Canadian Football League

Friday, October 28, 2005

Canadian Football League fan kicks to win

Brian Diesbourg had a million-dollar leg after all.
After missing kicks from 20, 30 and 40 yards, the 25-year-old mechanical engineer from Belle River, Ont., connected from 50 yards out at halftime of Toronto's 34-11 win over Hamilton on Thursday night to win $1 million. Diesbourg will be paid a $25,000 instalment every year for 40 years. "It's unbelievable," he said afterwards. "When it left my foot I was hoping it went left because I just missed the first three to the right. On the last kick, I purposely kicked it to the left hoping it would even itself out and it did."
Diesbourg, a long-time soccer enthusiast and player who had never kicked a football before this event, said he has no immediate plans for the money.
"I was just worried about putting it through the uprights," he said. "I'll need some time to think about what I'm going to do with the million dollars."
Earlier this month, Diesbourg, who is not married but has a girlfriend, was selected from nearly 200,000 online entries in a contest sponsored by Wendy's to attempt four kicks for a variety of prizes.
Diesbourg attempted kicks from 20, 30, 40 and just missed all three. After being forced to wait for about five minutes because of a commercial break on TSN, which carried Diesbourg's attempts, he lined up the 50-yard try before a season-high Rogers Centre gathering of 40,085. It was the biggest Argos crowd since Oct. 28, 1990, when 40,449 watched Toronto play Saskatchewan.
Diesbourg hit the ball true and it had just enough leg to get over the crossbar for the big money.
"Oh my, my," Argos head coach Mike (Pinball) Clemens said. "I'm just overjoyed for him. This certainly wasn't a normal regular-season game - this one was special."
Said Diesbourg: "I knew I hit it good, but I wasn't sure if it was good enough because I kind of lost the ball before it went through. But then I looked and the official raised his hand to signal it was good and then I knew for sure.
"It was surreal."
Diesbourg admitted having to wait for the timeout to end was excruciating.
"Oh my God," he exclaimed. "I didn't know what to do (during the commercial timeout)."
After making the kick, Diesbourg was mobbed by members of the Argos as they returned to the field.
Among the Argos offering congratulations was kicker Noel Prefontaine, who worked out with Diesbourg on Wednesday.
"I had a feeling he'd make it because on the first three he got underneath them a bit but on the 50-yard one, he hit it like he had to," Prefontaine said. "That one would've gone in with an offensive line in front of him."
The 20-yard try was for $1,000 cash, with the 30-yard attempt for a digital imaging package. A successful boot from 40 yards out would've netted Diesbourg a home theatre package.
Diesbourg was allowed just one workout with Prefontaine prior to Thursday's game and it was held at the Argos practice facility on Wednesday. Prefontaine skipped out of the locker-room early Thursday to watch Diesbourg attempt his kicks.


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