Graham Gano made national news this week with a trick he did without even trying.
He stomped a football and made it spin into the hands of a ref, and made it look easy.
And it wasn’t an accident.
The Observer visited him during practice this week and asked Gano to repeat the trick – and despite a sore knee, he did it on his first try.
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But it wasn’t just Gano who could do the trick. Punter Michael Palardy, whose locker is next to Gano’s, could do it too. So I asked the both of them to do what millions of Americans watching that game wanted to know.
I asked them to teach me.
But after countless attempts, I couldn’t do it. And I couldn’t teach you. It’s much harder than it looks, even if Gano made it look simple.
At its essence, to do the trick you place one foot in front of the ball and the other a few inches behind it. Then you dig the heel of your front foot into the ball and onto the back foot, and kick it up. But if it was that easy, everyone could do it.
When asked how long it took him to learn the trick, Gano just said, “We have a lot of time on our hands.”
Gano and Palardy then both tried to show me how to replicate it, showing me the move step by step. Still wasn’t happening.
After about 5 minutes of earnest effort, the best I could do was get the ball about knee high – not close to as high or with as much ease as Gano or Palardy.
Give them both some credit.