This is the second of two parts of the Matt Overton feature, continued from Aug. 9.
One thing led to another, and Overton ended up in Indianapolis. He was competing against Justin Snow, who had been the Colts long snapper for the previous 12 years, for a job that employs just 32 men in the world.
“Every year as a free-agent long snapper, there’s really maybe four teams out of the 32 that are really legitimately looking for a guy,” Overton said. “And, fortunately enough, the Colts were that team.”
He soaked up everything he could from Snow, watching his every move and listening to his every word. When the final cuts were made at the end of camp, somehow Overton went from an unemployed former community relations staffer to a member of an NFL roster.
Ironically, it might not have happened without Snow’s guidance. And Overton remembers his predecessor every time he steps on the field.
“I try to emulate him every day,” he said. “He set the standard, and I’m just trying to uphold the standard and help this team win like he did.”
Of course, Overton also owes a certain debt to Clarett.
The two men remain friends, and Overton is rooting for the former running back in his quest for a spot on the U.S. Olympic Rugby team.
ESPN is working on a “30 for 30” documentary film about Clarett. And Overton’s own life reads like a movie script these days.
His first game at Lucas Oil Stadium came down to a field-goal attempt. He snapped the ball to McAfee, who held for Vinatieri on a 53-yard field goal to beat the Minnesota Vikings. It was the longest game-winner of Vinatieri’s likely Hall of Fame career.
The Colts surprised the NFL with an 11-5 record and earned an AFC playoff berth. This season, Overton finds himself on a team with goals that include winning a division title and playing in the Super Bowl.