Those of you handicapping Sunday’s game in Kansas City should note that Britton Colquitt owns his older brother, Dustin.
“So, obviously, I really like our chances on Sunday,” said Britton, tongue firmly in cheek as he gave his 6-2 Vikings the nod over Dustin’s 5-3 Chiefs based on younger bro’s 9-4 edge in the head-to-head battle at …
But, Britton, as you yourself noted, you played six years in Denver. In four of them, a fella named Peyton Manning went 7-1 against the AFC West rival Chiefs.
“Peyton had nothing to do with it,” Britton said. “It’s the Colquitt Bowl, man.”
This Colquitt clan likes to have fun. They like to follow each other to the University of Tennessee and then make their living punting footballs at the highest level.
The dad, Craig, kicked (punted?) things off when the Steelers drafted him in the third round in 1978. Dustin, 37, was born in 1982, Craig’s fifth year in Pittsburgh. Britton, 34, was born in 1985, after Craig’s Steelers career ended but two years before dad attempted a short-lived comeback with the Colts.
“I grew up looking at Dad’s helmet, the Steelers pictures and his [two] Super Bowl rings,” Britton said. “I kind of thought, ‘Hey, that’s just an everyday American job.’ So I figured I’d do it, too.”
The mom, Anne, deserves some DNA cred, too.
“Mom is a dancer,” Britton said. “She still dances in her church. So the flexibility comes from her, too.”
Mom also contributed to Britton’s wit and sense of humor.
“Momma is pretty well-known for wearing her split jerseys when we go to games,” Craig said. “And when people ask her who she’s rooting for, she’ll just smile and say, ‘I’m rooting for fourth down!’ ”
All told, there have been four from the Colquitt clan who have punted at Tennessee and the NFL. Jimmy, a cousin to Britton and Dustin, punted in two games for Seattle in 1985.
Add it all up, including playoff games, and the Colquitt clan has played in 509 games while punting 2,395 times for 106,233 yards and a 44.4-yard average.
“Wow,” said Craig, who played in 106 games. “Thanks for keeping me relevant.”
No, thank the boys. Dustin, a third-round pick of the Chiefs in 2005, will be playing in his 240th game. Britton, undrafted in 2009, will be playing in his 163rd, including two Super Bowls, one of which his Broncos won.
“The Vikings are my third team, so I’ve definitely made things more exciting when it comes time to trade jerseys after games,” Britton said of the postgame ritual. “I really don’t need another Chiefs jersey, but he’ll be getting a Vikings jersey.”
Britton ranks 13th in the NFL in gross average (46.6) and ninth in net (42.7). Dustin is 22nd in gross (44.8) and 14th in net (42.0).
“I saw potential in both of them early on,” Craig said. “They were exceptional soccer players, but there was no future for them in soccer. I said, ‘I know another opportunity.’ Let’s try it. And they liked it.”
Britton’s football career began as a freshman at Tennessee’s Bearden High School. He played receiver, free safety and “handled all the kicking only because I was the only one who knew how to.”
That same year, Dustin, a senior at the time, still hadn’t turned to football. That changed two weeks before the first varsity game when Bearden’s kicking specialist broke his ankle, sending a desperate varsity coach in search of Craig’s oldest son, who agreed to split time between soccer and football.
“Dustin came to us very upset early on and said he couldn’t wear the football pants because they were too tight,” Craig said. “That lasted until after the first game, when a group of girls admired his anatomy. He never complained about the pants again.”
Today, Dustin has four sons and a daughter. Britton has two sons and two daughters. Dustin’s sons are ages 12, 10, 7 and 6. Britton’s are 7 and 1.
“People ask about my grandkids,” Craig said. “Are they boys or girls? I tell them I got six punters and three agents.”
Dustin’s oldest son, Brinkley, plays youth football but isn’t a punter. Yet.
“He’s really shooting up, heightwise, so there’s potential,” said Craig, who was 6-1, 182 as a player, while both his sons are 6-3, 210.
Saturday, Brinkley’s team will play for the championship of the Kansas City youth football league. The Colquitt clan, including the enemy punter from Minnesota, will be well represented.
“I’ll pick Britton up and we’ll go to that game,” Craig said. “Then it’s, ‘Go Chiefs, go Vikings’ on Sunday.”
And, as Momma says, “Go fourth down!”