Middle school deciding whether to reinstate Mike Vanderjagt after he allegedly choked student for heckling him
Remember Mike Vanderjagt? Of course you do. Vanderjagt is the guy who served as an above-average placekicker for the Colts for eight seasons from 1998-2005. When at his best, Vanderjagt was one of the better kickers in the league. The problem was he was kind of a blowhard. When Peyton Manning — one of the classiest guys in the NFL — feels the need to call someone an “idiot kicker,” there must be something wrong. In fact, Mike himself has admitted he was an idiot. Why, then, did a middle school decide to hire this man as a football coach? You’ve got me.
According to the Naples News, Vanderjagt was suspended from his coaching position at Marco Island Charter Middle School in Florida in March after he allegedly grabbed a student by the throat. The police report says Vanderjagt became angry when the student was taunting him by chanting “wide left, wide left!” Another student claims to have witnessed the attack.
Damn kids. One of the most forgettable memorable moments of Vanderjagt’s career came during a 2005 playoff game against the Steelers, when he missed a potential game-tying, 46-yard field goal wide right with 18 seconds left. If the student was referring to that play, we’ll let the historical inaccuracy slide since he was probably about 5 or 6 years old when it happened.
Vanderjagt claims he simply put his hand on the boy’s shoulder to hold him in place while he spoke to him, and the state’s attorney’s office has decided to not press charges. The principal of the middle school now has to decide whether or not to allow Vanderjagt to continue coaching at the school. It looks like NFL lowlights truly can haunt a player for the rest of his life.