Sometimes things are not what they seem, even when they seem … different.
Consider the case of the Buffalo Bills and a photograph they sent to season-ticket holders this past week. The photo featured Brian Moorman, punting from his end zone.
At first glance, a punter kicking from his end zone seems a little … shall we say … uninspiring. Especially since the kick came in a 6-3 loss to the Cleveland Browns, a game in which both teams set high marks for ineptitude. This reality prompted some internet snickers — even though the photo itself is pretty dramatic, with some interesting angles and lighting.
But talk to the Bills and there is more logic than might meet the holy-smokes-they-sent-a-picture-of-a-punter eye.
First, the team says it wanted to find a picture that would show the scoreboard. They were mailing asking people to renew, and each picture was personalized to include the name of the season-ticket holder receiving the picture — with the name appearing on the scoreboard. Each photo had a note that said: “Awaiting your return.”
In an e-mail, Andrew Major, Bills Executive Director of Marketing, called the photo “one of our best that included the scoreboard in the background.”
Second, Moorman is one of the Bills more respected players — in no small part because of his community involvement. In 2008, he was named the team’s Man of the Year. He has been to Pro Bowls, and he is a member of the Bills 50th season All-Time team.
His charity work stands out. In 2004, Moorman and his wife Amber founded Brian Moorman’s PUNT Foundation, which helps children in Western New York who deal with life-threatening issues.
“The mission of the PUNT Foundation is to provide children affected by cancer and their families with the opportunities and support to enjoy the life they fight so hard for,” reads the Foundation’s web site. “The Foundation provides assistance, valuable family-centered programs and events designed to enrich their lives, and provide them with unique, memorable opportunities.”
Testimonials to the Foundation on the web site come from families who talk about Moorman reaching out to a family who moved from Jacksonville (Moorman heard about them from a similar foundation in Florida), and about his visits to kids in hospitals.
Clearly, he and his foundation are helping.
The easy thing about a photo like this one is to be cynical. But Bills management is not trying to state that a bad loss is reason to celebrate.
Instead, it is trying to celebrate and feature a guy who contributes on the field and off.