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The Honolulu Advertiser

Posted at 1:10 a.m., Tuesday, January 22, 2008

NFL: Packer equipment manager secures gift for Tynes

By Katie Strang

After kicking the winning field goal in overtime Sunday, Lawrence Tynes was rewarded with a nice surprise for the plane ride home — the ball he kicked 47 yards to the crossbar and then beyond to send the New York Giants to the Super Bowl.

Gordon "Red" Batty, head equipment manager for the Green Bay Packers, waited for an hour after the game to meet with a Giants equipment manager to deliver the ball safely to Tynes.

Batty, 49, has been an equipment manager for 37 years and knows the significance of history-making game balls. Throughout his 14 years with the Packers organization, Batty has retrieved many important mementos for Packers quarterback Brett Favre, including the ball from Favre's record-breaking 421st touchdown to Greg Jennings in Minnesota, and knew that Tynes and the Giants organization would appreciate the gift.

"That's a part of their history, and I wanted to make sure they had that ball," Batty said. "It's the way the Packers would want it done."

Tynes is probably not only thankful for receiving a token of his memorable kick, but also for receiving the opportunity to redeem himself after missing two field-goal attempts earlier in the game.

With the game tied at 20 with 6:49 left, Tynes missed a 43-yarder. Then, with the game clock expiring, Tynes pulled a 36-yard try left, following a high snap from rookie center Jay Alford.

In overtime, Giants Coach Tom Coughlin would admit only to slight hesitation about letting Tynes try from 47 yards on fourth-and-5 at the Packers' 29-yard line.

"You could tell that he was very confident that he was going to make that kick," Coughlin said. "And when he started out on the field and that was the very strong impression that he made upon us, there was no question, 'OK, let's go make it.' "

Even though punter and holder Jeff Feagles said Tynes doesn't require coddling or any buoy of confidence, he offered him some advice after his first miss.

"I just told Lawrence, 'It's early. We're going to need you again,' " Feagles said. "I told him to keep his head down. A lot of people say keep your head up, but in kicking, you want to keep your head down."

Feagles echoed Coughlin that when the opportunity to nail the winner approached in OT, Tynes' confidence didn't falter.

"I saw a little of that earlier in the season when he was missing some field goals, but he's resilient, and his mindset has always been pretty good," Feagles said. "In that stadium and how cold it was, the balls weren't going anywhere. We ended up going out there and hitting 47 yards. That was quite a kick."