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Trading E-Mail With... Panthers kicker John Kasay, 18 for 18 on field goal tries this season


SI: So how does it feel to be perfect?

Kasay: Perfect? Ha! All you have to do is ask my family. They'll
let you know there was only one perfect person--"and, Daddy,
you're not Him!" I am proof that God has a great sense of humor.
I can't run, jump, throw, catch, block or tackle, yet I have
played in the NFL for 13 years.

SI: You've kicked three game-winning field goals in overtime this
season. Ever had a run like that before?

Kasay: No. I've played on one winning team in my career [1996,
when Carolina was 12-4]. It's hard to have many game-winners when
you're not winning.

SI: What's going through your mind when you go out for a field
goal in OT?

Kasay: It's a pretty elementary process. The challenge is doing
it while 80,000 people are screaming at you. Sometimes it's more
fun to make the kicks on the road. When we make a kick that wins
on the road, the only people who are celebrating are my
teammates. [The atmosphere in] the stadium goes from rock concert
to piano recital in a couple of seconds.

SI: Other than a strong leg, what's the most important trait of a
good kicker?

Kasay: The ability to handle success and failure. You deal with
both on almost a daily basis.

SI: Can you walk through a mall or into a restaurant in Charlotte
without being recognized?

Kasay: First of all, I have four kids--eight, six, three and 16
months--and there is no way we are going to take all four of them
to the mall. When we all go out to eat--which is not that often
because my wife is a great cook--I will get recognized
occasionally. Usually I'm told, "Wow, you're much smaller than I
thought you were."

SI: How long does an important miss stay with you?

Kasay: Forever. I still remember kicks I missed in high school
and college [Georgia]. The challenge is to not let a miss affect
the next kick. The one that was probably the most hurtful was a
field goal I missed in my first regular-season game, a 37-yarder
off the right hash against the Saints in 1991. It was the last
play, and we lost by a point or two. It's still excruciating.