As we obsess this offseason over those undrafted free agents who may or may not make the team, it's important to remember that some -- those brave few who weather the storms of practice squads and roster cuts -- end up not only making the team but sticking around for years to come. The short history of one such player, Ryan Boschetti, follows:
- Undrafted in 2004 out of UCLA (already has a leg up, as this is no Eastern Washington Tech State University, Tappeyokapudding) gets signed by the Redskins.
- It was great while it lasted; cut sometime prior to the regular season. His tenure started in April, but by September he'd been cut and then promoted (demoted?) to the practice squad.
- Chin up, guy, he's promoted to active roster duty in November of that season.
- December 12th of that season he has his first start, against the Eagles. One tackle later and hte game is over.
- Has another start in 2005 and records time in a majority of our games. He is a part of Gregg Williams rotating defensive line scheme, that works to great effect... at least that year.
- Maybe that's why it went so poorly? 2006 saw just two games with Boschetti on the field.
- Uno game in 2007. Many, myself included, speculate that Boschetti's time with the team may be coming to an end because the d-line is simply in too much need of an upgrade, and he's the odd man out. However, history should inform us that Ryan Boschetti is made of tougher stuff than your average camp fodder, and has proven himself tenacious in keeping a roster spot with the greatest team in sports.
In case you were wondering, per his 'Skins bio:
- Admires former NFL great Joe Montana.
- Hobbies include playing video games and lifting weights.
- Majored in Political Science at UCLA.
What he really meant was Sammy Baugh and lifting beers. In any event, paint me impressed that he majored not in Shapes Of Rocks For Adults in College, but rather in the august non-profession of Political Science. This was my minor in undergrad and I'm unashamed to admit that I too once dabbled in Political Scientism (not in 'Nam, of course). (I wasn't there.)
This tenacity carries off the field, apparently, or so we're told by Chris Cooley in describing the great tradition -- one I too enjoy -- that is excuse to drink poker night:
Enter Ryan Boschetti. As far as I'm concerned he is the best gambler I know. I’ve never seen anyone win as at a casino as consistently as he does. He could realistically make his living gambling. We spent a weekend in Atlantic City last year and I saw Boss hit six different slot machines, each for thousands of dollars including a slot payout of $13,000 dollars on a penny machine. Not to mention wins at every single table game in the casino. Needless to say he would be my “rules guy” for the tournament
Observation: Ryan Boschetti is a thousands of dollarsionaire that plays penny slots. Take note, camp fodder, those nickel slots are for high rollers only.
Chris goes on to note a beyond-passing understanding of the game of poker that suggests he's spent some time playing Texas Hold'em, probably pretty well. But on this day a Pro Bowler was felled by a tenacious political scientist, a role-playing, at best rotational defensive linemen who happens to know that Abraham Lincoln plays slots better than Thomas Jefferson:
It was 10 o’clock and I figured it was time to make my move or bounce. I drew my first two cards, a Jack/9. By this point in the night that seemed like the perfect go all-in before seeing anything else hand. I chose to belittle my concern when I found out the rest of the table wasn't scared of a conflict. Shoulda known better, but I was easily bounced from the game when Boschetti posted three tens.
Hogs Haven loves an underdog story. Hail to Ryan Boschetti.