Shortly before Christmas, I had the opportunity to talk football with Australian Broadcasting Corporation correspondent Craig McMurtrie and his cameraman Louie Eroglu at Redskins Park.
It turned out that not only has Redskins punter Sav Rocca been a punting stud in Washington this season, but he’s also turned heads 10,000 miles away in his native Australia. The reason why the American correspondents were uncharacteristically focused on sports that day, was to cover Rocca for the a national radio and television piece in Australia.
Here’s the radio clip, read in an authentic Australian accent:
I’d say that the funniest part of the clip is when the correspondents interview kicker Graham Gano and long snapper Nick Sundberg, that players who have worked most closely with Rocca over the past five months.
Gano remarks that Rocca occasionally says “fair dinkum,” which is Australian for ‘genuine,’ ‘truthful,’ or ‘the real deal.’ He also notes that they poke fun of Rocca’s senior age:
Oh man, he’s real old. Me and Nick the snapper we always crack on him for being an older guy but yeah, he’s still out there playing like he’s in his 20s and he does a good job.
Sundberg shared that Rocca occasionally calls him “a sheila,” which is a generic Australian term for a female. I’m sure he means that in only the most polite and respectful ways, but Sundberg said he gets a kick out of it anyway.
Perhaps the biggest gem of the whole interview, however, is to hear that in 20 professional seasons of football, Rocca has never won a championship in any football league, nor won a playoff game:
Big Sav says the competition to hold a roster place in the NFL is fierce. But he’s prepared for the long hours of training because of the one goal that still eludes him.
SAV ROCCA: I played 15 years of Australian football, played in three play-off games and lost them all. So, I want to win a championship by the time I’m done.
With another year left on his contract in Washington, Rocca certainly hopes that winning one will happen here.