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For the record, Harris on the money


Clark Harris was on the money. As usual.

Four plays for $64,000.

Maybe that should be a Guinness World Record and not the 36 yards Bengals long snapper Clark Harris flung last week at the Pro Bowl to make Guinness history for the longest snap of an American football.

That's how much Harris earned Sunday when the AFC beat the NFC, 24-23, in his first Pro Bowl as he ignored a game-long Orlando, Fla., rain to supply the winning point. His snap allowed the Steelers' Chris Boswell to kick the PAT with 1:31 left after Titans tight end Delanie Walker's 18-yard TD catch from Raiders quarterback Derek Carr tied it.

"Most expensive snap of my life," Harris said shortly after it was over.

Then he was reminded about Josh Brown's 43-yard field goal back on Dec. 23, 2012 in Pittsburgh with four seconds left that put the Bengals in the playoffs.

"Maybe it was worth about the same," he said.

But Harris had to grind for that one. This one capped off his first Pro Bowl week, which was one big walk-through lasting barely an hour a day. He figures heading into the game he practiced three snap-and-holds with Boswell and hold Brett Kern. Kern, the Titans punter, took about five punt snaps. Not exactly Steelers week.

"We know our jobs and we go out and do it well," Harris said. "We got a bunch in before the game. About 20."

It's the first time Harris snapped to someone new since Bengals punter Kevin Huber missed the 2013 Wild Card Game with a broken jaw. When he pumped back a few punt snaps to Kern in pregame he realized he was putting it on his left hip. But Kern is right-footed, unlike the lefty Huber.

"I made the adjustment, but we didn't punt," said Harris, realizing Bengals special teams coordinator Darrin Simmons was no doubt scoring at home. "My warmups were good."

So he was only on the field for four successful Boswell kicks (are there any others by the Bengalkiller?), which is nice because his oldest, five-year-old Trent, got to stand with him on the sidelines starting in the middle of the third quarter. When it came time for the final PAT, Harris told Trent to stay right in that spot and not move. Trent has been moving all week. By then he and his year-and-a-half old brother had been to Disney and Universal, where Trent's favorite ride was The Simpsons.

"When I came running off the field he was the first person I saw," Harris said. "He ran all the way out to the numbers (celebrating). He was happy. He knew what was going on. One of the coaches had to grab him because he wanted to keep going on."

His second most memorable Pro Bowl moment came when he was told just before the game that he was a captain. Suddenly he was walking out to midfield with Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and Ravens linebacker Terrell Suggs, three great warriors of the AFC North. That had only happened to him in Cincinnati during the preseason.

"It was literally 30 seconds before the game," Harris said. "I was one of the oldest guys there and got to be a Pro Bowl captain. That's cool."

 He found out that's how he got to the Pro Bowl. Steelers special teams coach Danny Smith, who got to choose his snapper for this game, went with Harris because he was the oldest AFC long snapper that hadn't been to the Pro Bowl. Make that the oldest that belonged. Since Harris arrived to the Bengals in 2009 he has yet to deliver an unplayable snap. But now at age 33 he's starting to lose his anonymity.

He picked up on the long snapping record via Twitter and after he did the research he knew he could do it. The official Guinness record had been 33 yards set by Jase Whitner in Perrysburg, Ohio, back in September. Whitner is a recent high school graduate, but Harris schooled him by three yards. Yet he knows someone is trying every day to get in Guinness.

"I knew I could get 35 yards. I figured I could do it," Harris said. "I didn't want to break it by too much. Somebody else is going to break it, but I want to break it again. I want to get two Guinness record plaques."

But don't look for him to practice it, since his longest snap in a game is half the record. It's his way of preventing Simmons from having a stroke: "I never want to snap it 30 yards in a game. I don't want to get into bad habits."

Now they've got Harris going. He tried to set the record for the longest behind-the-back football pass at 45 yards "but failed miserably.

"I want to achieve that next season. My goal is to perfect the behind-the-back pass. I've got the distance, but not the accuracy part."

He took care of the accuracy part on the winning play. After all, it's his specialty.

"Just like all the rest," he said. "I do what I always do. It was wet, so I took off my gloves."

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