Life and Tynes

TERRY JONES -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 10:51 AM ET

PHOENIX -- It's sad, says Lawrence Tynes, but he can't remember a big kick he ever made, or missed for that matter, in his time with the Ottawa Renegades.

"We didn't have a very good team," he said.

The native of Scotland missed two big field goal attempts late in regulation in the NFC Championship game and then made the kick of his life, a 47-yarder, in overtime to get the New York Giants to Super Bowl XLII.

The Ottawa franchise doesn't even exist anymore, but it seems like the year for former Renegades to get to the big game.

There were five of them who won the Grey Cup with the Saskatchewan Roughriders and another three who were on the injured list. And now Tynes, fresh off a week of being a major celebrity, working the David Letterman show, etc., is here living the moment at the Super Bowl.

NOT PRIME POSITION

Tynes, despite his recent celebrity, wasn't given a prime podium position on the sidelines in the zoo that is media day at the Super Bowl, instead being relegated to a spot in the stands.

But that was OK.

"I had my good blast of media last week," he explained. "For a week, I got to feel somehow famous."

He was surrounded, at first, by a mob of British media, asking him what it's like to be the first player from Scotland in the Super Bowl.

"I'll take it to my grave with me," said the NFL's first Scottish-born player, period, born in the small town of Greenock after his parents met while his father was based there with the U.S. Navy.

As cool as this is, he told them: "I'd love to be playing for Celtic," he said of the soccer squad. Asked if he had a message for Celtic fans, he said: "Beat Rangers, beat Rangers, beat Rangers."

Tynes moved to Florida at the age of 10 with his family and took up kicking the other kind of footballs. But he told them it wasn't love at first sight with American football.

"I didn't really like it."

His Scottish background opened the door for him to play for the Scottish Claymores in the now defunct NFL Europe.

"The Claymores gave me my first chance to be paid to play. Not that it was a lot of money. But it was good."

Getting a shot at the Kansas City Chiefs training camp, a phone call from K.C.'s Al Saunders to then-Ottawa GM Eric Tillman brought him to the CFL for the last half of the 2002 season and the entire 2003 campaign.

"The CFL is very close to my heart," Tynes said. "The fans in so many of the Canadian cities have such a passion for the game. And it's a kind of kicker-friendly league. In 2003, I got to kick 62 field goals and made 51 of them."

He kicked six field goals in Hamilton, five against Montreal, four against B.C. and Edmonton and a 50-yarder against Calgary.

"I don't have any regrets about going up there. Absolutely not. I didn't feel like I needed a pity party because I had to go to the CFL. I wouldn't trade having that experience for the world."

Tynes missed a field goal with the score tied 20-20 with three minutes to play in Green Bay and then missed another, horribly, from 36-yards with four seconds left. The freeze frame from that moment was coach Tom Coughlin screaming at him on the sidelines.

"That's the question people keep asking me. 'What did he scream at me?' The answer is that I don't know. I don't listen to him."

He said he didn't mean that disrespectfully.

"I wanted to yell like that, too. But I don't want my teammates to hear. I see him but I never listen to him."

He said he did see his coach's reaction.

"On Letterman," he said. "Front and centre. He asked me the same thing."

With a double set of goat horns waiting for him, Tynes said that wasn't in his mind.

"I never thought about 'Oh, I'm going to be the goat.' But I was really hoping I'd get another chance, a chance to kick the winning field goal in overtime," he said.

"It was a big stage, but this is a bigger stage," he said of going from NFC Championship game hero to a chance to maybe do it again in the Super Bowl.

"Oh man, I'd love it. I never dreamed of kicking the winning field goal in a Super Bowl until now," said the kicker who went from Ottawa to play three years with Kansas City before being traded to the Giants.

ULTIMATE SOUVENIR

Whatever happens, he has the ultimate souvenir from the NFC Championship.

"On the flight home, I had the ball with me all the time. Red Batty, the equipment manager of the Packers gave it to me," he said.

"His brother Greg was our equipment man in Ottawa. I doubt if I'd have that ball if I hadn't played in Canada for the Renegades."


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