Ryan Perkins is the pseudo-placekicker for the Washington Huskies football team. He’s also the devil. In stunning fashion, Ryan Perkins has managed to ruin the few potentially joyous moments in this past Husky season by failing to do his one and only job.
First there was the infamous BYU “excessive celebration” game. A phantom penalty by Jake Locker near the end of regulation turned a chip-shot PAT into a 35-yard point-after instead. This, of course, pushed Perkins out of his 25-yards-or-less comfort zone and resulted in a blocked kick and a BYU victory.
Today, Perkins was at it again. With an 0-10 Husky team faced with the prospect of winning their first game, the 101st Apple Cup no less, Perkins missed not one, but two huge field goals that would have been difference-makers. With just over 3:00 minutes remaining in the fourth quarter, Perkins missed a 28-yard gimme that would have put the Dawgs up by six. Instead, with 56 seconds remaining in regulation, the Cougars were able to drive down the field and connect on a field goal of their own to tie the score at 10 and send the game to overtime.
Then, in the second overtime, with a chance to take a three-point lead and pressure the Cougs to convert on their ensuing possession, Perkins shanked yet another kick, this time from 37 yards out to all but seal the Husky loss.
After eleven of twelve games so far, Perkins is 7-11 on field goal tries and 15-16 on PAT’s. The 64% field goal conversion rate is bad, but made worse when you consider that Perkins hasn’t attempted a kick beyond 40 yards. That distinction is left up to distance kicker/kickoff specialist/punter Jared Ballman. Perkins has put up a “D” average inside what should be automatic range. Kickers are already one-trick ponies, so what does this make Ryan Perkins? A half-trick pony?
The numbers won’t likely show Perkins to have been a horrible kicker throughout his career, but when all factors are taken into account (no attempts beyond 40 yards, kicking on an artificial surface, the “clutch” factor, etc) he will have to be remembered as one of the worst full-time kicking specialists in Husky history, if not NCAA history. Of his five total misses (4 FG’s, 1 PAT), three have been at critical moments in the fourth quarter or overtime, in what ultimately proved to be game-deciding situations. He hasn’t just been inaccurate, he’s been inaccurate at the most inopportune times.
As if anyone cares, Perkins announced his retirement from football earlier this year, effective at season’s end. A debilitated knee has forced him to give up his trade, but were that knee not a problem, I know thousands of fans who would gladly help Perkins to the sidelines.
Besides the football aspect, there’s a level of ethics involved here, as well. Perkins was able to parlay his high school kicking ability into four years of free education. While his peers were paying thousands of dollars each quarter for the privilege to attend a four-year university, Perkins was sliding buy on scholarship money that one could argue he didn’t earn.
Ryan Perkins has been simply awful. I don’t doubt that’s he’s trying his hardest, nor that he’s truly a good person underneath that jersey, but when it comes to kicking footballs, Perkins is the walking definition of “failure.” He has put the rotten cherry on top of the poop sundae that is the Huskies miserable season, and in the process ripped out the hearts of loyal Husky fans all around the country. All I can say is good riddance to our lost season, and God forbid a kicker like Ryan Perkins ever set foot on Montlake again.