Wednesday, March 9, 2011

On the Art of Long Snapping, but not Long Catching

This video chronicles DBSF's favorite long snapper, James Connolly's, efforts to throw a football between his legs at Jamie Moyer-fastball speed to an individual who has no intention of catching the ball. The video starts off like Star Wars, if George Lucas edited it on Windows Movie Maker and if George Lucas was a college football long snapper.

But, first, it must be acknowledged--the gentleman in the blue who was assigned catcher of the long snaps . . . he was aware that he was tasked with this responsibility, correct? Okay then let's act like a professional and catch one or two. It's not a surprise. This isn't American Gladiators where like balls are coming from some strange hole in the ground, or like there's the real threat of Gemini, Zap, and Nitro colliding with him upon reception.

If you don't have 11 minutes in your work day to watch long snap repetitions at the school with the Humanitarian bowl inspired track--which if you're reading DBSF means you definitely do have time--then fast forward to 4:45 where it gets all auteur with the wide shot. Kind of David Lynch. Kind of Napoleon Dynamite. Also, there might be a thunderstorm at 6:50. Then again it could be a gust of wind or poor audio quality. DBSF pretends thunderstorm.

Later on (7:05ish) you see that the long snap catcher in blue actually experiences the ignominy of getting benched when it comes to handling field goal snaps as the stop watcher assumes responsibility. This executive decision is commensurate in disgrace to when NBA teams used to sub Adam Morrison in and out on the same free throw sequence so he would enter the game after the first attempt but return to the bench after the second.

Minutes 9:00 to 9:30 zoom in and out on the long snapper's hands. This portion is either too artistic for DBSF to appreciate, like Jean-Luc Godard, or some reverse-Rex Ryan hand fetish that DBSF prefers not to appreciate.

Closing thoughts: Vertigo can't be good to have if you're a long snapper; Wes Unseld was 6'7" 245 lbs, Connolly is 6'6" 280 lbs, too late for a career change? Only two things that could have made it better--tracking the entire video to Dubstep, and calisthenics. It should have started and ended with Connolly doing 5 or 6 jumping jacks and and a toe touch or two.


  1. Editor's note: For interested parties, most NFL snappers, long snap in the high .7s. Premier NFL long snappers usually get it down to the high .6s.

  2. Also, most NFL long snappers are wearing full pads and have a 300 lb. rhino breathing down their neck...but I can see how it's the same thing.