If nothing else, one would expect the name to get a bit annoying.
It seems a cruel burden for a collegiate placekicker to bear from birth, akin to being a quarterback named Bobby Interception or a shooting guard named Joey Brick. It doesn’t help that it’s the name of a kicker who has had more than his fair share of on-field difficulties, a key component of one of the more maligned special teams units in Ivy League football history.
But ask Anders Blewett about life with a built-in epitaph, and he’ll respond the same way that he does to virtually any other question about pressure and the game of football. He’ll smile intensely and say that he wouldn’t have it any other way.
“The name is great,” Blewett says, wide-eyed. “I couldn’t ask for a better name. I love people yelling it out there. I love being in the spotlight. I love the trash talking. I love the intensity. More power to me for having that name. It’s just one more thing.”
Blewett’s answer typifies his approach to football. It is an approach that knows nothing of fear or passivity. It is an approach that does not include running from past failures—including a 2000 season in which he hit only one of six field goal attempts and faded from the placekicking mix as the season progressed.
And it is an approach that he is more than willing to talk about.
“Bringing The Thunder”
Blewett seems to relish the opportunity to be called upon in pressure situations. When asked about his desire to face such challenges despite his past shortcomings as a kicker, Blewett is quick to invoke what has become his life motto, something he calls “bringing the thunder.”
“I guess that’s just symbolic of my mindset, you know?” Blewett says. “‘Bringing the thunder’ means kind of asserting myself out there and just bringing it, whatever you have. Hell or high water, I’m gonna be putting out 100 percent out there. You don’t really care what’s going on, you’re just bringing it. You have a one-track mind, you’ve got your eye focused on the target, you’re bringing the thunder.”
Blewett wasn’t always quite so confident. He emerged from the shadow of Mike Giampaolo ’00 to take over the kicking duties in the fall of his sophomore season. He missed one of his two field goals against Holy Cross in his first game—a 32-yarder that would have brought the Crimson within a touchdown in a game it eventually lost, 27-25. Blewett went on to miss his next four field goals that year, and looking back, chalks it up to his psychological state.
“Last year, I was out there and I don’t know if I was quite focused,” Blewett says. “I wasn’t attacking the football, and that’s the type of mindset you have to have as a kicker. If you don’t have the mindset of attacking the football—making it your game, your field goal to make—then fear of failure enters the equation.”
Blewett’s outlook changed only after a gradual reflection on the more unpleasant aspects of his sophomore season. He credits his mental turnaround to an exercise in positive thinking.
“I asked myself, ‘Why did this happen? What can I do to make myself the kicker I know I can be?’” Blewett recalls. “And when I asked myself those questions, I decided I needed to be more concerned with the positive results than the negative results.”
The focus, Blewett insists, is more than just a matter of overall reflection. Rather, it must be realized with each and every attempt.
“It’s all about concentrating on what’s going to happen and what I can do,” he says. “I can focus on everything good in life, and it’ll result in my kicking the ball better because it’s the body’s natural reaction to the mind. You visualize yourself performing successfully, your body’s going to kick the ball where your mind says it should go.”