Last week I was informed I had been drawn to take part in the Missoula Dickey’s BBQ Punt/Pass/Kick Challenge. I was a mixture of nervousness and extreme excitement. I’ve never kicked a field goal before and my punt/pass skills were yet to be really challenged. My experience is purely on the flag football/intramural level.
Last thursday night, I enlisted the help of my neighbor, Mr. Cole Bergquist, and we passed the ball around, kicked a few practice punts and attempted a few imaginary field goals out of our lawns, which didn’t work all that well as you may have imagined. He even let me borrow his cleats to use during the challenge, that had to bring a little luck right?
Saturday rolled around and I was getting mentally prepared with a few friends, playing corn hole, washers etc and having a few beers to calm the nerves. I had to be at the stadium at 4:45pm to film the first two of three events, the punt and pass. I arrived on time and headed into the stadium, which felt to be about 137 degrees (it was warm). I passed the ball around to loosen up the arm and headed down to the south end zone to get started.
How this works, if you were wondering is, I started on the goal line in the south end zone and punted the ball. Where the ball landed (from the air, no roll), I then passed the ball. Where the pass landed (from the air once again), I then had to kick a field goal, live, between the 3rd and 4th quarters of the Montana Grizzlies vs Appalachian State football game. It just so happens, it was in front of a record-breaking crowd at Washington Grizzly Stadium (26,293 fans), and let me tell you, it was LOUD!
So, to the challenge. I punted the ball exactly 40 yards in the air (I was pretty happy with this). I then passed the ball 48 yards in the air which put me on the 12 yard line. I was extremely happy with these first two events, leaving me with a 22 yard field goal (no 7 extra yards for the snap, as the ball was placed on the 12 yard line).
As the 3rd quarter was winding down, I headed down to the field and put on the lucky cleats. I held the ball, “warmed” it up, and gave it a little kiss for good luck. We were not sure what end we would be kicking from as we had to be on the opposite end of the game play. Turns out we kicked into the south end zone, which was a bummer as I would have liked to kick into the NEZ, my second home.
I walked out onto the field during the break between the quarters and a VERY LOUD Montana Grizzlies chant begins, which was one of the coolest feelings I have ever had. They were chanting for me, at least that’s what I tell myself. I looked up into the crowd and saw everyone watching and the rest is all kind of a blur to be honest haha. I did watch the video of the first two events and then setup for the kick. I didn’t waste much time and I went for it.
The kick was a line drive about a foot above the cross bar and dead center. It wasn’t the prettiest of kicks, but it went in and left me with a year’s worth of free Dickey’s BBQ and a chance for 10K at the last home game. It was quite the experience, one I will remember for a long time. I urge anyone to head down to Dickey’s and sign up for this as they are doing it each home game this season.
Thanks again to everyone who yelled, cheered and wished me good luck, it was much appreciated! Check out this video of the kick.