Good luck, Steve Hauschka

Three strikes and you're out -- that's baseball. But it's life in the NFL, too, especially for a place-kicker on a contending team. And Steve Hauschka's three missed field goals -- he gagged on a 36-yarder last night against the Cleveland Browns and also had a PAT-attempt blocked --finally cost him his job. The Ravens waived him this afternoon.

 Too bad it didn't work out for Hauschka in Baltimore. He's a good kid and a stand-up guy who never tried to alibi for his misses.

 In training camp, he was bombarded with questions on a daily basis about what it was like to replace Mr. Automatic, Matt Stover. And Hauchka said all the right things. He praised Stover over and over, talked about how much he'd learned at the foot of the Kick-Master last season when they were teammates, talked about how grateful he was that the Ravens were confident enough in him to make him their kicker.

 Now he's gone. After just nine games.

It shows you how demanding the job of an NFL kicker is. And how pressurized it is, too.

 Three strikes -- three misses -- and you're out.

 I hope Steve Hauschka catches on with another NFL team. But if he doesn't, it also shows you how fleeting an NFL career can be. 


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