The Pro Bowl isn’t all fun and games, at least not for Tucker.
The Ravens’ 24-year-old kicker wants to win – badly. And he’s got an interesting reason why.
“It’s double the pay if you win; so I’m kind of all about that. I’m not ashamed to say it,” Tucker said before leaving for Hawaii.
“There’s a good number of guys going out there where the numbers to them are inconsequential. I can tell you going into a third year of [an undrafted rookie] contract with no signing bonus, I’m pretty pumped up and I’m going to try to do my part to win that game.”
There has been no announcement regarding this year’s payout, but it was $50,000 for each of the winners in 2012, and has climbed over the years. That kind of money could help Tucker pay for the wedding he’s planning with fiancée Amanda Bass, who has joined him in Hawaii.
While the Pro Bowl kicker doesn’t usually get too much attention, Tucker is quite the character, and will be no shrinking violet amongst the stars. He is excited to meet some of the NFL’s other prominent players, however.
“You’re a kid growing up and you’re watching college ball, and you see guys on TV that are household names,” he said. “Then to be mentioned in the same articles or news stories on ESPN, it’s pretty cool to be a part of. But the way I see it, it’s just the beginning and I hope there’s a lot more good things to come.”
Tucker finished just his second NFL year, one in which he was named the Ravens’ team MVP by the Baltimore media. He was good on 38 of 41 field-goal attempts and had a streak of 33 straight. His 61-yard kick in Detroit is the longest ever in a dome.
But his success this season and the fact that he’s going to the Pro Bowl hasn’t really sunk in, Tucker says.
“It’s kind of similar to last year when we won the Super Bowl. You win it and literally wake up the next day and want to do it all over again,” he said.
“I’m excited to hang out on the beach in January, glad to be going out there with a couple teammates, and it’s certainly an accomplishment. But you definitely want to get as many of them as possible in the time that you’re allotted to play. Hopefully this is the first of many.”