I agree that football punters deserve more recognition for their contribution to the team. They are just as athletic as anyone else on the football field. Football is a team sport and no one player on the field is more important than the next. One players downfall could potentially put the entire team in jeopardy.
I think that Jon Ryan and other punters like him deserve as much credit as all the other football players get. They have to train just as hard, they have to put in just as much time. In many cases, they are capable of doing the work of the other players but are not credited for it.
Jon Ryan is a man with tremendous athletic skill. His record in professional football shows him to be one of the league's most valuable players even though he is considered to be a "lowly punter". Ryan's skills have won games, and made the difference when matches come down to the wire. He and other punters deserve more recognition.
Football players, no matter their position, are trained in the same manner. They attend football practices in all weather and all times of the day. They are coached and they work hard. Many football players train as athletes from the time they are children. Many football players are trained in other sports as well so they can improve their skills and flexibility. Any player on a football team is worthy of consideration as a true athlete.
Football players are athletes. There is nothing special about them. There are plenty of people who play sports, there is no reason a football player should receive more recognition than a soccer player or a baseball player. Football players receive a lot of hype because of their size, speed, and stamina; these are all attributes of successful athletes in other professional sports.