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Where Are They Now

Where Are They Now: John Hall

Catch Up with the Former Jets Kicker from Wisconsin

K John Hall lines up for a field goal during the Jets 41-0 Wild Card pasting of the Indianapolis Colts on January 4, 2003.
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Over 19 seasons with four different teams including the Jets, Hall of Fame coach Bill Parcells won 172 games, two Super Bowls, and, well, made at least one good point.

John Hall, a free agent rookie kicker from Wisconsin, was the beneficiary of Parcells' advice following the 1997 Draft.

"I actually had told the Arizona Cardinals that I would sign with them. They offered me a bonus of $5,000, and I thought coming out of college, wow, five grand, that's a lot of money. And they had an older kicker, Kevin Butler, so I thought maybe I had a chance," Hall said.

"And then I got a call before it was finalized from Bill Parcells, telling me he wanted me to come to the Jets. So I told him, 'Coach, I already told the Cardinals that I would come there.' And he said, 'Aw, you don't want to go there. What'd they offer you?' And I told him, '$5,000.' And he said, 'I can't give you $5,000, but I can give you $1,000 and you'll probably get a job. Or you can take $5,000 and probably not get a job. What number do you want?'

"I said, 'I did tell them that I would go there.' And he goes, 'Call them back and tell them you're going to be a Jet. And what number do you want?' I just kind of paused for a second and said, 'Well, if you've got No. 9, I'll take that.' And that was that. He kind of just wouldn't take no for an answer."

Joining the Jets and playing for Parcells, Hall felt a sense of déjà vu.

"I had Barry Alvarez at Wisconsin, and he was a tough coach. Not tough, bad, but he always had pressure on you. I think he kind of groomed me to be in the position I was in," Hall said. "So when I got to Bill, who's kind of in the same mold, he's always putting pressure on you, and always trying to psychologically find which button to push on you.

"I really liked him from the start, to be honest with you. I was a huge football fan growing up, so I always liked him as an NFL character. I thought, 'That guy's pretty funny and he's interesting to watch.'"

Hall also found it interesting, as well as advantageous, to watch the other half of the Jets' one-two special teams punch, 13-year veteran punter Brian Hansen.

"Brian was great! He was a great example for me to see how to approach being a professional. The day-to-day taking care of your body, things like that. So I would say, for me, being able to have Brian around was a real asset to start my career. Not only was he a professional, he was just an all-around good person," Hall said.

"Parcells also brought in (former 17-year NFL veteran) Matt Bahr to help me as far as the kicking and the approach and the mental stuff. He stressed having a routine. And really, the part of my game I was missing was consistency. He really honed in on me, and helped me develop a routine. He was a tremendous help."

During his six seasons with New York, 1997-02, Hall used the method of consistency that he picked up from Bahr, connecting on 149 of 203 field goal attempts, a 73.4 percentage, and 205 extra points. And he played a key role in some memorable games in the team's history such as the "Monday Night Miracle."

On October 23, 2000, the Jets hosted Miami and trailed the Dolphins 30-7 in the fourth quarter, when New York scored 30 points to tie the game at 37, and go into overtime. Hall then kicked a 40-yard field goal at the 8:13 mark, securing the 40-37 Jets victory.

What does he remember most about the game?

"Well, I remember we were getting our ass kicked," Hall laughed. "We had some real tough-minded guys on the team. So for us to get pushed around was very uncharacteristic. We had the type of guys who didn't really quit, and we were able to get things going.

"And I remember towards the end of the game, I kept thinking how hungry I was. The game just seemed to take forever. When you eat three or four hours before the game, and that game just drug on and on and on… But what an exciting game."

Another exciting game occurred in the 2001 season finale in Oakland, when Hall booted a 53-yard field goal with less than a minute on the clock to win 24-22, and secure a Jets playoff berth for the first time in three years.

"It was a very wild environment. Playing in the Coliseum is not easy. Their fans are, I guess, rabid is a good word you can use. They're on you from the time you land at the airport to the time you leave," Hall said. "To go into Oakland and win is a very hard thing to do. Especially back then, they had some really good teams. So that was a really special moment.

"I enjoyed being a Jet. I enjoyed all the guys I played with. I was very fortunate to have great coaches. Bill Parcells is very important to me as a mentor and as a coach. I got along great with him. He treated me very well, and I'm very grateful for the opportunity he gave me.

"Herm Edwards, the same. Herm's a great man. He kept me around after a year that I didn't have such a great year with Al Groh (in 2000). And so I remember the coaches and the players and all the other people in the building. The support staff, trainers, equipment guys, people in the front office. Just a lot of great people. I'm just very grateful for that time."

Making his home in South Florida, Hall has a fiancée, Aimee, and three children: Brady, Ava, and Hanna.

For the past seven years, he has been a firefighter/EMT with the Punta Gorda Fire Department.

"When I was a kid, my mom said I always wanted to be a firefighter. And then, obviously, I was up there for 9/11. Experiencing that was a tough time for everybody. I think about it daily. I just really respect the calling of helping people, and so I wanted to follow that path," Hall said.

"And I enjoy helping people. I like going to work every day. I think it's important to like what you do, and I love what I do. It's probably the best job I've ever had. And that's saying a lot considering the blessings I've had as far as playing football. But I like being a part of something that's bigger than myself, and just being a contributor to that. It brings me a lot of happiness."