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Matt Bryant: Alligator whisperer

Jan 18, 2013, 5:39 PM EDT

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Matt Bryant

Opponents be warned: Atlanta Falcons placekicker Matt Bryant has mastered the power of summoning alligators and he ain’t afraid to use it.

Describes Bryant, ““I was watching the National Geographic Channel one day, and heard them mimicking the mating sound that brings an alligator. So I figured I’d try and mimic the sound. Sure enough, a baby alligator came up from a retention pond behind our Tampa home.”

And so it began. Matt Bryant had found himself attractive to baby alligators. As he perfected his call, he started using it when he was doing terrible at golf and wanted to have some fun. And sure enough, the alligators came looking for love.

“If I’m not having a very good round, I’ll say, ‘Hey, watch this’ and do the alligator call,” Bryant said. “I did it a couple of times at Mr. Blank’s outing. The biggest one that came up from the pond was probably between 6 and 7 feet.”

But don’t worry, Bryant has learned that there is a fine line between communicating with the reptiles and putting himself and others in harm’s way.

This is the part in every movie where the cocky hero gets a reality check and realizes his powers must be contained before it’s the downfall of everybody. Quit attracting all the gators, Bryant! Save it for Tebow!

“We were in Cancun for an event and were playing golf when we heard something thrashing in the mangroves,” he explained. ”I did the sound and, all of a sudden, the thrashing stopped. And from me to where Tony Gonzalez’s locker is (12-feet away), a saltwater croc stuck his head up. He was a 12- to 14-footer. He scared everybody, scared me. So I stopped making the sounds. I’ll talk with them now. But it’s from a distance.”

I was kind of hoping for the story to end with one of the Gramatica brothers getting a leg chomped off by one of Bryant’s potential alligator mates, maybe while they were celebrating a putt for an eagle. Ah well.