Cundiff’s Miss Doesn’t Need an Apology

Kickers miss field goals all the time.  But we remember the kicks missed that mean the most to us.  Which means Baltimore Raven fans will be lamenting Billy Cundiff’s 32 yard miss Sunday forever.

Cundiff’s missed field goal would have sent the AFC title game into overtime against the Patriots in New England.  There was no guarantee the Ravens would have won the game.  But that means nothing to Ravens fans.  All they understand is Cundiff missed a kick he normally makes that cost the Ravens a game that could have sent them to the Super Bowl.  A lot of “coulds” were negated by that missed kick.

After the game, the inept media proved their grasp of the game was lacking when Cundiff was asked if he had “apologized to his teammates.”  Initially that seems like a stupid question.  Even pausing and thinking extensively the question still seems stupid.  But Cundiff treated the question with respect.

“I’m disappointed that I let my teammates down. Ray Lewis played his heart out. He’s had a long career and you don’t know how many years he has left. To let him down, it’s pretty tough.”

The Ravens, to their credit, didn’t see it that way.  To a man, including Ray Lewis, stood behind their kicker.

“No one play won or lost this game.  There is no one man who has ever lost a game. We win as a team and we lose as a team. There is no ‘Billy is at fault, Billy missed the kick.’ It happens. Move on. Move on as a man because life doesn’t stop.”

Lewis will be entering the Hall of Fame 5 years after he retires.  Early in his career he might have been upset.  Maturity and mistakes in his own life have cleared his vision.  He understands this is a game and there is more to life than a missed field goal.  Yesterday he showed it.

Nobody ever asked Art Modell if he apologized to the City of Cleveland when he stole the Browns and took them to Baltimore.  The late Robert Irsay was never asked if he apologized to Baltimore when he took the Colts to Indy.  Yet according to some mistaken use of an apology Cundiff was expected to say he’s sorry?

The Super Bowl is set.  It won’t be a battle of the brothers.  It also won’t be a team from Baltimore going to Indy to play for a title.  Billy Cundiff is paid to make kicks, not miss them.  But an apology isn’t in the cards.

After all, sometimes I’m sorry just doesn’t cure all ills.

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