Gay Beat Odds Bigger Than Football

April 27th, 2019

Knows pressure.

New Bucs kicker Matt Gay may never be a full-time kicker for the Bucs. But he’s handled adversity before.

You see, Gay battles depression and at one time it nearly kicked Gay out of his life’s goals, writes Gordon Monson of the Salt Lake City Tribune. In fact, Gay’s football kicking career was nearly Pearl Harbored by soccer coaches who didn’t want him to play football.

Gay instead carved meat at Tucanos Brazilian Grill for a year before playing soccer for a season at Utah Valley. Thereafter, he went on an LDS Church mission in Houston, which he initially loved until … that aforementioned darkness crowded in. Depression had run in Gay’s family, and under the duress of mission life, it nailed him to his bed.

“All you want to do is sleep,” he says. “But you can’t sleep. You’re tired all the time. … You have no motivation. Your mind controls your body. It took over mine.”

Morose, cheerless thoughts washed over him in black waves. He could find no tranquility, no air to breathe.

Gay returned home after six months looking for treatment, looking for relief. It was slow coming. He remained listless and, he thought, useless. He didn’t even want to play the game that had been his passion from the time he was a toddler.

Monson writes that only after therapy and medications was Gay able to pull himself out of the darkness.

And then Gay’s football kicking days began to blossom.

So if Gay can hang with the Bucs, trying to make kicks in the Den of Depression is nothing compared to what he went through in his personal life.

Talking to the local pen and mic club in a teleconference call this afternoon, Gay said he was “shocked and overcome with emotions” at being drafted. He said he saw a Tampa number on his cell phone and then looked at the TV and saw the Bucs were on the clock and then it hit him that he was being drafted.

64 Responses to “Gay Beat Odds Bigger Than Football”

  1. Dewey Selmon Says:

    So we have a kicker who is a head case. Brilliant.

  2. SKBucsFan Says:

    Great. Lichte picked a kicker with mental issues. I wish him the best, but that doesn’t sound like a well thought out pick.

  3. Bird Says:

    Joe was making a joke with the title


    Licht has lost my trust. This kid goes undrafted

  4. Totally Exonerated Says:


    This seems like its the wrong place at the wrong time for him.

  5. MadMax Says:

    Welcome to tampa big guy!!! Now look, fk depression!! Grow a thick skin-get your game on-fk it!!!

    Nail some kicks for us kid! And sit back in the meantime and enjoy a somewhat comfortable looking bank account. Your life just improved….NOW LIVE IT!!!!!!

  6. skomsky Says:

    New Bucs kicker Matt Gay may never be a full-time kicker for the Bucs – this is a great 1st sentence Joe (sarcasm) why in the world would you use up a pick for a kicker that you believe may never make the team. wouldn’t it be smarter to do that with a RB or Guard or Tackle which we need more

  7. Bird Says:

    This is not arians picks

    He was on lights board after the whole Aguayo pick He was rated the best ?
    I honestly could be a GM

    I can take Devin white. Love that guy
    I could take better guys off a computer program

  8. Miguel Grande Says:

    “New Bucs kicker Matt Gay may never be a full-time kicker for the Bucs. But he’s handled adversity before”

    Just like that song, A Boy Named Sue”

    The Gay kicker is what’s called the coup de grace.

    Just when the draft is flopping around on the floor, mortally wounded, you put it out of it’s misery with a bullet through the bucking ear.

    Fire Licht tonight.

  9. Alvin Scissors Harper Says:

    Not only does the Toad Lichter draft a kicker – he drafts a depressed kicker!

  10. BuccoBoras Says:

    I’ve been defending Licht the last couple days, but how can I defend this. I can’t understand how this can make any kind of sense. ugh, I sound like so many other Licht haters on these boards.

  11. Alstott up the gut Says:

    Geez…. imagine Chris Baker just yelling at him every attempt? This draft is confusing…. please be great Devin White!

  12. NYbucsfan Says:

    Wow!!!!!!!! What a sick joke Jason is playing.

  13. DBAM Says:

    How in the world does J Lite keep a job? Nothing personal, but if I did the same at my job, I would voluntarily pass the baton.

  14. Birdman Says:

    Dang, who is this Odds fella?

  15. stpetebucsfan Says:

    All you experts have a one in ten chance that YOUR pick will make it before Gay. You have a 90% chance of failure…same as Licht and ALL NFL GM’s.

    Man get a grip and relax a bit. This pick has nothing but upside.
    If he makes it great…if not nothing significant lost other than a 1-10 chance the pick of YOUR choice would stick.

  16. JGhoti86 Says:

    Remember, our ST coach Keith Armstrong said he wants his kickers to be fighters. That’s directly from his mouth from his introductory press conference w/ media. That is what Gay is. Santos was not. Better chance to start, contribute and make the team as a 5th rounder than most anyone else or position has at that point. It’s not that crazy of a move. It could end up being a smart move.

  17. Bird Says:

    Jason Licht has no clue

    His scouts were cool with that
    BA was cool with that

    Especially after we signed “the guy”

  18. Adrnagy Says:

    Where can I apply to be a GM…. I think I can do same or better job.

  19. Bird Says:

    Hunter renfrow went after the pick

  20. Pugs&Bucs Says:

    So Licht not only picks a kicker, he picks one that’s clinically depressed.

    There weren’t any one-legged kickers available?

  21. Tom S. Says:

    So basically a team as star-crossed at Kicker as the Bucs who watched a 2nd round pick flame out because of a mental block now takes a kicker who is prone to depression.

    I’ve long thought Jason Licht was incompetent but now I wonder if he’s just evil. Best of luck Matt Gay, I’m so sorry Jason had to do this to you.

  22. Defense Rules Says:

    So if I understand this draft correctly, so far BA has thrown 5 straight bones to defense, then 1 bone to S/Ts. Wonder if the last bones will go to offense. Once the draft is over, Jason promises to hold a seminar for Bucs fans on TEAM BUILDING. Can’t wait.

  23. Xavier Says:

    I’m so excited for him. What a great opportunity this is for him. I hope he continues to do well. He will be an inspiration to many others who suffer with depression. Welcome to Tampa! Go Bucs!

  24. MadMax Says:

    ^ yep Tom.

  25. El Buco Realisto Says:

    At least now we know which jersey 813broccoli will constantly wear!!!!!!!!!!

    2019 will reveal answers to the sheep, that the “real” fans already know!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Go Bucs!!!!!!!!!!

    48hrs until the return of “The Buc Realist” !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  26. kmattin Says:

    Those that are attempting to be humerus about depression, obviously never have been there. Depression is nothing to joke about. This kid deserves a chance. He is fighting with a horrible place to mentally be. It is beyond me how any of you can find some smarmy comments about this kid. I get the impression most are brave talking crap through their keyboard than they would ever have the balls enough to say something to this kid’s face.

  27. James Walker Says:

    I have also suffered and recovered from depression. Good to see him being honest and making his dreams come true. You go Gay!

  28. Rod Munch Says:

    I don’t hate the pick as much as others, rarely does a 5th rounder contribute much to a team. However what I can’t stand are whiners who complain about “depression” because they need attention and think words hurt. Ugh. I get it kid, your last name is Gay, everyone called you gay to the point you thought you were a gay, but it was just them messing with you over your name. Get it over d-bag and man up.

  29. stpetebucsfan Says:


    CONGRATULATIONS on beating a tough challenge that most folks underestimate. Good on you. And yeah this makes Gay an early favorite for me as well.

  30. Bucfann666 Says:

    Depression not a joke wish this kid all the best

  31. Greg Says:

    Jason Licht:

    “Somewhere, a village is missing its idiot”

    “Will follow him anywhere just to see what stupid sh!t he does next”

    “When he opens his mouth, it is only to change whichever foot was in there”

    “He has delusions of adequacy”

    “He has hit rock bottom, yet continues to dig”

    “He sets low personal standards, and continues to fail to achieve them”

    “He works well under constant supervision and cornered like a rat in a trap”

    “He reminds you of a gyroscope, always moving, yet going nowhere”

    “He will go far–and the sooner, the better!”

  32. Lord Corn Says:


  33. Unimpressed Says:

    He’s going to be eaten alive the second he shanks an important kick, whether it be a FG or PAT

  34. '79 Defense Says:

    A guy who’s dealing with depression kicking in the Den of Depression. I hope he has success..

  35. passthebuc Says:

    relax. the kid will not have depression here, or at least it will not be noticeable. The depression in Tampa is already so thick that his will be hardly noticeable.

  36. passthebuc Says:

    @kmattin. I have suffered from depression and panic attacks since I had Scarlet Fever at age 11. I am going on 80. It is no fun, but it helps if you make fun of yourself, it eases the pain.

  37. Jayski Says:

    Well said kmattin. If the kid is rated the best kicker in college football then he obviously has gotten control of it. We have sucked at kicking for so long. Hate to use a 5th rounder but we gotta solve this and get points on the board…

  38. Alanbucsfan Says:

    So Gay battles depression…
    And he’s drafted to kick in the “Den of Depression “
    Aguayo also made 100 pct of his xpts in college and then couldn’t do it in the pros.
    Gay won Lou Groza award for college’s best kicker, we’ll see…

  39. Wesley Says:

    This is fine we desperately need a kicker.

  40. Jonathan LimpChimpi Says:

    A mentally compromised kicker in the pressure packed NFL ( Limpchimpi is a mental midget…read his posts and trust me on this 🙂 ). This ends well like so many Licht Weight Whiffs.

  41. Magadude Says:

    OMG. I know it’s 2019 and all. Why couldn’t we get a guy named “Smith.” With that name, he better open beer bottles with his teeth and be a helluva kicker. Going to bet that is the jerzey with least all time sales.

  42. Magadude Says:

    OMG. Time to drink: “You see, Gay battles depression and at one time it nearly kicked Gay out of his life’s goals, writes Gordon Monson of the Salt Lake City Tribune.”

    Got it. Great. Oh, did Aguayo grease pencil in his shrink’s name on his locker?

    I get it. I was going to be drafted by the pros when I entered college and reality hit. I didn’t get depressed…or at least not suicidal. God, I was 20 and just changed tracks. I just joined ROTC and went on to be a pilot and realized an NFL kicker wasn’t to be. So is this draft what keeps this kid from sinking? Yikes. Hope not. And yesterday I was happy we drafted White over Allen because of dealing with Allen’s ADHD.

    I hope Gay is sorted out. It is not his fault. But why do we take on this stuff?

  43. Magadude Says:

    So we just drafted guys, one of which tagged a 14 year old girl and evaded police, and now this…a basket case. I could swear this team just moved to SF.

  44. Pete I Says:

    New Bucs kicker Matt Gay says he wasn’t sure if he would get drafted, maybe 6th or 7th round. When Bucs called him early in the fifth round: “I was kind of like ‘No way. Not right now.’ Kind of shocked and overcome with emotion. It was amazing.”

  45. Buc believer Says:

    Boy I’m depressed now and need medication reading our new kicker who was drafted in the 5th round is a head case! No wonder Jason Gump likes him… they are two peas in a pod!

  46. Jawo75 Says:

    Licht should be fired immediately. This is beyond reproach. I’m really at a loss for words. It’s a Bucs life.

  47. adam from ny Says:

    yeah but now i’m depressed…licht is a wild f’in dude

  48. kyle Says:

    forrest gump licht should have his id badge removed immediately and be escorted by security to his john deer tractor. he is seriously over his head

  49. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    How can you not root for a guy like this……talk about a GM sticking his neck out…..this took big balls……..

  50. lurker Says:

    There are just some miserable, atrocious, sob’s posting on jbf.

  51. Micah Says:

    I love all of the negativity! I truly think a lot you underestimate this kid! I’m wishing him the best

  52. Buc believer Says:

    @Magadude….. Don’t forget Lorenzo the male Pom Pom girl and the two female trainers! Yup we belong in San Fran!

  53. stpetebucsfan Says:


    I thought at 71 I was the oldest poster here then you go and snatch that title. LOL I surrender it to you gladly.

  54. TBUC North Carolina Says:

    Greg Says:
    Well thought out critique on Meathead!! Only in America could this SOB have a GM job making Millions of dollars each year!! It’s truly amazing!

  55. MadMax Says:

    kmattin Says:
    April 27th, 2019 at 3:08 pm
    Those that are attempting to be humerus about depression, obviously never have been there. Depression is nothing to joke about.

    Nope its nothing to joke about….i deal with it everyday, runs in my family too…but guess what, you have to choose to not let it ruin you then go from there.

  56. Buc4evr Says:

    Wow this a sad situation that’s only going to make his depression worse if he plays for the Bucs.

  57. JAB83 Says:

    Thank God Swaggy Baker aint around. This kid would cry and quit.

  58. Al da pewter King Says:

    Man some people are so negative. Poke fun at a guy like this who went through a tough time and overcame it. All because you are jaded with a football team that you secretly love because you wouldn’t be on this website if you didn’t. Don’t get it.

  59. GetOverIt Says:

    Dewey Selmon Says:

    April 27th, 2019 at 2:44 pm
    So we have a kicker who is a head case. Brilliant.

    Hey jackass, a lot of people suffer with depression, and we don’t appreciate being called head-cases. Depression isn’t a choice, it’s a medical and mental health condition.

    Being an ignorant d!ck, however, is a choice. Congrats.

  60. tmaxcon Says:

    Depression is a liberal made up mental weakness and just another excuse for the weak to escape personal responsibility for thier actions…. toughen up buttercups hit life head on take responsibility and you wont need liberal crutches to justify weakness…. everything is not a disease nor does every emotion require a freaking pill.

  61. tmaxcon Says:


    Toughen up buttercup….

  62. Sloppy Joe Says:

    This maybe should have been one of those post you turned the comments off on Joe. Lots of making fun of the clinically depressed and immature Middle School gay comments! I’m not happy about drafting a kicker but these comments are not cool!

  63. #BucBall Says:

    Dealing with depression and coming out of it is not a story, that isnt special, Hundreds of millions of people in the country deal with being in a dark place at different times of their lives, for a myriad of reasons and circumstances. It is practicality part of the human experience. It has no translation to his draft value

  64. Chip Chipperson Says:

    First openly Gay player in the NFL….this guy is a trailblazer!