Punting ain’t easy

Posted by Darren Urban on December 19, 2013 – 3:50 pm

Sometimes, even the punter builds a fan base.

Dave Zastudil is in the middle of one of his best seasons, averaging 40.4 net yards per punt (45.3 overall) and dropping 32 of his 70 kicks thus far inside the opponent’s 20-yard line. He has plenty of fans inside his locker room, between teammates and coaches, but elsewhere? Especially Tennessee? But Zastudil had quite the experience.

It started when he was checking Twitter last week and one of his mentions featured a picture of some guys in a family room holding a giant head shot of someone. “I looked closely and thought, ‘Damn, that’s me,’ ” Zastudil said. He showed the picture/giant head — which featured the tagline “Punting ain’t easy” — to long snapper Mike Leach and kicker Jay Feely, they all had a laugh, and Zastudil thought that was the end of it.

But when Zastudil got out to the field pre-game last Sunday, he looked behind the Cardinals’ bench and there, standing in the front row going crazy and holding up the Ain’t Easy Zastudil head were those same fans.

“Somebody gave me a pen and said, ‘You gotta go sign this,’ ” Zastudil said. “These guys went nuts. Every time I got near them during the game, they went nuts. It was like a funny dream.”

Zastudil said he sensed some “fun sarcasm” in the “punting ain’t easy” message but noted they were just some good Cardinals fans having fun. “I’m just happy the covered up the top part of my head (on the picture) so my hairline was covered,” he said. “It looked like I was a little younger.”

“It’s hard,” Zastudil said, tongue firmly in cheek. “I’m expecting this every game now.”


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Posted in Blog | 10 Comments »

10 Responses to “Punting ain’t easy”

  1. By Tommy on Dec 19, 2013 | Reply

    Back in the 2006 season there were some college age STH in Section 112 that would go crazy over Neil Rackers. (He used to practice on the N side of the bench). Custom jerseys and shirts etc.. It was hilarious.

  2. By Ethan on Dec 19, 2013 | Reply

    Zastudil RULES! We are so fortunate to have him and Feely! We LOVE all of our Cards in my house! This has been an awesome year! Cardinal PRIDE!!

  3. By Blake on Dec 19, 2013 | Reply

    No lie I was right next to these guys at this game… They were great. We have some awesome fans

  4. By Rugbymuffin on Dec 20, 2013 | Reply

    Well deserved.

    He has been extremely consistent for the Cardinals, and in a very good way.

  5. By lake havasu joe on Dec 20, 2013 | Reply

    Yeah i was a big fan of twisted steel Neil was sad to see him go but honestly i love our special teams all around Zatudil, feely, bethel, tony jefferson all these guys are great.

  6. By Justin on Dec 20, 2013 | Reply

    Haha – thats me in the mask with my buddies who flew in for the game. This is hilarious to see this on the blog. Great stuff. We kept telling Titans fans who were tailgating that they didn’t want us to have any 3 and outs…that’s when the weapon comes!

    We have season tickets in section 104 and I’ve been told that this will have to continue for the Niners game lol.

  7. By clssylssy on Dec 20, 2013 | Reply

    What a great and fun read Darren! So often when watching other teams I muse at the inability of punters to accurately place the ball as our Dave Zastudil makes it appear so effortless in his smooth execution. Unfortunately, fans don’t realize what a crucial role the kicker and the punter play in a team’s success. Certainly Zastudil has made an enormous difference in this year’s successes and it’s heartwarming to see fans cheer him on so enthusiastically. It seems the Cards have been fortunate in recent years to have great Special Teams and I happy to see these guys getting their props. GREAT JOB GUYS, BIRDGANG & DARREN URBAN:)

  8. By Patrick Hoog aka Don't Take Losses on Dec 20, 2013 | Reply


  9. By Matt Herrera on Dec 20, 2013 | Reply

    These guys sit behind me @ our stadium….They better not bring that damn sign to the 49wyner

  10. By Gerald Jones on Dec 20, 2013 | Reply

    Off the subject:

    RE the Battle in Seattle I say to Big Red


    Take it to em guys!

    Jerry from Chicago

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