Cundiff's storybook season reaches a new peak

Ladies and gentlemen, you're currently reading the blog of the 2010 Ravens Media Fantasy Football champion.

Adrian Peterson's big game last night wasn't quite big enough to overcome my 25-point advantage entering Tuesday's game (I still can't believe there was an NFL game on a Tuesday night), and my championship game victory over The Sun's Peter Schmuck is complete.

As champion of the Ravens media league, I now will be taking over for Ravens GM Ozzie Newsome. Hope he's OK with that.

Yesterday must have been a proud day for Ozzie, as he saw five of his players make the AFC's Pro Bowl roster.

Ray Lewis, Ed Reed, Haloti Ngata, Billy Cundiff and Terrell Suggs all were selected to the All-Star game, and this now marks the third season in a row that the Ravens have sent at least five players to the Pro Bowl.

Much of the national attention given to this group will be on Lewis, who is Pro Bowl-bound for the 12th time in 15 seasons in the NFL. That's certainly an impressive feat, as is Reed making it for the seventh time in nine pro seasons, Ngata getting selected in back-to-back years, and Suggs making the squad after a rough 2009 season which he has called the worst of his career.

But let's take a second here and discuss exactly what yesterday meant to Cundiff, who was named to his first Pro Bowl at the age of 30.

This is a guy who was out of the NFL for two seasons in 2007 and 2008. During that time, while he kept his ears open for any potential kicking gigs, Cundiff got a job at a venture capital firm. He applied to business school. He started, slowly and begrudgingly, to move on with his life in case he never got the chance to kick in the NFL again.

Cundiff finally got that chance, and after bouncing around from team to team (he's been a part of a whopping nine organizations in his career), he signed on with the Ravens in the middle of last season. Cundiff kicked well in '09, but still wasn't the favorite to retain the job this year after the Ravens added veteran kicker Shayne Graham in June.

That didn't concern the six-year veteran, who quietly went about his business and eventually earned the Ravens' kicking job over the more experienced, proven Graham. All Cundiff has done since then is make head coach John Harbaugh and special teams coordinator Jerry Rosburg look like geniuses.

Cundiff has 38 touchbacks on the season, two shy of the NFL single-season record currently held by the Vikings' Mitch Berger. He's gone 24-of-27 on his field goal attempts (88.9 percent) and has notched a career-high 110 points on the year.

Now, Cundiff finds himself heading to Hawaii, a place he certainly didn't think he'd be when he was sitting at his Arizona home two years ago, looking for work.

This is the type of story that we see turned into a Hollywood script these days. Cundiff held on to his dream through the hard times, clawed his way back into the NFL, and will be representing the AFC, standing alongside the best players in the league.

That's a story we can all appreciate, and celebrate, is it not?

blog comments powered by Disqus