The stunt recreates the Bears' season-ending "double doink" miss against the Philadelphia Eagles.
To most of America, it already feels like ancient history, but in Chicago, it still stings: The Bears best season in years ended last weekend when the Eagles were able to eke out the tiniest tip on a 43-yard field goal attempt from kicker Cody Parkey. The ball “double doinked” off both the upright and crossbar, and the Philly team prevailed.
In the immediate aftermath, before the tip was confirmed, the blame fell on Parkey. How could you miss a 43-yard field goal with the season on the line and millions of people watching? (Cough.) But the well-known Chicago-based beer brand Goose Island decided to take a different approach — essentially saying if it’s so easy, why don’t you come out and do it?! Literally.
So tomorrow at noon, the brewery is holding its first-ever Goose Island Field Goal Challenge outside its Fulton Street location — an idea first proposed by employee Zac Connelly. “We're building a dang field goal post outside of our brewery for all you armchair kickers to prove that you can make a 43 yard field goal,” the Facebook event invite states.
Originally, Goose Island had promised to give the winner a year’s worth of free beer, but sadly, that offer would have run afoul of government regulations. “Unfortunately, Illinois state law doesn’t allow us to give away free beer for a year so we’re going to send any contestant who makes the 43-yard field goal to a 2019 NFL regular season game of their choice,” Goose Island President Todd Ahsmann told me via email. “Airfare and lodging included for the winner and a friend.”
And that’s not all. Perhaps feeling the guilt of having to renege on their beer promise, the brand further upped the ante. “Those who make the 43-yard field goal will also have the opportunity to attempt a 65-yard field goal,” Ahsmann continued. “Such a crazy challenge requires a crazy prize, so for successfully making the 65-yard field goal we’re sending the winner and a friend to the 2019 Super Bowl (airfare and lodging included).”
Still, the point of the event isn’t about prizes. It’s about showing Parkey some compassion. “We’re all in this together as a team, city and community,” Ahsmann continued. “We stand with the Chicago Bears and the great season they had this year. This Saturday’s challenge is to bring people together through a common passion of sports and over a pint of delicious beer. “
Only 100 spots will be made available — first come, first serve — with signups starting a 12 p.m. Central Time, and the first kick will take place a 1 p.m. Spectators are welcome, and as of this writing, over 600 people have said they plan to attend on Facebook with a couple thousand more interested. But whether kicking or not, Goose Island says be prepared for wind and snow. “Our location on Fulton is a good distance away from the Lake which can be a major source of wind, so hopefully the conditions will be favorable,” says Ahsmann. “Or not. That’s half the fun.”
Amazingly, Ahsmann said that though the number of participants is limited, the number of winners is not — and even pro athletes are welcome to come sign up if they want. It begs the question, are they expecting anyone to actually complete the challenge. “Hard to say!” he told me before quipping, “We heard there’s a soccer conference in town!”