Getting My Kicks
COLUMBIA, Mo. -- Today I did something I've always wanted to do.
This wasn't on par with finally getting the opportunity to attend the Ohio State-Michigan game, nor was it up to the level of my dream to perform on stage with A Tribe Called Quest. But hey, we gotta take what we can get.
We were on the turf at Missouri's Faurot Field shooting some footage for a road trip wrap show for CSTV, and the field was empty. Therefore, Dan and I decided to act like 12-year-olds in between takes. Catching fade patterns in the corner of the end zone, practicing touchdown dances, etc. All pretty standard for men who wish they could have been big-time athletes.
Of course this led to us trying some field goals, and after missing my first extra point, I drilled my second attempt with plenty of distance. A lifelong soccer player, I've always felt like I could have made a decent kicker, and I've always wondered how far of a field goal I could kick. Without working at it, I've estimated I could probably hit a 35-yarder. So after boosting my confidence with the PAT, I had Dan hold the ball on 25-yard line and split the uprights from 35.
And this was in jeans, with no real warm-up! I realize I'm tooting my own horn, but it made my day. I tried 40 yards, but it faded right and short. I think I could pull it off in shorts with soccer shoes on. Maybe.
Mizzou came out to practice, so I had to stop with my Al Del Greco impersonation.
I know Mr. Waxman from Going South was a JV kicker at Middlebury College (which is actually a conference rival of Bates College, my alma mater), and I'm throwing down the gauntlet. You name the field, I challenge you to a kicking competition. Better yet, maybe we should organize some sort of road trip punt, pass and kick competition. Going Big will prove its superiority once and for all!
Since my soccer career ended after high school, I used to secretly think about trying to be the kicker on Bates' football team. Maybe I was born to be a kicker, and if I tried, I could develop this inherent talent into a NFL career. I figured that kicking was the one position where level of competition doesn't matter; 50 yards in Division III is the same as 50 yards in the NFL.
Alas, I never bothered. The allure of chugging Milwaukee's Best and playing drinking games with my buddies proved greater than the siren song of Division III kicking. Oh, what might have been.
Speaking of the NFL, we got a little NFL flavor with our stop today at the Rams' practice facility in suburban St. Louis. Corey Chavous is not only their starting free safety, but he's also the most well-informed NFL player when it comes to evaluating college talent. He's even appeared on the NFL Networks draft coverage as an analyst. He's like Mel Kiper Jr., but with less hair product.
Dan looks on in awe at the Rams' practice facility.
We're obviously all about the college talent, so we had to get Chavous' take on the 2008 draft. You can see for yourself in today's video, which is entitled, "A 'NFL' Draft Guru."
(Note: If you're a Mac user having trouble viewing this video, click here to download a program called Flip4Mac that will allow you watch it.)
The Vanderbilt alum didn't name any D-III kickers among his favorites, so maybe I made the right choice after all.