November 2, 2009

The Sailer Tradition

From the LA Daily News' article on the last second victory, by my old high school, Notre Dame of Sherman Oaks, in its annual football game against its archrival:

The tradition of having great kickers is alive and well at Notre Dame High of Sherman Oaks.

Eric Solis kicked three field goals Friday, including a 51-yarder with one second remaining in a dramatic 23-21 victory over rival Crespi of Encino in a Serra League opener at Notre Dame.

From Chris Sailer to Nick Folk to Kai Forbath, Notre Dame has had some of the best kickers, but Solis' field goal gave the Knights one of the most exciting comeback victories in the school's 62-year history.

At the high school level, field goals from over 50 yards are quite rare (at least at low altitude). Indeed, they aren't common in the NFL: in 2008, eleven of the NFL's 32 regular field goal kickers had a longest field goal of no more than 50 yards.

Solis is, I believe, the fifth kicker in my old high school's history to boot a 50-yard or longer field goal since Chris Sailer launched this tradition in 1994. During the four playoff games of Notre Dame's 1994 championship year, Sailer kicked eleven field goals, four of them longer than 50 yards, one a last second game winning 58-yarder in a light rain.

NDHS grads include Kai Forbath, who has made 20 of 22 field goals for UCLA this year, Eric Folk who has made 12 of 14 for Washington, and Nick Folk who has made 12 of 15 for the Dallas Cowboys.

In case you are wondering, Chris Sailer is not, as far as I know, any relation to me. (My understanding is that "Seiler" is a surnamed derived from the German word for "ropemaker," while "Sailer" is a snobby variant spelling of that, as "Smythe" is to "Smith."

But, the story of NDHS's kickers is a Sailerian one of selection and training, nature and nurture.

Chris Sailer went on to be an All-American at UCLA, but didn't have much of an NFL career. So, he went into the business of tutoring placekicking and long snapping, and now has a booming business. Nick Folk of the Cowboys, for example, studied under Sailer for ten years. This is an example of the growth of tutoring and private training among white football players. It used to be that you showed up at school, the football coach had you practice, and that was that. Now, however, quarterbacks and placekickers tend to also be privately drilled and attend summer camps, where they can be specially taught, and scouted as well.

Sailer claims that in the high school class of 2009, 53 placekickers and/or punters who attended one of his kicking camps earned college scholarships.

Not surprisingly, Sailer's old high school benefits from all this, creating a self-perpetuating Sailer Tradition at NDHS.

Top placekickers these days are mostly white, plus some Hispanics (usual with Anglo first names). Even at Howard U., the traditionally black college in D.C., the placekicker is Dennis Wiehberg, a white soccer player from Germany.

If you are a football-loving dad and would like your reasonably athletic kid to get a free ride to college, place-kicking, punting, and long-snapping are plausible routes if your son is self-disciplined and you've got time and money to invest in training for him.

Meanwhile, many blacks have come to actively disdain kicking as a white thing, which has cost some otherwise talented all-black high school teams championships.

It's all an interesting example of voluntary resegregation within an integrated sport.

My published articles are archived at -- Steve Sailer


John Seiler said...

A kicker also can thrive amore than other players at a small college or on a bad team, because his effort is more individual. A fine quarterback might not be noticed on a crummy team. But a punter would get a lot of work, and his good numbers would impress.

AllanF said...

This has been exactly my thinking for my 5 year old. Unfortunately I think the cat is largely out of the bag. But it is still very much worth taking a shot at from a risk vs. reward & cost vs. benefits analysis.

jody said...

competitive golf is still the sport for this. an NCAA golf team is 10 players. how many kickers and punters are on an NCAA football team? plus, the field in golf is TOTAL GARBAGE, as i've pointed out many times.

if you have a non-athlete son, teach him to play GOLF. a PGA golf field is 150 players, every single one of them a third rate hand-eye coordination athlete. 150 positions is almost 100 more positions than there are in the NFL for kickers and punters, 64.

due to widespread discrimination against white athletes in american football, you definitely do not want to get into kicking or punting if you are a non-athlete or a marginal athlete. good white athletes are routinely moved from playing the "wrong" position, like linebacker, to playing the "correct" position, punter. every NFL punter is big and a good athlete.

now, they're even being moved to kicker. david buehler, the cowboy's kickoff kicker and punt return tackler, is the best raw athlete on the team. in the NFL combine he tested out better than the majority of the linebackers, including USC teammate rey maualuga, a second round pick. he outlifted a couple of the linemen, including michael oher, a raven's first round pick who looks to be a very good tackle. oher, in classic american pro-black style, even has had a movie made about his life, "the blind side", which will be in wide release on november 20.

at cowboy's training camp, he openly challenged deangelo smith, a fellow rookie drafted in the fifth round as a cornerback, to a race. buehler easily won. smith was cut later in the year before making the 53 man roster.

Steve Sailer said...

To get an athletic scholarship, teach your daughter to play golf -- shooting in the low eighties is about all it takes because Title IX requires lots more female golf scholarships than there is interest in the game among teenage girls.

Anonymous said...

Jody, Do you really believe Buehler was "moved" to kicker instead of his natural position of linebacker? What about the starting linebackers at USC that Buehler was cast aside in favor of their starting.....Clay Mathews and Brian Cushing? Oh wait - they're white guys- I guess you missed that one. You sound like that whiny bitch Kellen Winslow Sr. who would only let his son play for a black coach or black offensive coordinator due to racial discrinination- he ended up at Miami instead of Washington.

And Buehler had a better 40 time than the Cowboys cornerback? I wonder how he did in cone drills or lateral movement drills? That is what seperates the brothers from the white boys. Do you think he got shafted out of a starting cornerback position in the pros? If so that's quite a story Jason Sehorn, Brian Davis and Tory Nixon would be eager to hear about. Because that's it in the way of white guys playing corner in the NFL? You sound Sharptonesque with your constant whining about your race getting the shaft. Tell everyone again how Blake Ezor should be starting for the Chicago Bears?

You do make sense a lot of the time but this subject makes you look like a whiny idiot.

Dan in DC

Anonymous said...

To get an athletic scholarship, teach your daughter to play golf -- shooting in the low eighties is about all it takes because Title IX requires lots more female golf scholarships than there is interest in the game among teenage girls.

Or get her interested in rowing. Yes, rowing. Because rowing (also known as crew) teams can be large, some colleges are using women's rowing scholarships to help offset the men's football scholarships for Title IX purposes.

Also, while rowing requires superb physical conditioning, it does not demand much in terms of specific athletic skills. It's one of the few sports that can be first taken up by college students with no prior experience.


Anonymous said...

"Great analysis- although I'm fairly certain kicking is for fags."

LOLOLOLOL, you need to let more of this comic gold through the filter. It's not actually that funny in and of itself, but within the context of a society which is fining guys like Larry Johnson six hundred and thirty thousand dollars (later halved) for using the word "fag" it becomes super funny.

You need to address that in a future post Stevie: are you cool with living in a country where you can be fined nearly a million bucks for saying "fag"?

What did I tell you a year ago? What did I tell you? I told you that Obama was going to turn USA into Canada and that is precisely what is happening. Here's how it is in Canada:

"A gay man in Montreal has been awarded $1,000 by Quebec's Human Rights Tribunal after he was called "fifi" by a used car salesman.

According to the judge's decision, the man suffered emotionally from the comments. His name cannot be released because of a publication ban.

"Calling someone a 'fifi' constitutes a scornful way of referring to homosexuals," Judge Michele Pauze concluded. "The use of this term wounds and adds to the disgrace and lack of respect of human dignity a person (can suffer), homosexuals in particular."

The decision stems from an incident in November 2001. The man was driving a hitchhiker and stopped at a used car lot when his passenger, 20-year-old Dominic Lanthier, said he was looking to buy a used vehicle.

The two men walked into a dealership in Sorel, about 70 kilometres northeast of Montreal. While he was out of the driver's earshot, used car salesman Marcel Bardier said to the hitchhiker, "Fais attention a lui, c'est un fifi (pay attention to him, he's gay)."

Lanthier told the man what the salesman said. The gay man told the judge the comments made him feel dehumanized, humiliated and degraded.

"It makes me look like a criminal," he said. "Fifi -- you just can't say that."

In addition to the $1,000 in damages, Bardier and his employer, Roger Poirier Automobil Inc., have been ordered to pay interest and expenses.

In his defence, Bardier said he was just looking out for Lanthier "like a good father" would. He said he warned him like he would his own son."

AllanF said...

Only six comments? Maybe the cat's out of the bag, but no one cares? Um, there seems a lot of foreign nationals at punter/kicker in the NFL. Or maybe, like GNXPers, Sailerites don't breed?

RE: Ladies' golf I do have a daughter, but... 1) not sure it will still be popular in 15 years, though I reckon academia is always very slow to change 2) a parent has to be concerned about the aggressive lesbianism in golf. Not sure how to deal with that.

Anonymous said...

Speaking of-

"LOLOLOLOL, you need to let more of this comic gold through the filter. It's not actually that funny in and of itself, but within the context of a society which is fining guys like Larry Johnson six hundred and thirty thousand dollars (later halved) for using the word "fag" it becomes super funny."

Check out this link

Drew Gooden and his pr machine is working overtime to defend him bc some obscure actor heard him use the word fag in a crowd after the game. Steve- at this rate you will be jailed in less than a year- live it up- see the grand canyon-

Dan in DC

Anonymous said...

Kickers are the closest thing to nerds in football culture.

For kickers, vocation and lone-wolf technical skill matter more than muscle, "hustle", and team spirit. They really have to love it to be good at it.

It's easy to see why blacks and liberals want to see more black quarterbacks (money, power, prestige) and don't care if there's not one black kicker in the NFL.

Truth said...

"every NFL punter is big and a good athlete."

Yeah, well let me tell you what Jo; So is every NFL linebacker, that's why Urlacher, Brooking, Cushing, Hawk, Lauranitis, etc. etc. didn't get moved to punter, aka, "the right position."