Rick Lovato trades NJ salami for NFL pigskin

Rick Lovato was walking into his uncle and father’s sandwich shop, Joyce’s Subs and Pizza in Linecroft, NJ when he got the call.  For the second time this year, he’s going to be long snapping in an NFL game, this time for the Philadelphia Eagles.

It is his third team this year.  Lovato was signed by the Packers in late 2015 to fill in for Brett Goode, who went down with a season ending knee injury, then spent the following off season with the Packers, who cut him right before the start of the 2016 season.

Rick then was signed by the Redskins in mid November to fill in for an injured Nick Sundberg, who tweaked his back in the weight room.  After 2 games, his services were no longer needed.

Philadelphia now seems to be in need after long-time long snapper and magician, Jon Durenbos, broke his wrist last week warming up for his next snap.  “My phone died while I was trying to look at who was contacting me,” Lovato said. “Run to my car, plug my phone in the charger and everyone was like, ‘Philly’s long snapper is down, you need to contact your agent and do all this to get ready.’ As soon as I go home to watch the game and Brent Celek’s in snapping and I’m like ‘Oh jeez, this is bad because, Dorenbos wasn’t even snapping.’”  Until Washington signed him for 10 days in November, Lovato had spent the season working at the family sub shop, working out and practicing long snapping every other day with his dad, Rick.

If you’re wondering what a short-term NFL long snapper makes, lets take a look into Rick’s earnings since coming into the league in 2015:

Bears offseason member – $4,500 signing bonus

Packers – $51,176 salary + $4,544 incentive bonus = $55,720

Redskins – $52,940

Eagles – $79,410

From 2015 to the end of the 2016 season, Rick will have made $192,570.  Not too bad considering he has only has 3 games under his belt and will only have 3 more games to play this season.

“I’m great at making breakfast sandwiches, subs,” said Lovato. “Those are my two specialties. I can make pizza, but I’m not the best at it.”

America loves stories like Rick Lovato and I damn sure hope he gets to hang on with the Eagles or another club going forward.

Lovato broke into the league in 2015 as a member of the offseason squad for the Bears.  He is a 2014 graduate of Old Dominion University and is the only player from Old Dominion to see game action in the NFL.

NFL Week 1 – Thursday Night Throwdown

Back for the 2015 season. It’s been another long offseason with many news topics that have been discussed and there’s usually one that beats the dead horse and this year it involves the high profiled QB Tom Brady and “deflategate”. Well, it all turned out to be much to do about nothing and his 4 game suspension was over-ruled to which he will be starting the season opener tonight. The Steelers have also had some issues with star players getting into trouble but the suspensions actually sticking, seeing Martavis Bryant out with a 4 game suspension as well as Le’Veon Bell’s 2 games, who coincidentally was with former teammate, now Patriot, LeGarrette Blount, who is also dealing with a suspension of his own.

Nevertheless, the season is upon us, let football begin!

New England Patriots vs. Pittsburgh Steelers, TV: NBC @ 8:30 p.m.; LINE: Patriots -7.5, O/U 52:

Both teams are dealing with key injuries and suspensions, luckily for the Pats, Brady avoided his. Now with all eyes, ears and hands all over the Patriots, this will be a huge kickoff (highly rated) for the NFL with all of the surrounding controversy and attention that the Pats have found themselves in this year already. Brady will be ever prepared, as he always is but don’t look for this one to be a high scoring contest. The light rain they are having will start the game off slow and these two defenses aren’t half bad either. Yes, Wilfork is gone and is now pretending to be a kicker during practices with the Texans but the defensive front will still be strong. Troy Polamalu is now retired after acknowledging losing some steps in his game over the last few years. This defense in some ways is younger now so look for them to play refreshed but don’t be surprised with some mistakes sprinkled in. With the new extra point rules, it’ll be interesting to see if the coaches use different strategies in this wet affair. Both quarterbacks are great game managers so there will be no rushing anything.  They both know they can’t allow mistakes to happen since the other will capitalize on them.  No underinflated balls will be helping Tom win this one but look for the Steelers to keep it close. Patriots 24-20.

Check back for a preview of Sunday’s picks! Good luck!

Betting lines provided by Bovada