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Punt God

Pro Bowl punter A.J. Cole says he had more hot dogs than punts on Sunday

February 07, 2022

Getting voted to the Pro Bowl as a punter has to be a bittersweet feeling. On one hand, it’s nice to be recognized as best-in-class; to know that your are in the top 10% of the top 1% when it comes to drop-kicking an oblong ball toward a goal line. On the other hand, you know there’s a snowball’s chance in hell you’ll get to showcase your God-given ability on gameday. Just ask Las Vegas Raiders punter A.J. Cole, who had nothing to do at the 2022 Pro Bowl on Sunday but sit around and eat hot dogs … literally.

If that isn’t the funniest (or only) Pro Bowl punter interview you’ve ever seen, you’re lying. “Probably my favorite star line I’ve ever had,” Cole tells Lisa Salters. “I’ve got zero punts, three holds, two halftime hot dogs. So, uh, really enjoying the game so far.” Two halftime hot dogs to zero punts. Sounds like good work if you can get it.

Cole, who also explained that the grass stains on his fresh white jersey where from holding for an extra point or two, was slightly less enthused, however. He didn’t grind all year long for a couple of Nathan’s dogs. Just take a look at that ‘stache. He was there to boot coffin corners and crush beers, but unfortunately the only thing more optional than punting at the Pro Bowl is defense, and you can't punt without a third-down stop.

That said, being involved isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Just ask Brian Moorman about that …