Code hopping the AFL to the NFL was in vogue long ago, as the story of Sav Rocca clearly illustrates.
Rocca enjoys the singular distinction of being the oldest rooking ever to make the list of a professional American football team. Rocca was 33-years of age when he said farewell to a 14-year career in the AFL to become a special teams kicker for the Philadelphia Eagles in 2007.
The tall forward for first the Magpies and then the Tigers made what could easily be described as the best code switch in the history of code switching.
As a punter for the NFL Eagles, Rocca had to do little other than apply his boot to the ball several times a game, something at which he was quite adept after 257 games in the AFL.
It was a financial windfall for Rocca as well. He was paid more in the seasons he played for the Eagles and the Redskins than he had earned in 14 with the two AFL teams. Rocca could follow the example of Cats backman Ben Graham, who had preceded Rocca by two years in jumping to the NFL.
Sav’s brother Anthony considered a similar move, but did not want to uproot his family. Between them, the brothers played 499 games in the AFL.