Kickin’ and screamin’

Chicago Tribune (Sunday) - - BEARS - Story by Phil Thomp­son Pho­tos by John J. Kim

If any of the 100 am­a­teur kick­ers was go­ing to nail a 43-yard field goal Sat­ur­day dur­ing the Goose Is­land Beer Co.’s mar­ket­ing stunt, Zach Laszkiewicz, above, seemed like the best bet.

The 23-year-old spe­cial ed­u­ca­tion as­sis­tant from Westch­ester was a kicker at Fen­wick High School and was first in line when he ar­rived at the brew­ery at 7 a.m. — six hours be­fore kick­off for the out­door event.

Laszkiewicz was de­ter­mined not to fol­low in the mis­steps of Bears kicker Cody Parkey, whose tipped 43-yard field-goal at­tempt six days ear­lier hit the left up­right and cross­bar be­fore fall­ing into the end zone — a “dou­ble doink,” as it has been la­beled — to doom the Bears in a 16-15 play­off loss to the Eagles.

But Parkey’s miss also in­spired Sat­ur­day’s “Field-goal Chal­lenge.”

With a mod­er­ate snow fall­ing, Laszkiewicz — wear­ing a Fen­wick prac­tice jersey — took four steps back from the foot­ball, lined up the an­gle with his hand and took two more steps to his left. He then ran up to the foot­ball, planted and — just as a ran­dom on­looker yelled “doink” — ate some icy ar­ti­fi­cial turf.

“I just flipped on my (butt). I did ter­ri­ble,” Laszkiewicz said. “I fell and I didn’t make it even over the fence.

“I know I can make the kick. I just slipped.”

Laszkiewicz wouldn’t be the only con­tes­tant to end up on his rear on a snowy Sat­ur­day in Chicago.

None of them had both the dis­tance and ac­cu­racy to put the ball over a chain-link fence and through a makeshift goal post erected in the street out­side the brew­ery. A hand­ful came close, though.

Goose Is­land had of­fered any­one who made the 43-yard at­tempt a prize of air­fare, ho­tel and tick­ets to any reg­u­lar-sea­son NFL game next sea­son. If any con­tes­tant had made the at­tempt, he or she would have had a chance to break the NFL record with a 65-yard try.

Goose Is­land an­nounced plans to do­nate $20,000 to Lurie Chil­dren’s Hos­pi­tal, which com­pany of­fi­cials said is Parkey’s char­ity of choice.

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