A movie-style story of an aspiring sports star being plucked from absolute obscurity to play in one of the ‘big 4′ professional sports leagues in America is seen as almost impossible, but through the power of YouTube, 28-year-old Norwegian Havard Rugland has seen his recent life dream come true.
Since then, he has taken further interest in the sport’s only major professional league, and has aspired to become a part of it.
Using the most easily-transferable skill between the sporting codes, Rugland has practiced in and attended training camps for place-kicking, and while that in itself is not too difficult task, reaching a pinnacle level may have been seen as quite a challenge for an untested novice at the sport.
However, the Norwegian is not limiting himself to the run-of-the-mill plays that his counterparts are required to perform, having last September gained fame for uploading a video of himself performing a number of ‘trickshots’ with the oval ball.
The video ‘Kickalicious’ currently has over 2.7 million views, but the most important of those were the ones which came following recommendatons by NFL fans, in particular those of the Detroit Lions. The franchise, considered one of the worst-performing teams in the league over the past few years, are in a position more than most of their rivals to be taking risks, and have made such a move with the announcement that they have given Rugland a contract for next season.
While it is unclear if he will be a first-choice or backup kicker considering the Lions have also signed more conventional recruit David Akers, both are considered to be potential replacements for 21-year NFL veteran Jason Hanson, who ended his career with the team recently.
Rugland stated before being signed on his prospects with joining an NFL franchise: “I really do think that I’m at least going to be good enough and I just have to be better than the people I’m competing with and make them believe in me and go with a guy without too much experience.”
Whether his entertaining video is genuine or not, Kickalicious displays a range of accurate kicks that Rugland will never have to perform as opposed to the narrow and short-distance efforts required in the sport, so despite his lack of experience, the NFL should in theory be a cakewalk for him…