New York is starting to feel a bit Down Under, at least when it comes to punting.
The city has two football teams and now has three Australian punters. Brad Wing is returning for his second season with the Giants and the Jets have added Lachlan Edwards and Tom Hackett.
“That’s got to be some kind of record,” Wing said at Tuesday night’s United Way of New York City Gridiron Gala. “I think we’re going to have to start [a club].”
Wing said he had heard of Edwards but did some digging on both of his fellow countrymen and positional counterparts.
“I guess it’s a small fraternity that we have, Australian punters, and I’ve heard great things about both of those guys,” he said.
Having two Australian punters on the same team may seem unique, but just last summer Wing and Jordan Berry competed for the job with the Steelers. Berry, too, is from Australia, and he won the job in Pittsburgh. Wing was traded to the Giants for a seventh-round pick just prior to the start of the season.
“I thought that was a once-in-a-lifetime thing, but it’s becoming a trend,” Wing said. “It’s crazy.”
It also makes it difficult for Australians to stand out when they are competing against their mates.
“American coaches view Australian punters as bringing something different to the table so when you are competing with a guy who has all the same kind of tricks or skills as you, it is a little more challenging,” Wing said. “I’m sure that’ll be the case with these two guys [Edwards and Hackett] because I’m sure they can both do a lot of good things with the football that are not typical for an American guy to do.”