Kickin’ and screamin’
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.