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Snapper Serves Silently

Posted Sep 18, 2014

Read about how long snapper Jake McQuaide's charitable efforts earned him Rams Community Player of the Week.

How many long snappers can you name in the NFL? They are critical to crucial plays, such as the Rams’ game winning field goal in Tampa Bay, but often get little recognition. These are the guys doing the dirty work without any glory and without a fantasy football following. It takes a guy with a very special mentality to be willing and able to fulfill that job description. It takes a guy like Jake McQuaide.
 
“As a long snapper, you’re known for being a behind the scenes guy. That’s how Jake likes to operate,” said Rams punter Johnny Hekker. “He’s not a get out in front of everyone and pound his chest kind of guy, but he just likes to do the right thing on and off the field. That’s why he’s such a good snapper and great in the community.”
 
It makes sense that mentality would translate to putting others first and giving back to the community. That is why McQuaide has won the designation of this week’s community player of the week.
 
“Jake is known throughout the organization as an awesome guy,” said Molly Higgins, Rams’ vice president of corporate communications and civic affairs.  “He’s a down to earth, humble person with a genuine passion for helping others and participating in our charitable efforts. He’s always willing to be involved and help the community and that consistency means so much to our organization and our many charitable partners.”
 
McQuaide serves as a co-chair of the SSM Kick Cancer Initiative, which allows fans to pledge a donation for each field goal and extra point the Rams make during the regular season to help those fighting cancer.  
 
He also participated in several community events during the offseason including the team’s annual playground build, Coach Fisher’s Celebrity Softball game benefitting charity, the PLAY 60 field day, and the Love Your Melon initiative where he delivered hats to cancer patients at Mercy Cancer Center.
 
Most recently, he attended the Make-A-Wish Night of Wishes event that helped raise more than $270,000. That night was a perfect example of his willingness to serve out of the limelight. At the event, players receive tips for photos and autographs, and all the money is donated to Make-A-Wish to fund the wishes of local children with life-threating illnesses. With more than 20 players in attendance, of course it turns into a competition of who can raise the most money. But instead of worrying about winning, McQuaide gave all the money he made to Hekker to try to help the recipient of his snaps win instead.
 
“I may not think anything special about myself or what I do because it’s just a job,” said McQuaide. “But anytime you can use our platform of football to affect things outside, it is a unique opportunity. To a little kid it can change their day and have a big impact. It takes minimal effort on our part, but can make a giant difference to someone else.”

About the Rams Community Player of the Week : Each week during the 2014 season, the St. Louis Rams will select a player who has made a positive impact on the Greater St. Louis community, giving of himself off the field. Each honored Rams Community Player of the Week will receive a gift certificate to Ruth’s Chris Steak House, the Official Steak House of the St. Louis Rams.