Pochman lands in New York

Owen Pochman's mother Bobbi sat in her Mercer Island, Wash. home just 30 minutes before Monday night's kickoff between the Broncos and Giants when the phone rang. She was still waiting to hear whether her son would play in his first regular season NFL game after being signed off waiver wires by the Giants on Tuesday, Sept. 4.

"It's indeed exciting," Bobbi said. "Owen is a kid who really prepares and is realistic. He takes every kick and does his best," she said, while describing the life and budding career of her youngest son, who would find himself in the epicenter of the world's worst act of terrorism a little over 12 hours later.

Pochman and the Giants played the Broncos in Denver and the team returned to New York about the time that terrorist strikes on the World Trade Center and Pentagon took place

Pochman was signed by the Giants after starting kicker Morten Andersen suffered a sore left knee. Head coach Jim Fassel followed Pochman's succesful career at Brigham Young University closely, where the soccer star-turned kicker booted a school-record 56-yard field goal.

"I liked the young man when I saw him kick," Fassel said. "I think he will stabilize our kicking situation. It's a good fit for us. And I think he has a bright future."

Last night Pochman started the game by sending the opening kickoff into the back of the end zone for a touchback. Andersen and Pochman both took turns kicking and it looks as if the team could keep both players this season - for Andersen's accuracy and Pochman's distance on long field goal attempts and kickoffs.

Selected in the seventh round of the 2001 NFL Draft by the Patriots, Pochman kicked well during the preseason but was released in favor of Adam Vinatieri, who came to New England in 1996 as a rookie and beat out Matt Bahr for the job.

Now Pochman follows in the footsteps of Bahr in New York, where he helped guide Bill Parcells and the giants to several key victories, including the Super Bowl. But suddenly the world of football doesn't seem so important after this recent tragedy.

The Pochman's weren't available for comment. The Giants' organization's phone lines are busy. Officials with the NFL league office aren't available. Many friends and family in New York can't be reached by phone. This is truly a sad day that will affect Americans for generations to come. Pochman is just part of the puzzle that is slowly being pieced together.

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