(N.B. Text under the picture)
The first picture of Ola in his new Titans jersey.
(click on the picture for high res.)
Friday, August 12th, The
Tennessee Titans will play their first preseason game of the year
against the Tampa Bay Bucs. Hopefully Ola will get the chance to nail
a bunch of field goals and extra points!
invaluable co-worker in Tennessee – got to meet Ola for the first
time a couple of days ago in Nashville. The story below is the result
of that meeting.
Kimrin, His Aim Is True
sweltering August temperatures make doing anything outside the protection
of central air conditioning difficult. Humid steam rises from the city
streets and buildings of Nashville meshing with the already thick air
creating sauna like conditions by mid-day.
players fighting for a position on the roster of the Tennessee Titans
endure this heat throughout the month. In helmets and shoulder pads,
they kick, pass, tackle and run sprints on the oven of a practice field.
One of these players, kicker Ola Kimrin, is doing everything
he can to ensure that he’ll be around to see the same broiling
heat next year.
clowning around with Brad's son Ben, click on the picture for a
bigger version or click here
for another one.
from Sweden, has a firm handshake and a quiet demeanor. The
years have faded his accent and at times, you might think he had been
living in the US all of his life. In reality, he has been stateside
since the mid 1990’s trying to find a spot on a roster and a place
to permanently unpack his suitcase.
He has been called shy, and there may be some truth to that.
He lacks the synthetic swagger associated with many professional athletes,
but he has an air of confidence that is hard to deny. The first time
he saw kicking in American football at age 15, he thought to himself,
“That doesn’t look too hard, I can do that” and it
turns out he was right.
Kimrin’s ideals and non-judgmental attitude are certainly
worthy of admiration. When asked his opinion of a high profile rookie
who is holding out of training camp in hopes of big bucks while others
are working hard every day just to have a chance to make the team, he
said “He is missing a lot by not being in camp, but I’ve
never been in that situation, so I’m in no position to say what
he should or shouldn’t do.”
Kimrin speaks softly and matter of factly, and looks you
straight in the eye when answering questions. Spend five minutes with
the man and you will find that he is immediately likable. Nothing about
him is stand-offish. Even my three year old son took to him right away
and had fun pronouncing his name ("Ooo-la" – see FAQ
has spent the last several years bouncing from NFL training
camps to arena league tryouts to NFL Europe squads. His lone experience
in the NFL regular season came last year when John Hall, of the Washington
Redskins, went down with an injury mid-season. Kimrin took over kicking
duties for the Redskins for several games only to be replaced when
Last March, things started to look promising. Kimrin received
a call from the Titans and an invitation to compete for a starting
position on the team. The Titans had recently cut kicker Joe Nedney
in an effort to relieve their salary cap woes.
Kimrin got a jump start by being the only kicker on the
roster for a few months. He became familiar with Head Coach Jeff Fisher,
who he compares favorably to other head coaches he has worked with
in the past, as well as punter Craig Hentrich and long snapper Ken
laid back atmosphere and particularly the glaring kicking vacancy
in Tennessee seemed to suit Kimrin to a tee.
Kimrin created big headlines with his 65-yard field goal in the
preseason games in 2002 playing for the Denver Broncos. Everything
from first pages in the newspapers to ”sport event of the
week” on the TV channels.
on, things went well for Ola. He felt good and was kicking
very well. Between training sessions, he went home to Sweden to marry
Linda, his sweet-heart of eleven years. “Linda is in Greece
with her mother right now… on our honeymoon,” he jokingly
Ola left Nashville as the heads on favorite to finally
make his dream come true. Team reports were very favorable. His return
to Tennessee, though, showed there was still some adversity in his
future. Several days ago, Ola hit somewhat of a funk. His kicks just
weren’t sailing as straight and he found himself confused as
to what was going on.
One day after a particularly difficult practice, Ola stopped
to talk with Titans quarterback Steve McNair in the parking lot outside
Baptist Sports Park where the Titans train. “What do you do
when you hit a slump?” Ola asked the 2003 NFL co-MVP. “Everyone
has some really rough memories,” McNair replied, “You’ve
just got to think it through and then leave it behind.”
When I spoke with Ola, it seemed he had done just that.
It’s impossible to say what lies in Kimrin’s
immediate future and he isn’t thinking about anything except
his next kick. It would be very tempting to take a minute to imagine
what it would be like to buy a house, get Linda settled in Tennessee,
clean out that suitcase and start making some roots in Nashville.
The level headed Kimrin, though, is all business right now.
Ola doesn’t read the sports section in the newspaper
or watch local television news. He’d rather stay isolated and
focused on his task. At this time of the year, that task is eating,
drinking and breathing training camp from the minute he gets up until
he falls asleep at night.
Four preseason games and many practice sessions remain
before a decision will be made about who will be kicking in Titans
blue this year and as Special Teams Coach Alan Lowry put it, “If
you are a golfer, we’re only on the third hole right now.”
Personally, I’d like to see Ola Kimrin hit a few
birdies along the way.
to know more about Ola Kimrin?!
If you want to read the old startpages you'll find 'em
Ola has been with the Titans för 2 weeks and put on his jersey
for the first time and get to meet the fans. This is still a good
Introduction to who Ola Kimrin – the Swedsih Rocket - is.
February 2005: Ola signs with the Titans and discusses the situation in Nashville (Joe Nedney was still an option for the Titans at that time).
2004: The first start page ever (with some modifications)
we had at kimrin.com. The interview was done just after he signed
with the Washington Redskins, before he played his first official
NFL game. This article also has some more history and information
that is not as relevant anymore.
of course there's a lot of stuff to read in the News
Asked Questions – How do you prenounce "Kimrin"?
First of all, native English speakers have difficulty pronouncing
Ola's first and last name the way it is prounounced in Swedish (especially
with the dialect of his hometown Malmö). If you doubt that,
then listen carefully to this and try to repeat it:
Kinda hard, right?
But it's totally ok to say a more "English" version. Ola is aware that his name is very difficult for non-Swedes, so if you say it like the Bears announcers did at the Redskins/Bears game last year (10-17-2004) it's more than ok!
This is probably as close as you can get without a lot of Swedish classes.