By Peter Hailey
Considering how much the team practices, travels and plays with each other during a typical year, every member on the Redskins roster is likely closer with the next when compared to an average set of coworkers. But as far as relationships go on the NFC East champions, few are tighter than the one shared by Dustin Hopkins, Tress Way and Nick Sundberg.
The kicker, punter and long snapper spend whatever time they have on the field almost exclusively together. Whether they’re in Ashburn, Richmond or Landover, the three are constantly attempting to perfect their work in football’s third area.
However, because of the repetitive and (cue obnoxious fan voice), “I could definitely do what those guys do,” nature of their jobs, they — along with their NFL peers — often don’t get credit for being real athletes. Just don’t try to tell that to Sundberg, a man who wants every detractor to know that Washington’s specialists are pretty special.
“Realistically, Tress is good at everything,” Sundberg said following a recent training camp session. “You could line up 10 ball sports, and he will be excellent in all 10, whether it’s baseball, volleyball or soccer. The dude can do everything.”
Way hasn’t had much of a chance to display that versatility in the Burgundy and Gold, but Sunderg’s assessment lines up with some of Way’s performances in other settings. The third-year man out of Oklahoma has proven to be a stud on the softball diamond and is also filthy at ping pong; in fact, he once dispatched CSN’s table tennis ace with relative ease. It’s a legend that’s still told around Bethesda to this day.
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Don’t forget about the man responsible for nailing field goals, though. According to Sundberg — who, by the way, said his secondary skill would be ping pong as well — Hopkins is certainly as capable as Way.
“Hop is super athletic,” Sundberg said. “He’s got a huge vert, so he’s great at volleyball. Great hand-eye coordination, can swing a bat, can run.”
“They are not your protoypical kicker or punter,” he added.
Those are high compliments indeed, but don’t think this trio is only focused solely on staying in shape physically. They like keeping their brains as sharp as they can, too.
“For the last month, we’ve been on this trivia game kick,” Sundberg said. “We were playingKnow It or Blow It, but we actually went through all of the questions, like all of the cards. So we had to come up with a new game. So Tress has — on his down time —been looking up fun, ‘Gimme the top 10 movies of all time according to IMDb’ type questions. He’s been quizzing us quite a bit.”
Multi-talented and intelligent about a variety of topics? Can someone get ABC on the phone? The Bachelorette might have just stumbled upon three new contestants.