Lions teammates love Kickalicious

AP

Kickalicious isn’t just a YouTube sensation anymore. He’s a legitimate NFL kicker.

Havard Rugland, the Norwegian who had never played American football but earned a tryout in Detroit after his trick shot kicking video became an Internet sensation, had an excellent outing in his preseason debut on Friday night, connecting on both of his field goal attempts, one from 49 yards and one from 50 yards. He was mobbed by teammates on the sideline after making his first kick, and several Lions said after the game that the team enjoys the fresh perspective Rugland brings.

“I think we’re all happy to have him as a teammate,” quarterback Matthew Stafford told the team’s website. “The guy is a great guy. It’s refreshing to see how much fun he’s having. The guy’s having a blast here, and he’s kicking the ball great.”

Added defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh, “He’s a great dude. Obviously, his accent is hilarious.”

Rugland still has plenty to learn about the game, and he admitted that after making his first field goal, fellow kicker David Akers had to instruct him to get back on the field for the kickoff.

“I almost forgot my kickoff,” Rugland said. “I was so happy. David said, ‘Hey, you’ve got to kick off.”

Realistically, Rugland probably doesn’t have a very good chance of making the Lions’ 53-man roster. Akers also went 2-for-2 on field goals, connecting from 35 and 47 yards, and if the competition is close, the Lions are going to go with the guy who has 16 years of NFL experience over the guy who had never even put on a football helmet a couple months ago.

But if Rugland keeps kicking this well, the Lions may decide to keep him on their practice squad. Or maybe some other kicker-needy team will pick him up and put him on a 53-man roster. Rugland is good enough to kick in the NFL.

43 responses to “Lions teammates love Kickalicious

  1. I don’t see why they wouldn’t at least keep him around. Didn’t David Akers melt down last season? You never know how much you can trust him, especially if he starts slow and loses confidence. It wouldn’t hurt to keep him around on the practice squad at least.

  2. Good for him! If people can get singing careers and stuff from You Tube then why shouldn’t athletes get a chance! Great story and I hope we get to see him play this year for a team!

  3. Rugland still has plenty to learn about the game

    Really like what it’s the kicker??
    field goal=put ball though big yellow post.
    Kick off (since its on the 35 now)=put ball though big yellow post.

  4. It’s impressive considering that he’s never kicked in an actual game before.

    However, you need to keep in mind that he’s playing in a pre-season game, at home, in a dome.

    If you needed someone to make a 49 yard game winning attempt on a cold, windy evening in Green Bay, I’d go with Akers.

  5. I am getting visions of the movie “The Replacements” where the kicker has to put out his cigarette to go kick. If he does not make the 53 man roster, hopefully they keep him for the practice squad. If Akers plays like he did last year, we might need him!

  6. bigmikeatl says:
    Aug 10, 2013 10:52 AM

    If you needed someone to make a 49 yard game winning attempt on a cold, windy evening in Green Bay, I’d go with Akers.

    So you would take the older guy with the weaker leg who makes more money and has been let go by 2 teams in 3 years to kick a 49 yard field goal in the wind in the winter over the young, cheap kid with the cannon for a leg? Just because one has played more football games than the other?

  7. I think if its close and you are thinking long term you go with Rugland. Maybe he misses a FG or two this season but he’s more than 10 years younger and has a bigger leg. He’ll be much more valuable in the (near) future.

  8. GenXJay says:

    YouTube hero? a great story?
    this is no rags to riches story.
    I’m pulling for an American named Brian Banks.
    _______________________

    Are you so small minded you can’t wish for both Banks and Kickalicious to do well this year ?

    Rugland may not have been in prison, but going from being essentially a nobody to creating his own chance in the NFL is pretty impressive.

    Don’t be such a snob.

  9. @eatitfanboy – Yeah, I would. Same guy who tied the NFL record with a 63 yard field goal last year… in Green Bay. If you think he has a weak leg, you need your head examined.

  10. Remember when that girl kicked at a regional combine and you guys kept trying to make it a big story and I was asking, “what about this guy?!” Glad to hear the real kicking story is getting attention again.

  11. Why wouldn’t he make it over Akers. Younger, cheaper and Akers incoming off a forgettable season.

  12. As far as kicking outdoors, in cold or bad weather, you guys did catch the part that he’s from Norway, right? This isn’t Cool Runnings or something….

  13. if Rugland keeps playing like this consistently knocking down 50 ud FGs they have to start him. Pick the man who flat out does his job better not the man who’s been doing it longer

  14. bigmikeatl says:
    Aug 10, 2013 11:42 AM
    @eatitfanboy – Yeah, I would. Same guy who tied the NFL record with a 63 yard field goal last year… in Green Bay. If you think he has a weak leg, you need your head examined.

    Yes, I am sure it was very windy and cold in Green Bay……..last September 9th.

    Akers was 29-42 last year. He missed 31% of his field goal attempts. I didn’t say his leg was weak, I said it was weaker than Rugland’s. I would be willing to bet Akers himself would admit that.

    You’d rather pay a 38 year old coming off groin surgery who was terrible last year over a million dollars and I’m the one who needs my head examined?

  15. @Gen X Jay: your comment is a bit xenophobic, isn’t it? While everyone wishes Brian Banks nothing but success, it’s also feasable to cheer for a guy who made his own break in the NFL.

    But, hey, if you are blinded by your misguided patriotism, go ahead and cheer for Alex Tanney, who’s trying to get a roster spot in Dallas. Oh yeah, forget it. He too made a name for himself on YouTube…

  16. Rugland isn’t going to be a practice squad player. For the Lions to put him on the practice squad, they’d have to pass him through waivers first. And the way he’s performing, he wouldn’t clear waivers. Someone would claim him. The Lions need to seriously consider starting him.

  17. He could be the next Jason Hanson. I’m 54. I believe the Lions have had only 4 kickers since I graduated high school in 1977. It’s absolutely amazing.

  18. I hope next game he throws a trick shot fg in the mix…All im asking for is to hit each upright and then crossbar…nothing but net!

  19. I don’ know if he will make the 53 man roster but he was fun to watch on the sidelines.
    We were at the game and the 49 yard field goal he made was a bullit. The 50 yarder was more of a floater, but it had enough on it.
    Kicking at Ford Field is one thing but can he kick outdoors, in cold windy conditions … and under pressure ?
    I’m sure people asked the same questions about David Akers when he was a rookie but someone took a chance on him , and he’s had a long and successful career. Sometimes a chance is all a rookie needs … the rest is up to him.

  20. Yeah, @Gen X Jay, drop the “die hard American” angle, OK? Your take on this angle doesn’t make you a snob or a patriot. It makes you a racist.

    America is the land of opportunity, remember? This Norwegian kid was creative -and talented- enough to try his luck and make his own opportunity. Kudos to him for being resourceful.

    While you’re at it, do you also want to knock Bjorn Woerner, Ziggy Ansah, Margus Hunt, just to name a few, because they weren’t born in the good ol’ U.S. of A? Racism lives because of people like you, buddy. You make all real Americans look bad.

  21. thegonz13,
    what are speaking about?
    a racist?
    A walk-on foreigner takes the place on a team from someone who has worked hard & went to school (including the legal foreign exchange students drafted from college) and you’re throwing me a race card?
    All I am saying is there are better stories than some foreign kicker’s YouTube audition. Now, do me a favor & buy an international plane ticket out of here.
    (also IMO, NFL Europe is a bad idea)

  22. I hope he makes the team. The word is that he’s adding a lot of fun and positive energy to practices. He’s a big part of a much better environment at Lions camp this year.

    But if he doesn’t make the team … I’m guessing we’ll be able to trade him and get something for him. There will be teams who will want him bad enough to make a pre-emptive strike, so they don’t have to gamble on the waiver.

  23. thegonz13,
    buy that one-way international flight to Afghanistan or Yemen, or anywhere else you feel Americans are not welcome & let us all see what the xenophobe you have become.
    P.S.- I know what it’s like.

  24. If I where GM I would keep Kickalicious. Because he INSPIRES the rest of the team and keeps them loose. You can’t measure how great that is for a team! That is the TIE BREAKER for me!

  25. Racism lives because of people like you, buddy. You make all real Americans look bad.
    ——————–

    Enough with the knee jerk anti Americanism. But, if you want to talk generalizations about 300 million people based on a single statement, YOU are the one making Americans look bad with your ignorance. Newsflash: Norwegian isn’t a race.

  26. if its between a 3rd string qb and rugland i say keep 2 kickers. detroit loves him, the team loves him, and he has more potential than any rookie kicker in the league. if he gets waived he might just make a 60 yarder in ford field to win a game for another team. dude can kick a football…

  27. I think the lions keep Havard for his rugby skills. Detroit will fake field goals this year and Rutland will plow through would-be tacklers and score a touchdowns! You heard it here first.

  28. @gbearc… Dude, learn how to read before you write anything. At no point did I make any anti-American comment. I just called out a guy who was going channeling his inner “We the people” for no good reason. I called him out because this was a feel good story that diverted our attention from all this Aaron Hernadez crap.

    FYI I’m fully aware Norway isn’t a race. Whining about a Norwegian guy who, to paraphrase our open-minded buddy, “steals a job” is somewhat xenophobic.

    Again, please learn to read. It might come in handy in everyday life.

  29. I’d pick a guy who can hit a 50 yarder on his first try over David Akers any day. Heck, if Kickalicious can make an NFL roster, I’m drafting him as my fantasy kicker, NQA.

  30. Has anyone heard of some guy from Denmark named Morten Andersen? Those Scandinavian kickers have strong legs because, you know what, many of them spent their youth playing another kind of football. LOL

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