Aug 7, 2014; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Broncos kick Matt Prater (5) during the game against the Seattle Seahawks at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. The Broncos won 21-16. Mandatory Credit: Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports
Remember back to January, 2003 after an AFC playoff loss to Miami when then Indianapolis Colts‘ kicker, Mike Vanderjagt raised the ire of his quarterback, Peyton Manning by criticizing him and then head coach, Tony Dungy? Do you also remember Manning’s “idiot kicker” notable quotable at the Pro Bowl a few weeks later? Here’s a trip down Memory Lane:
"“Here I am out at my third Pro Bowl and we’re talking about our idiot kicker, who got liquored up and ran his mouth off…!”"
Well fast forward 11 and a half years and it appears that PFM’s 2003 rant was a harbinger of things to come for the Broncos and Matt Prater in 2014. According to the Denver Post, Prater violated the league’s alcohol substance abuse policy for the second time. He was popped for a DUI on August 12th, 2011 and was promptly placed in the league’s alcohol program and has been there since. Prater is one of the two or three best kickers in the NFL, so this could be a blow to Denver as he serves out a four game suspension to start the season. Now I am not referring to Prater as an idiot kicker. This is a sad situation for Prater and I surely hope he can beat these demons. This is what he had to say about the matter.
"“I’ve made some mistakes,” Prater said. “I’m accepting full responsibility. I’ll learn from it and come back a better person. I want to apologize to my teammates, my coaches, the Broncos’ organization and the fans.”"
Apology accepted, Matt! Now go get yourself right for your family, you, and your teammates.