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[CFL] Fan makes $1 million kick


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Oct. 27, 2005. 09:29 PM

CFL fan makes $1 million kick

STAR STAFF

Brian Diesbourg got one kick at a million dollars tonight and made the best of his opportunity when his 50 yard boot sailed through the uprights during a halftime contest at the Argos-Ticats game.

With the Rogers Centre crowd cheering him on, Diesbourg counted his paces back from the ball, paused, took aim and unleashed a near-perfect kick to win the million-dollar prize.

Things started out bably for the 25-year-old Diesbourg, however. He missed his first attempt from 20 yards then his next two attempts, from 30 and 40 yards respectively, also sailed wide right despite being long enough.

"I think I'll aim a little left," joked Diesbourg before attempting the $1 million kick from the 50-yard line.

Almost from the time he kicked the ball, Diesbourg appeared to know it was good. Well before the ball sailed through the uprights, the mechanical engineer from Belle River, Ont., threw his arms in the air to signal the $1 million prize was his.

Players standing on the sidelines erupted in jubilation and the crowd of 40,000 saluted him with cheers and a standing ovation.

What makes Diesbourg's feat even more remarkable is that most CFL kickers would find it difficult to make a field goal from that distance.

Earlier this week, Diesbourg made insurance company executives who were underwriting the prize nervous when he made five of eight attempts from the 40-yard line ands two from 45 yards outs at the Argos practice facility.

Overall, he put 17 of 33 attempts between the uprights.

"He did a great job and I think he has a chance to kick that 50-yarder," said an impressed Noel Prefontaine, the Argo kicker who was giving Diesbourg pointers.

Under contest rules, Diesbourg has not been allowed to practice for tonight's kick except for yesterday's half-hour session with Prefontaine.

And that workout was closely monitored by an insurance company representative, who halted the practice at 1:37 p.m., precisely 30 minutes after it began.

Diesbourg, who had his name drawn randomly from nearly 200,000 entries in a contest on TSN's website sponsored by Wendy's, appeared unfazed by the media horde watching him during practice and said he felt "pretty good."

The mechanical engineer from Belle River, Ont., said how to approach the ball was the most important tip he got from Prefontaine, who has booted two 50-yarders this season.

Asked how he planned to spend the $1 million if he makes the kick, Diesbourg said he'd have "no trouble with that."

"Kicking this 50-yard field goal is what I've got problems with right now."

http://www.thestar.com/NASApp/cs/ContentSe...tacodalogin=yes

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051027_million_kick_250.jpg

Brian Diesbourg celebrates after successfully kicking a 50-year field goal to win a $1million prize during halftime of the Toronto Argonauts-Hamilton Tiger-Cats game at the Rogers Centre in Toronto, Thursday. After missing kicks from 20, 30 and 40 yards, the 25-year-old mechanical engineer from Belle River, Ont., connected from 50 yards out.

Oct. 28, 2005. 08:08 PM

'$1-million kick' goes sour for Wendy's

Big kick turns into public relations nightmare

Fast food restaurant chain refuses to back down

CANADIAN PRESS

It was meant to be a fun way to promote its business, but Wendy's Kick for a Million contest may be turning into a public-relations nightmare.

The fast-food giant found itself in the middle of a minor boycott Friday after a halftime contest during Thursday night's Toronto-Hamilton CFL game made 25-year-old Brian Diesbourg a millionaire.

The Belle River, Ont., mechanical engineer made a 50-yard kick and secured the grand prize ? but he'll be 65 by the time he's done collecting it.

Wendy's insurance structure is set up as such that the $1 million will be paid out in yearly $25,000 instalments for 40 years.

Spectators said Friday they were disappointed with the outcome and are feeling misled by the company's contest.

"I can't believe that they're giving it out that way. What if you were 50, 55 years old and you won it? You'll be dead in 40 years," said Steve Goodman, 50, who was at the game with his nephew and heard promoters say Diesbourg would get a million dollars, tax-free, if he made the 50-yard kick.

"We were yelling things like, `No more 99-cent burgers at Wendy's anymore! The prices just went up!' "

Toronto radio host John Derringer also told Q107 listeners on Friday morning that he planned to boycott the fast-food restaurant.

But Diesbourg says he has no issue with his prize, and was just happy to be getting the money.

"For me to win a million dollars straight up, I'd have a hard time not to blow it that in, like, a year," he said. "It's a way for me to manage my money and I think it's all right. That's the competition I won, that's they way they wrote it up."

Wendy's maintained that all potential contestants were asked to read the rules and agree to them before being allowed to participate, and that the company spoke with Diesbourg "numerous times . . . to make sure that everything was crystal clear and transparent" once he was selected.

"There are people who will say that they're not happy with the way Brian's receiving his money," said spokesman Desmond Edwards.

"I guess the only thing I can say is we care about what everyone says ? but in this case, it's important that Brian is happy and he's thrilled."

The event was promoted and broadcast by TSN, who said the game's audience peaked to 599,000 from 465,000 during the halftime show.

http://www.thestar.com/NASApp/cs/ContentSe...93064&t=TS_Home

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