Former Sun Devil, current 49er Kyle Williams gives lesson on facing adversity
I couldn’t resist.
Browsing the internet Monday I came across a photo of Kyle
Williams that was snapped shortly after his fumble in
overtime that led to the 49ers losing to the Giants and
missing out on a chance at the Super Bowl.
Standing on the field, Williams’ hands were on the back of
his helmet, with the player looking down. I knew I had
seen that pose before and, as a Wildcats fan with a
dislike for the 49ers, couldn’t resist putting this
As a friend later told me, “You sir are off of Kenny
Williams Sr.’s Christmas card list.”
But you know what? While I was admittedly poking fun at a
rival’s misfortune, I came to realize something that is
just a little more important than what transpired on the
Kyle Williams is a standup guy.
Though he is not the 49ers’ starting punt returner,
Williams was the guy Sunday. And while his team’s offense
was horrific and didn’t exactly help themselves in the
game, the team’s defense was great, forcing the Giants to
punt a ridiculous 12 times.
Twelve times Williams was back to receive a punt, and 10
times he did so without incident. But it’s the other two
he’ll be remembered for because he messed up. In fact, if
there was ever a time when you could reasonably say a
single player lost his team the game, this is it.
And yet there Williams was answering questions, owning up to what
happened on the field just hours before.
Just hours before that, even, the Ravens’ Billy Cundiff
was doing the same after
badly missing a short field goal that would have sent the
AFC Championship into overtime.
“Throughout my career, I’ve had challenging situations and
I’m still standing here today,”Cundiff said. “It’s
something that is going to be tough for a while, but I’ve
got two kids and there are some lessons I need to teach
“First and foremost is to stand up and face the music and
Cundiff and Williams will do just that – they almost have
to. There is no doubt that each player is his harshest
critic right now, because even while their teammates have
supported them there is zero chance they don’t feel like
they let everyone down.
Which they did.
But as Christopher Nolan’s Batman franchise has so
eloquently explained, these things happen.
“Why do we fall sir,” Alfred asked Bruce Wayne in
Batman Begins. “So we might learn to pick ourselves
Then, in The Dark Knight, Harvey Dent proclaimed
“The night is darkest just before the dawn. And I promise
you, the dawn is coming.”
Where the respective careers of both Williams and Cundiff
will go from here is anyone’s guess. A kicker, Cundiff is
unfamiliar with the term “job security” and could be out
of a job soon.
Williams, though, should be fine. At just 23, chances are
good this won’t be the last we hear from the former Sun
Devil – even if things don’t go so well.