The NFL is not a very forgiving league. Players that make big gaffes frequently are shown the door and get cut from their team. Hopefully such is not the case with former Arizona State Sun Devil Travis Goethel. Goethel is not a backup linebacker for the Oakland Raiders. He is also the team's backup long snapper. Long snappers have one job -- get the ball smoothly to the punter or to the field goal holder. It is a job that no one ever notices...that is, unless there is a mistake.
Goethel was that guy.
Jon Condo, the team's regular long snapper suffered a concussion during the Monday night game and Goethel was pushed into action. It was the first time since high school that he had actually snapped the ball.
The results were not pretty.
In the second half of the Raiders' 22-14 loss to the Chargers, Goethel botched three snaps to Shane Lechler, his punter. Twice they were bad enough that Lechler couldn't even get the kick away. The third ended up being blocked.
Now, as can be imagined, the backup long snapper on a team never practices long snapping. No one really expects a long snapper to get hurt.
I bet that changes this week. Goethel will get work all week or the team will bring in another guy. An who knows? If he improves, he might be able to land himself a job in the league that keeps him there a long time.