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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.

H/T Pro Football Talk

Mike Vanderjagt Admits He Was an Idiot, Still Wants to Kick in NFL

Wow, Mike Vanderjagt has been so far off our radar in sports that we haven’t covered the man for three years here at LBS. The last time we wrote about him, it was to note that the “idiot kicker” was headed to the CFL after being beat out for an NFL job by an arenafootball2 kicker.

Well Eric Adelson of The Postgame recently caught up with Vanderjagt to boost the man’s character. The well done redemption piece that I came across via Rotoworld, paints Vanderjagt as a sympathetic figure who once was the best kicker in the league but became useless once his confidence was gone.

Vanderjagt says that despite being 40 years old, he still is in good enough shape to kick in the NFL and that’s what he would like to do. He has come to terms with his NFL career, saying that he became mediocre and that’s why he no longer had a job, but he feels like he can kick another five years. He also has cleared something up, admitting he was an idiot for criticizing Colts leaders Tony Dungy and Peyton Manning.

Unfortunately for Mike, it will be hard to ever escape the incident for which he is most known — being called an “idiot kicker” by Peyton Manning during an interview at the Pro Bowl. That reputation will precede him most of his life. It’s likely he wants to return to kicking not only to do something he still feels he can, but also to try and erase that part of his past. Who knows? If he joins and team and performs well, maybe he’ll be remembered in a positive light in the future.

Idiot Kicker Headed to Canada

I thought it was a low point for Mike Vanderjagt when he was beat out in a tryout by a minor league kicker. Yeah, a kicker from the arenafootball2 league — the Arena minor league — was better than Vanderjagt. This is the same guy who was a Pro Bowler and like hitting all of his regular season field goals back when he was with the Colts. Now, not so much. So the idiot kicker’s trying to revive his career and has decided to go to Canada, signing with the Toronto Argonauts. They’re pretty pleased about the move up in Toronto, as is Vanderjagt:

“We got a long-range field-goal kicker, one of the best in this game,” general manager Adam Rita said yesterday as Argo veterans reported for medicals at the U of T’s Erindale campus. “That was our main motivation. Our job – mine, (assistant GM) Greg Mohns’ and coach (Rich) Stubler’s – is to try and improve the team the way we see it. We think we’ve done that.

On Sportsnet.ca, Vanderjagt is quoted as saying, “I’m only young once, so I didn’t want to look back in 10 years and say to myself that I should have kept playing.”

I think Vanderjagt’s going to handle the team’s punting duties as well, so he should be in for a ball. And the Idiot Kicker better not screw up this time else he’ll have hard feelings to deal with. Apparently the Argos had to cut a vet to make it happen, so Vanderjagt better not blow his opportunity. And hopefully the Argos won’t have a clutch kick that needs to be made.

Minor League Kicker Beat out Mike Vanderjagt for a Job

Sure, he may be just about the biggest jerk ever — especially for a kicker. But I’ll be damned if Vanderjagt wasn’t one of the best in the game not long ago. I mean wasn’t there a time when he was like 37 of 37 on field goals? I guess the NFL has no use for kickers with a career 86.5% conversion rate. And that’s fine by me. Taking it from Adam Schefter

Very quietly, veteran kicker Mike Vanderjagt worked out for the Giants last month. But the Giants opted to sign Marc Hickok, who previously kicked in arenafootball2, the minor league for the Arena Football League.

Vanderjagt’s agent, Gil Scott, said his client’s workout for the Giants went well; Vanderjagt connected on 11 of 13 field-goal attempts. It was just that the Giants opted to go with the younger — and much less known — Hickok.

Now Vanderjagt, the most accurate kicker in NFL history, is a man without a team. This offseason, he has worked out for the Saints and Giants, but hasn’t received any offers — a baffling development.

Talk about a collective blackball. I gotta figure that any league that employs Dave Rayner has to have a place for Mike Vanderjagt, right? But seriously, how pathetic is that? He got beat out by a minor league Arena Football player! Paybacks a pitch, Vanderjagt.