The Next Great NFL Kicker: My Mom?

As a rule of thumb you don't want to make fun of your own mother. Other than the obvious fact that she's your freaking mother, I'm fairly certain that making fun of her breaks one of the Commandments. Plus, she has known you all your life; you just know that she has an endless supply of compromising baby photos of you naked in a bathtub and a repository of embarrassing stories about you that she can unload at any given moment. Well, I'll just have to weather the inevitable retaliation I will receive for posting this story on the internet because I can't resist. I am weak. I am a sinner. And as for the sin, I have been a relatively good person so I think that I can absorb the red mark in the Book of Lambs and still avoid an eternity of fiery torment in Hell. Or I can just change my religion to one where you can make fun of your mother on occasion.

The kickers in the Bucs-Falcons game this past week put on a clinic on “How Not to Kick Field Goals.” I believe there were five or six missed field goals overall. Ugly. This reminded me that my mom previously stated that she could kick a 35 yard field goal—and easily. I mean, how hard can it be right? To ease the pain of watching my Bucs defense go from diamond to turd in just eight months, I decided to call her on claim. In response to my challenge and ten dollar bet that she would not only miss the ball entirely but also fall on her butt while missing the ball, we headed over to the local high school football field to test her kicking abilities.

We walked to the high school and found the gates chained and locked. I don't know when the school started locking the gates to the football field on weekends because they sure didn't do it when we were kids and played pickup football there. I assumed the locked gates would be the perfect excuse for my mom to bow out gracefully with the completely acceptable excuse of not being able get onto the field. But that would be your mom—not mine. No, my mom is the most stubborn woman to ever walk this green Earth and no mere six foot chain-link fence installed upside down so that there are spikes on top is going to stop her from proving a point.

I scaled the fence and landed on the football field. My mom, for some reason, decided that she would hop the fence about twenty yards further down. What she did not realize until she fell, ass-first, on the other side of the fence was that the inner fence separating the baseball fields from the football field was chained and locked as well. Unfortunately, she fell on the baseball field side of this fence. Already invested, she decided she would climb again to get to the football field. She found a nice corner of the fence and reached the top.

Mom climbing the second fence

It was here that she would lie, on the spikes, and contemplate her next move for five minutes. My mom observed her surroundings and noticed that there was canvas covering the adjacent baseball field fence. She grabbed the canvas and decided to use it like a rope to rappel to the ground. Gravity won this round as she grabbed about seven feet of canvas for her six foot drop and fell, ass-first again, on the football field side of the fence. Before I get flamed for not helping, I did try. But, she refused any help that I offered.

Now, I would love to tell you that she nailed the field goal. I really want to tell you that. I am tempted to just lie, say that she made it on the first attempt, and conclude with “I ate a nice serving of crow.” However, I am a lousy liar and besides, that would be breaking another Commandment. I am already pushing my luck.

The kick is up! And, juuuuuust a bit outside!

My mom might have a slight shot of making a 35 yard field goal if she was perfectly healthy and had hurricane force winds to her back. But after falling from the top of a fence, twice, I figured I would go easy on her on move it up to a 13 yard field goal. After six field goal attempts, the closest she came was wide left and about five yards short. The other five kicks skidded harmlessly across the turf. I will give her credit—she tried. She tried when almost anybody else, including myself, would have given up. And she hit the ball each time dammit! Now, I owe her ten bucks.

There are no words that can do justice to her trek back over the fence. As luck would have it, my lovely wife was standing by—camera aimed and ready—to document the events that followed.

I love you mom.

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