News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Local & Bistate

January 24, 2012

Fourth time's a charm for Terre Haute’s Weatherford

Giants punter and Terre Haute North grad headed to Super Bowl

Thank God for slow motion. Without the benefit of slo-mo, it would be much harder to appreciate the impact New York Giants punter and holder Steve Weatherford had on the NFC Championship Game on Sunday.
And his unbridled celebration afterwards.
As Giants kicker Lawrence Tynes attempted a 31-yard game-winning field goal against the San Francisco 49ers in overtime, the slo-mo cameras showed what Weatherford – a Terre Haute native – saw live in the flash of a nano-second.
The ball off the snap from Zak DeOssie arrived at Weatherford’s hands perpendicular to its intended position – flat to the grass.
No worries though. Weatherford calmly put the ball into proper position for Tynes – who slightly delayed his approach to give Weatherford time to adjust. Tynes then calmly booted his second championship overtime game-winning field goal in four years as the Giants won a taut 20-17 thriller.
Reached Monday by the Tribune-Star, Weatherford was still reveling in the moment.
“It’s kind of surreal and it hasn’t set in yet. I don’t think the gravity of it will until the Super Bowl is over and I hopefully have a Super Bowl ring. It’s a blessing to get to do what I do. I’m excited for myself, my family and my hometown,” Weatherford said.
Weatherford told the assembled media after the game that he had no recollection of his recovery of the snap and hold. On Monday, Weatherford reflected on his role as the holder, a job that is usually done in anonymity unless something bad happens.

“It’s a thankless job. You usually get noticed when you screw up. [Holding] is not a job I’m thrilled to do, but it’s what I have to do to help the team,” Weatherford said.

Tynes' field goal sent Weatherford into unhinged ecstasy, also revealed in slow motion. Chin-strap partially obscuring his face, Weatherford took off on a celebratory sprint across the wet Candlestick Park gridiron as he yelled, “I’m going to the Super Bowl!” … with a few unprintable newspaper words tossed into his jaunt for good measure.

“I still don’t believe it right now, so you can’t imagine what it’s like in the heat of the moment. It’s like hitting the lottery,” Weatherford said.

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