-yarder that sent the media into waves of excitement. So much so that respected reporter John Eisenberg told us to “Get Used to Tucker’s Name”. 

Tucker hadn’t even signed a contract. In, fact he isn’t on the roster.

That’s how quick we want Billy Cundiff out of this town and off of this team. There’s just too much pain and failure associated with his name at this point. And for a team that wants to move forward I’m not sure how that will be possible with Cundiff as the kicker.

Cundiff may have moved on, but I’m sure we all haven’t.

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