Long Snaps with Bryan Pittman: Saving a Sinking Ship and Stealing Candy
Houston Texans’ long-snapper Bryan Pittman returns for more thoughts on life both on and off the gridiron. This week, while going one-on-one with Ballz columnist Jason Friedman, Pittman discusses the reeling Texans and his favorite Halloweens of yesteryear.
JCF: So I guess I’ll start out the interview the same way I did last week? How are you holding up after yet another devastating loss?
BP: Yeah, it was a different manner, but again, it hurt. It doesn’t feel well to lose, especially to lose the way we did. You don’t want to say it’s a continuing theme, but the last couple weeks we haven’t been able to come together and be in sync as an offense, defense, and a special teams group.
JCF: Does it just ruin your entire week when you have a game like that?
BP: You try not to let if affect you in your preparation for the upcoming opponent, but sometimes it can come out of the blue if you will, and kind of make you think about how if we had done this different or that different, we could be sitting at 4-4, instead of 3-5.
JCF: After your first couple losses of the season, you said your team still had plenty of confidence. How are you guys feeling now that you’re officially in a major slump?
BP: Yeah, I think there is a loss of confidence. But I mean a good teammate will see someone in that predicament and do what he can to give him a pep talk and to say encouraging words to bring them back to where his confidence level needs to be. I think we have a lot of good teammates that are like that.
JCF: Do you feel as if yet another season is slipping away?
BP: Yeah, I mean it’s an inevitable feeling, when you put it in that perspective. But then again, you look at it and we still have half a season to go. So you can’t really let that feeling take over you and think that that’s how it’s going to be. Because if you do, then chances are that’s how it’s going to end up. But with eight games to go, anything can happen.
JCF: The fans and media have pretty much decided that you guys are just the “Same Old Texans.” Earlier in the year, you said this was a different team, though. Do you believe this group has the capacity to weather this storm? Or have you noticed that losing mentality seep into the minds of a few of your teammates?
BP: No. That’s definitely not the mentality. I mean, it’s a different team than it was last year. I mean, we’re struggling in some of the same areas and some of the same ways as we were last year, but we definitely don’t want that to take over, and be a part of how you prepare for each individual game. That’s just not how this team is.
JCF: On a personal level, you received some unwanted attention after your bad snap (which was the first of Bryan’s career). Have you recovered from that experience?
BP: I’ll tell you, it was excruciating. I mean, it hurt. It hurt from a confidence standpoint, and obviously from a game standpoint it hurt our team. It took me quite awhile to get over it and realize that it had happened. And then I had to analyze why it happened, and then I had to make sure that it wasn’t going to happen again.
JCF: Are you over it? Or do you think it’s going to be in the back of your mind for awhile?
BP: Yeah, I guess now that it’s happened, I have to make myself realize that the potential is there for it to happen again. But then this is the way I’d looked at it 598 snaps in a row: Okay, on this play, this is what I’m doing and it’s going to be successful. And now that I’ve had one that wasn’t successful, I just have to start over from scratch and build another streak. That’s my mindset.
JCF: Switching gears, are you doing anything for Halloween this year?
BP: No, we went to a little party on Monday night and got dressed up.
JCF: What did you guys go as?
BP: I was a pirate and Suzy was my pirate…
BP: [laughs] Well, yeah.
JCF: Do you have a favorite Halloween memory?
BP: I can’t specifically remember one. I just recall, as a kid going trick-or-treating, there was a contest to get the most candy. And one year we took pillow cases with us because they were more sturdy than any bag, and bigger than those little pumpkin shells that you would carry. So one Halloween, I packed two-and-a-half pillow cases full of candy.
JCF: And did you beat up the other kids and steal their candy, too?
BP: [laughs] No, I was always on the defensive. I was worried about the kids who were actually doing that. I was always on the look-out for them.
JCF: Okay, so this whole prediction thing isn’t really working out, so let’s switch things up a bit. Give me your thoughts on that other big game taking place Sunday afternoon.
BP: Yes, the other big game that’s not going to be shown here. I see the Colts pulling it out again, similar to what they did last year in the AFC Championship game. I think it will be a relatively close ballgame. I think Indy will pull it out in the end with either a last second field goal, or Peyton Manning hitting Reggie Wayne or Dallas Clark for a game-winning touchdown.
JCF: Great. So with the way your predictions have gone this year, now we know for sure that the Pats are going to win. Do you think these two clubs will be meeting again in January with a berth to the Super Bowl on the line?
BP: Definitely. One of those teams will definitely be in the Super Bowl.
JCF: And win it too, right? Since the NFC has nothing to offer?
BP: No doubt about it.
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