RENTON These Seahawks are so different, their kicker has a stage name.
Steven -- er, Stephen, “just call me Steve” -- Hauschka made news in Seattle earlier this week when he told KCPQ television the teams for which he’s played have all gotten his given name wrong. That’s more than a few: Seattle, Denver, Baltimore in the NFL, and North Carolina State and Middlebury College before that.
He told Q13 his given name is Stephen -- and “I just like to go by Steve.” He cited a “mix up” in college with a sports information department that just carried forward throughout his football career.
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So as he headed out to practice Thursday I asked Hauschka if, for accuracy’s sake and to do what he’d prefer, I should be writing Stephen or Steve for his name.
“Ah, just keep doing what you’ve been doing,” he said breezily. “Just go with Steven, with a ‘v.’
“That’s my stage name.”
So since it’s cool a kicker considers himself as having a stage name, it will stay Steven on here.
Even if, as Hauschka said, his driver’s license has Stephen Hauschka.
And, heck, maybe it is his stage name. When I took the train from Penn Station in Manhattan out to the New Jersey Meadowlands to cover the Seahawks-Jets game Oct. 2, I saw four different fans wearing “Hauschka, 4” Seahawks game jerseys on the train and in the stations. That’s quite a small-sample haul for a kicker.
The 31-year old who’s been waived six times in the NFL has become another name to his many fans, his nickname: “Haush Money.” His miss last weekend against Atlanta was stunning because it was his first one in 11 tries this season and only his third miss in 42 field-goal attempts spanning two years. His low extra point getting blocked in the fourth quarter last weekend was his sixth miss in the two seasons since the NFL moved PATs back from the 2- to the 15-yard line.
The former soccer and lacrosse player got a degree in nueroscience from Middlebury before spending a graduate-school year kicking at NC State. He is the third most-accurate kicker in NFL history (minimum 100 field-goal attempts). His success rate of 87.05 percent (168 for 193 since 2008) trails only the 90.12 percent for Dallas’ Dan Bailey and the 88.96 percent by Baltimore’s Justin Tucker as the best the league’s ever seen.