Florida Gators

An 81 yard practice field goal? We aren’t completely convinced

Photo by David Rosenblum/Icon Sportswire

If you follow college football, even in the off season, and specifically, the Florida teams (and if you are reading our site, you obviously do), you’ve likely heard about or now seen on social media the footage of Gators kicker Eddy Pineiro kicking what he claims and it does appear is an 81 yard practice field goal in pads earlier this week.

The Gators sophomore, who made all three of his field goals over 50 yards a year ago, including two 54 yarders, clearly has leg strength. And his video made the ESPN SportsCenter “Top 10” Tuesday.

But is what you are seeing 100% legit? We need more.

First, here’s the video courtesy of Pineiro’s Twitter account:

So, obviously, we notice a few things. First, the person taking the video clearly shows us the yard marker at the beginning of the footage and Pineiro is clearly kicking a ball off a holding tee at his own 29 yard line. That is obviously, not in dispute. With the 10 yards for the end zone that does equal the goal post being 81 yards away.

Next, however, there are some curious parts to it.

One, Pineiro kicks the ball ordinarily-almost too routine. Two, anyone that knows anything about distance field goal kicking knows that longer kicks usually require a kicker to “drive them” with a lower trajectory to travel greater distance. That is to say, they are not high arching kicks like ones are from say, 40 yards and in.

Watch the video again. It’s a high arching kick like a kickoff.

Another curious part: is there wind helping? Again, a 15-20 MPH wind at a kicker’s back could represent 10 yards or more of extra distance. However, in the video you can see the trees blowing in the background of the goal post and they appear to be blowing right to left at about 5 MPH only. Not really significant to the kick.

Finally, the video itself does make a quick “jump” right after the kick. The shooter was probably trying to zoom in a little bit with their phone, but it creates “suspicion” (we’ll go with that!) that there could be an edit of a closer field goal onto this video.

Now, much like the tremendous “Operation Genoa” episode of the HBO fictitious cable newsroom drama a few years ago “The Newsroom” starring Jeff Daniels as the lead “Bill O’Reily Clone” conservative anchor, there is a ticking clock to help us tell the truth.

In the television episode, the news editor who is fraudulently editing the military weapons expert’s answers doesn’t realize there is a basketball “shot clock” in the corner of the screen. So ,when he makes his edits, you can see by the shot clock having different times that the sentences weren’t continuous. It blows the whole story up and makes for great drama TV.

Now back to Eddy Pineiro.

There is a ticking scoreboard behind the goal post that reads 9:34 in the background when we see it and it’s visible ticking down to 9:16 throughout the kick as it goes through.

That would seemingly indicate that it’ a continuous kick/footage. Game over right?

However, with technology existing today, you can edit even a ticking clock. (They didn’t in ‘The Newsroom” episode, but they weren’t trying hard enough!).

Want a compelling example of edited astounding sports video? Remember the ad from NBA Superstar LeBron James for Powerade from the early 2000’s?

Here’s the Youtube link where you can watch him routinely tossing in 80 and 90 foot jump shots.

Except, he didn’t really make any of those shots. Clever editing rules the day!  But….it was an effective commercial!

So, here’s the bottom line: Pineiro more than likely made the kick.

But, we are just like Agent Scully to Fox Mulder on “The X-Files” (our second pop culture TV reference in the same item!).  We need the complete scientific evidence to back it up.

81 yard practice field goal? “The Truth is out there.”

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