Saturday, March 1, 2008


The New York Giants recent Super Bowl victory is not without significant international implications. No, they didn’t insult some over the top sensitive minority or special interest group. Rather, much of their victory came not only due to the outstanding performance of quarterback Eli Manning (eh, eh Ole Miss, class of 2004) but also by the foot of one Lawrence Tynes, the Greenock, Scotland-born field goal kicker for the Giants. Tynes was the first Scottish-born player to participate in the Super Bowl earlier this month. He had earlier kicked the Giants past the Green Bay Packers and on to the heavily favored New England Patriots and the Super Bowl title. In a great show of sportsmanship the Green Bay Packers retrieved the ball Tynes used to make that winning field goal and presented it to Tynes. That’s class!

Tynes, LT to his Friends, attended Troy University in Alabama where he had a distinguished college career. Troy coach Larry Blakeney laughingly commented about Tynes’s two misses and then ultimate success in the glacial Green Bay game, "Lawrence Tynes is tougher than a nickel steak." Tynes had, indeed, already proved his toughness when he played with the Kansas City Chiefs on two occasions. Sandwiched between that was a stint with the Scottish Claymores of NFL Europe in 2002, a team that Tynes still considers home.

Tynes then joined the Ottawa Renegades of the Canadian Football League (CFL) in 2003 where he made fifty-one field goals in that season including six field goals in a single game, both current records in the CFL.

LT went back to the Chiefs where he beat out and replaced legendary kicker Morten Anderson (now back with the Atlanta Falcons) for the 2006 season. The Chiefs in one of their more strategic blunders (there have been many) traded Tynes to the Giants in 2007 and the rest is history.

Tynes is the fifth Scottish-born player in NFL history and the first Scot to win the Super Bowl. Not surprisingly, the Big Blue have decided to retain the kicker who took them to the Super Bowl signing him to a five-year $7 million deal just a few weeks before he would have become an unrestricted free agent.

Interestingly, LT is the son of a former Navy SEAL Larry Tynes, who was stationed in Scotland in the early 1970s, and a Scottish lass, Margaret. This writer remembers how many of the male locals remain territorially upset with Americans who always seem to make off with their most beautiful Ladies. LT spent his first 10 years in Scotland before he moved with his parents to the United States and Florida. Amusingly, the local rednecks in Florida mistook LT and his two brothers Jason and Mark for Irish and nicknamed them, the Lucky Charms.

Even though Tynes no longer speaks with even a hint of a Scottish accent, he is fiercely proud of his roots. LT is going to get his chance to prove and reinforce his Scottish roots in the near future. He is going to swap his trews for a kilt as the Grand Marshall for New York City’s Tenth Annual Tartan Day Parade. He will be leading more than 2,000 bagpipers, Clans and Scottish enthusiasts up Sixth Avenue through Rockefeller Center on April 5, 2008. The Parade, sponsored by the National Tartan Day Committee, is the largest Scottish Parade in North America and features the highest concentration of bagpipers in any New York parade. If you know of a gathering of Scots with more pipers, please advise this writer.

The Scottish influence on America to now has been most profound. The Scots have contributed positively to virtually every sector of the American way of life, more so than any other cultural group. With the newly earned prospect of independence, a most hospitable Scotland appears to find delight in continuing what has been a most symbiotic relationship with the former American colonies.

Well, time to put on my kilt, hose, gillies, balmoral et al and go to the North Texas Irish Festival at Fair Park in Dallas (I won’t forget my sgian dubh) and again confront all those ignorant Texans who emotionally insist that Texan icon and founder Sam “the Raven” Houston was an Irishman! We’ll discuss that later. Ah, the beacon of truth beams bright!


Ned Buxton

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