This video has been circulating for a couple of days, supposedly showing Redskins kicker Shaun Suisham booting a 110-yard field goal in practice. As Martin Prince would say: "Highly dubious!" (is then pummeled by bullies). Is it a real kick? Video trickery? Gus, the Field Goal-Kicking Mule? Brett Haber, the sports director at WUSA-TV in Washington D.C., where the video originated, gives us the lowdown.
"We've had a ton of e-mail on this, and about 30 percent of people think it's real, which is frightening," Haber said. "Yes it's real, and so is the Easter Bunny. Our marketing department put it together in the spirit of the Kobe video to promote our Redskins preseason football package. I think the phrase they're using upstairs for the video is "summer fun." I didn't have anything to do with it, but I don't think it was ever meant to be taken seriously."
But it does have people talking, which is the point. It's a trend which has recently included the Kobe Bryant car-jumping video, the Fresno Grizzlies ball girl and a few others, which tend to fool the less evolved and create a buzz.
"I guess there's nothing wrong with that as long as you don't overtly represent it as something it isn't," Haber said. "If I went on the air and presented it as real, then that's fishy. Marketing was careful not to blur the line."
The video was made by splicing three kicks together, a fact which will be explained tonight in the station's 11 p.m. newscast.
"This has been making so much noise that we decided I would address it tonight," Haber said. "I'll talk about how we did it and we'll post a "making of" video on the site."
Telltale sign of fakery: As the ball comes down from its arc, one can see another ball lying on the field, well in front of the goalpost. "That was the ball that Suisham originally kicked," Haber said. "As you can see, it landed well short of the mark."
But the comments section of the various sites where the video is posted are the best part of this. My favorite so far: "Suisham is from Canada, so this could be real."