The Norman Transcript

National Sports

July 31, 2013

‘Kickalicious’ creating a buzz

ALLEN PARK, Mich. — Havard Rugland has not missed a kick in game-like conditions during Detroit Lions training camp, including a 58-yard field goal that got everyone’s attention that saw or heard it.

“That big boot? He’s legit,” teammate Nate Burleson said. “Kickalicious is for real. He isn’t just an Internet sensation.”

Even though the Norwegian made all 11 of his field goals in 11-on-11 situations in a three-day period, he still seems like a longshot to beat out David Akers.

“He’s done an impressive job, but I don’t want to get out ahead of ourselves,” Lions general manager Martin Mayhew said Tuesday. “He’s never played in a National Football League game. He hasn’t played a preseason game. I’d like to see him do that before we start making a judgment on him.”

Rugland, though, has created quite a buzz with his strong leg and unique story that includes being in an NFL training camp a year after working at a child protective services facility in Norway.

He recently posed for a photo shoot and after each practice, fans clamor for him to sign autographs and pose for pictures.

“It’s kind of surreal,” he said. “A year ago, I was kicking all alone in Norway. And suddenly, I’m here.”

Rugland acknowledged that a YouTube video he posted last September, which had been viewed more than 4.5 million times by Tuesday afternoon, opened the door for his opportunities in the NFL.

Kicking a football to a friend on a boat in a lake, in a moving car or on a skateboard led to tryouts with the New York Jets, Cleveland Browns and Lions, the only team to offer the 28-year-old Rugland a contract.

“I would not have this chance if not for the YouTube video,” he said. “But when I was at tryouts, I couldn’t just show them a video link to get a job. I had to show I could kick.”

Text Only | Photo Reprints
National Sports
  • NASCAR Brickyard 400 Auto Racing Jeff Gordon wins at Indianapolis for record fifth time

    INDIANAPOLIS — With a tinge of gray hair at his temples, his hat on backward and his two young children by his side, Jeff Gordon celebrated as if he was 23 years old again. Gordon won a NASCAR-record fifth Brickyard 400 on Sunday, eight ...

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Italy’s Nibali cruises to Tour victory

    PARIS — Vincenzo Nibali put his lungs and legs to work one last time, marching up to the winner’s podium of the Tour de France and sighing deeply before the Italian anthem echoed over the Champs-Elysees....

    July 28, 2014

  • Scott says he will coach Lakers

    LOS ANGELES — The Los Angeles Lakers have waited nearly three months to hire a new coach, and they’re apparently making Byron Scott wait a few more days....

    July 28, 2014

  • BoSox snap Rays’ streak

    ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — David Ortiz hit a three-run homer, and the Boston Red Sox beat Tampa Bay 3-2 Sunday to end a five-game losing streak and stop the Rays’ longest winning streak in 10 years at nine games....

    July 28, 2014

  • The Big Hurt and Joe Torre headline Hall of Fame class

    COOPERSTOWN, N.Y. — Frank Thomas choked back tears, Joe Torre apologized for leaving people out of his speech and Tony La Russa said he felt uneasy. Being enshrined in the Hall of Fame can have those effects, even on the greats....

    July 28, 2014

  • Telling The Boss, sorry

    COOPERSTOWN, N.Y. — Before he answered a question at the press conference following the Baseball Hall of Fame’s induction ceremony on Sunday, Joe Torre wanted to address someone he regrettably omitted from his speech....

    July 28, 2014

  • Wainwright bounces back to beat Cubs

    CHICAGO — When St. Louis Cardinals Mike Matheny visited the mound with two out and two on in the seventh inning on Sunday, he had no idea whether he was going to replace starter Adam Wainwright....

    July 28, 2014

  • A’s rout Rangers

    ARLINGTON, Texas — John Jaso drove in three runs, helping Scott Kazmir and the Oakland Athletics beat the Texas Rangers 9-3 Sunday night....

    July 28, 2014

  • Clark rallies in Montreal

    MONTREAL — Tim Clark rallied to win the Canadian Open on Sunday, birdieing five of the last eight holes for a one-stroke victory over Jim Furyk....

    July 28, 2014

  • Isner wins another Atlanta final

    ATLANTA — Top-seeded John Isner overpowered Dudi Sela on Sunday to successfully defend his Atlanta Open title, blowing serve after serve past the 5-foot-9 Israeli player in a 6-3, 6-4 victory....

    July 28, 2014