(Note: That’s right, two straight posts about kickers. I’m 54 away from DiMaggio)
That guy kicking footballs to his friend in a canoe is named Havard Rugland (pronounced HO-vard ROOG-land), a 28-year-old Norwegian who has never played a game of football in his life.
He signed with the Lions on Thursday.
If Rugland didn’t have over 3 million views on his trick kick video, I would give him the James Mungro Memorial Award sponsored by (sponsor pending) now.
I mean, look at him. If you were to ask me to picture what a Norwegian soccer player looked like, I would picture Rugland. If you were to ask me to try to talk like a Norwegian, I would sound exactly like Rugland. If you were to ask me what I wanted my kicker to be named, I wouldn’t have the creativity to come up with something as perfect as Havard Rugland.
Rugland picked up a football for the first time in April of 2011. His soccer league had disbanded and he had watched the Super Bowl a couple of times, so he went out and bought a ball. On September 16 he showed his talents to the world.
If he was an American, the would be called his video “Crazy Trick Kicks” or “Trick Kick Master is better than all those quarterbacks” Every time a kick was made Rugland would turn to the camera, flex and make a funny face.
But he’s Norwegian. The video is called “Kickalicious” (trademarked of course), and it’s four minutes and 26 seconds of him kicking a football through uprights and in to the waiting arms of a gaggle of his Norwegian friends.
I know what you’re thinking. Having your friend toss you a ball and kicking it out of mid air is illegal during a game. The skill of kicking a ball into a basketball hoop while a border collie watches has no practical use in the NFL. With the Lions he’s never going to encounter a situation where he has to kick the ball up a rocky hill.
These are all valid points.
But let me ask you a series of questions.
Would you rather have a kicker who can kick the ball up a rocky hill or a kicker who can’t?
Would you rather have a kicker who can kick a ball into the basketball hoop while a border collie watches or one who can’t?
Would you rather have a kicker whose name is Havard Rugland or a kicker whose name isn’t Havard Rugland?
Would you rather have a kicker who was sponsored or wasn’t sponsored?
That’s right, Havard Rugland has his own personal sponsor. It says right on his Twitter page. Videxio is “ a cloud video service provider that makes it easy to use professional video conferencing” and a big fan of northern European kickers trying to make it to the NFL.
Videxio, get in contact me. I want to work with you. I want you to sponsor the James Mungro Memorial Award. Any friend of Rugland’s is a friend of mine.
Rugland immediately becomes the most interesting storyline this offseason. Who isn’t going to watch every field goal attempt he takes, just in case he tries to do this?
Sports Illustrated or Grantland or ESPN the Magazine is bound to put out a profile on him soon. Jump on the Havard Rugland bandwagon before it 28-year-old Norwegian kickers become mainstream.