Heh Folks, I'm Dave Thompson, I'm the one who missed all 4 of those kicks on Friday night. Thanks to those who supported my efforts on here and could look at this thing logically. For that Joker (Sask. fellow) who thinks he could knock em off like that... God bless you for thinking it's a cup of tea, cause it ain't. But go ahead with your boasting and such, while I enjoy my over $6,000 worth of terrific gifts and prizes and such for being a part of a terrific promotion. I could have gone farther than 20 yards at the Playdown Thursday, (consistently probably 30, maybe 35 yards was my distance) however I was very, very lucky as the other three contestants unfortunately knocked themselves out. Kicking a football is not easy, though "you" seem to assume so. I guess that's why you're getting all those offers be a professional kicker - NOT! I will agree though that the only way to make the 40 and 50 yard kicks is by soccer style. I knew that from the beginning, however my plan (and this absolutely was my plan and my family and friends knew it) from the very first minute of getting that GREAT call from TSN back on the 22nd was that I would practise my kicks and distances to win the Kickdown and to try to beat the other 3 contestants "first" and then try and concentrate on the 20 and 30 yarders and see what happens with the 40 and 50 during Friday nights game. Plan went well on Thursday, I was nailing them dead center from 20 and 25 yards during practise. In fact I was kicking so well in practise that I stopped practising 45 minutes before the live TSN Broadband show even aired as I felt that comfortable and confident in what "I" was doing. I'm not cocky, I just knew that I was in a zone and that it would take one of those guys being as consistent as I was that day. If one of them was, then they possibly would have knocked me out. I probably didn't have more than a 35 yarder in me at best. But watching them during practise time I knew my chances were good as they were having trouble kicking it consistently straight and or far enough and that (my consistency) was what won the Thursday Kickdown for me. The best thing about that Kickdown though... was that those other three guys got $2,000 SELLOFFVACATION.com vouchers and $500 BEST BUY Gift cards, I was very happy for them. We all got along very well and I told them all before we kicked that day that I thought we should all go out together that night no matter what happened. They all agreed and I bought them and their guests a drink at Wayne Grtezkys before we enjoyed dinner together. We all formed a bond, even though we were 25 years apart in age, we hung out and had a nice time and that is what I was quite impressed about. The game itself the next night was quite another story. No excuses by me though, I missed the kicks. It's a long day on game day. We were down in the Argo's private box going over legal issues etc and discussing things by 2:30 in the aft. Then we went on the field about 3:15 to discuss things for that night and then do a complete walk through of the halftime show. Then take some time to get a bite to eat around 4:45. Then back down to the field to start trying to get ready. I was not allowed "any" (none) practise kicks before kicking at halftime... do you think that might have affected things? I could stretch and limber up, but actually kicking a ball couldn't happen, those were the rules. So I was on the field from about 6:00 pm stretching and trying to loosen up and stay loose. I had many people (fans and their kids) wanting to talk to me and congratulate me and that takes your mind off of what you want to and should be doing... (no complaints from me though, it was all a blast). I was having fun with the TSN announcers talking with them, kibitzing with the TSN and Wendy's people, bantering with more fans and just trying to focus while also making sure that I enjoyed every minute of it. The game started at 7:30 and halftime was at about 8:40. Pretty long day so far eh, over 6 hours of waiting? Then we go on the field and someone had "snuck in" 35,000 great fans since the kickdown the day before, lol. Then Mr. Dave Randorf and his excellent booming announcers voice starts to pump up the fans to get them into it and telling them to cheer for me. So add in the huge crowd, no warm up kicks, you're trying to concentrate and get in a zone, all the things I was telling myself to do, keep my head down, concentrate, breath deep etc... went out the window! I just couldn't put it all together. So I missed the first kick left. I wasn't nervous, but I wasn't in my zone. I had the distance but not the follow through and it went left. So now I go into the second kick thinking that honestly, the 30 yarder is the only one left I knew I could make. I hit it pretty well, but it hit the crossbar and bounced back. My bad luck. So now I'm left with the 40 and 50 yarders, a 48 year old kicking leg with a pulled quad since the very first day I went out and practised (I didn't stretch enough.. stupid me.. lol) and a left knee that had been taking the brunt of my 280 pounds every single time I planted it for a kick over the past three weeks and now I have no prize and two loooooong kicks ahead of me. Even though it's 50 yards Mr. Roughie, it's actually longer as it has to be about 4 yards in the air also to clear the goalpost so it's probably a 55 yarder give or take. Well, with the 40 yarder I unfortunately took out a Freelance cameraman working for TSN (I'm sorry buddy) as it was just a crappy kick as I tried too hard. Then they "ice" you for 2 minutes while they take a commercial break before the 50 yarder. I gave it my all and it landed 14 yards short, 36 yards and that was my everything. But did you see the 2 beautiful cheerleaders I had the pleasure of escorting me on the field and that I spent talking with? Let me say this... it was my 15 minutes of fame. I enjoyed every single minute of it. After the game I was walking down into the stands to see the 20 people who came to support me and people were shaking my hand, wanting an autograph, wanting to just wish me the best. How do you think that feels. TERRIFIC!!! I was interviewed before and after and leading up to the event by newspapers, a radio station and the CBC and I met many wonderful, terrific people from TSN, Wendy's and the Argo's. I was stopped while out walking on Yonge street on Saturday afternoon by complete strangers congratulating me and telling me that I was famous... lol. I got asked to pose for pictures with people and some just wanted to talk and ask what it was like. Every single one of them deserved my time. I am really DAM sore now but it all was so worth it and was so much fun. I had no dillusions about this at all from the beginning, the 20 and 30 yarders were probably my $1,000,000 kicks to be honest and I couldn't do it that night. But I have $2,500 from SELLOFFVACATIONS.com, $2,500 from BEST BUY, Wendy's for a year, Argo's, TSN and Wendy's merchandise (gym bags, knapsacks, a beautiful KFAM jacket, a jersey, and other merch). I have new REEBOK shoes that TSN paid for, I was able to get two separate return Limo rides to Toronto on consecutive weekends to 2 Argo games, I got 4 days and 4 nights at the Rogers Center Renaissance Hotel in a "suite", I had dinners and an after game party at Joe Badali's that we attended, I was given 20 field level $60 tickets for friends and family to attend, my wife and son were with me and "what a thrill it all was" for a 48 yr old guy. So continue on in your world of "easy" kicks and how good you are. I was there and am absolutely thrilled with everything that happened, I for sure would have liked to have hit at least one kick and that is the only thing that I am disappointed in myself about, but que sera, sera... life goes on man! Thank you TSN (especially Alan & Josh, Meleeza(sp), Patti and a few others I can't remember their names) ... thanks Wendy's (John and Andy foremost) thanks to the TSN announcers for your words of encouragement, thanks Andrew from BC, Adrian from Scarborough and Rod from Dartmouth - you guys were great competitors, thanks to my wife and son for their support (I sure needed it at times) and for shagging the footballs I kicked, thanks to everyone who stopped me and said hi, way to go and good luck, thanks to our local newspapers (Dan and Rob) for the great press I rec'd, thanks to my extended family for their words of encouragement and support at the game and elsewhere, thanks to the folks at work who offered me good luck and a couple of them who were having almost as much fun with this as I did, thanks to my father in law for staying here with my son so we could go to Toronto and thanks to Wendy's for having the best "chain restaurant" burgers around and not falling into that microwaving way of heating up their burgers etc, like their other "major 2" competitors do. It might look easy out there folks... but it ain't! Make no mistake though....... it's worth every single dam minute of it! Good luck to next years competitor(s). Cheers, Dave Thompson - - - sore... but happy!
I bet your leg felt like 100 pounds when you went out there. I thought you were going to make the first 2. Nice try, you were great on your interview after good luck and hopefully we will hear more from you on here in the future.