Norway’s YouTube ‘Kickalicious’ Is Cut by NFL’s Detroit Lions

NFL kicker Havard Rugland
National Football League kicker Havard Rugland's four-minute trick-shot video had more than 3 million hits on YouTube the past year. Photographer: Leon Halip/Getty Images

The Detroit Lions cut Havard Rugland, the Norwegian kicker whose four-minute trick-shot video on YouTube drew the attention of National Football League teams.

Rugland, 28, made all three of his field-goal attempts during the preseason, scoring from distances of 49, 50 and 33 yards. The Lions went instead with six-time Pro Bowl kicker David Akers to replace Jason Hanson, who retired after last season.

In the video, titled “Kickalicious,” Rugland was shown landing a kick in a moving rowboat, as well as making more traditional kicks from as far as 60 yards. It had more than 3 million hits on the video-sharing website the past year.

“You just have to keep working hard and see what happens,” Jill McBride Baxter, Rugland’s agent, said in a telephone interview. “Veterans get hurt or someone isn’t performing like expected and suddenly you are the guy. But based on his performance, I would guess he’s on most teams’ lists.”

Akers, 38, who had two hernia operations this off-season, regained his leg strength and converted seven of eight field-goal tries this preseason, plus a 63-yarder during practice this month, according to the Detroit Free Press.

Rugland had no American football experience and had worked with former NFL kicker Michael Husted to improve his technique, according to NFL.com.

Rugland was a social worker prior to coming to the U.S., Baxter said. He also played amateur soccer in Norway.

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