A hole in one: 12,600-to-1 odds.
A 35-yard field goal: 7-to-1.
Now picture this: your name's been pulled out of a hat to kick one of those field goals, but from 50 yards, in front of a crowd in the tens of thousands. You get one half-hour practice session to prepare. Make it, and you've won yourself $1 million dollars.
Impossible? Allan Ryan has the story on one Brian Diesbourg, who at tomorrow night's Argos game will get his chance.
So, does he have a chance? What would those odds be?
I asked the folks at leading online bookmakers Bodog.com (which doesn't, unfortunately, accept Canadian wagers) for their opinion. Here's what I got back in an email from a spokesman:
"Setting odds on this one is tricky. If a random guy was pulled out of the stands without any notice to kick a 50 yard field goal, I would say that the odds of that person being successful would be in the neighborhood of 200 to 1. Since this guy has had three weeks to prepare, to think about it, to practice (although rules state he cannot, but come on, you know he has been!), the odds will drop dramatically, especially due to the fact that he has no weather conditions to deal with, as the kick will be indoors. I would see the odds coming in somewhere around 25 to 1. This guy is young, athletic and still plays soccer thus he has a half decent shot of being successful."
This San Diego Union-Tribune story takes a look at the industry behind these kind of promotions, and has more on what Diesbourg is getting into:
|Your move, Ronaldo.|
"From the hole-in-one came the halfcourt basketball shot, and from the halfcourt shot came the 35-yard field goal at halftime. And then the hockey shot through a shrunken goal and the soccer kick through the open door of an SUV and the Del Monte "Can of Corn" pop-fly contest at minor league baseball parks, even an olive toss into a martini glass. The upshot: An estimated 50 companies specialize in prize indemnification, and the halftime contest has become a staple of modern-day sporting events."
Meantime, there are other candidates this morning for riffage: Ozzie Guillen's managerial style; Toronto's soccer stadium story; the Raptors.
But sometimes, you just don't know whether to laugh or cringe, so here's one of those moments courtesy of Francesco Totti, from the Guardian's James Richardson:
"Delirious with joy at having a goal - nay, a derby goal - to dedicate to his pregnant wife in the stands, Totti quickly scooped up the ball under his jersey and ran to the sidelines where his cheering team-mates gathered round.
As Totti lay on his back, stomach bulging, a stadium held its breath. Would it be a tribute to Gazza at Euro 96, or better yet, John Hurt in Alien? No. With makeshift obstetrician Daniele De Rossi gamely groping between the captain's legs, Totti gave birth to the ball, which Sami Kuffour then lifted aloft - Simba style - for the adoring thousands to cheer.
"Miming delivery is certainly a departure from the Rock-a-bye Baby celebration we usually get," mused a less-than-enthusiastic Repubblica. "Still, at least he didn't re-enact the conception."
Where would we be without these kind of moments? Last night, Ozzie Guillen was giving his nightly in-game interview, all of it boilerplate, and he finished by spraying sunflower seeds and shouting "Viva Venezuela!" to the camera. Guillen's managing has Richard Griffin wondering this morning, along with Eric McErlain and Colby Cosh. Having watched this guy through September, he doesn't always make sense, this Ozzie. But as Geoff Baker reports, he has the White Sox on the verge of going where the Red Sox went last year: World Series champs, for the first time in 80-plus years.
Closer to home, Dave Perkins is asking whether we really should be spending $9.8 million of our own money on a soccer stadium, and he's not alone: "Can a stadium built for pro soccer, with MLSE as a partner, be tax exempt? Should it be?" asks Alan Kasperski.
This is a story that has many layers, from the Oct. 31 "deadline" imposed on the city to the repercussions across the country.
As for the Raptors, they're a week away from starting their season. Doug Smith catches up with the ins (Joey Graham to start? Maybe) and the outs (the Araujo-Woods tandem at centre is struggling, and a "Bosh-Vallanueva frontcourt might be in the future").
In the WNBA, all-star Sheryl Swoopes has come out of the closet. Really.
Finally: From Deadspin, a couple of Cardinals fans, with a beery, teary goodbye to Busch: "Our grandma was in high school with Red Schoendiest!"