Kyle Degman won $100,000 in tuition money from Dr. Pepper for winning a throwing contest during halftime of the Pac 12 Championship Game on Friday night. The Beaverton, Ore., native attends George Fox University and dreams of one day having his own optometry practice. After winning the six-figure prize, Degman offered up that he’d like to help people both domestically and abroad. There’s nothing to indicate he wasn’t sincere.
In short, he seems like a nice kid who just won $100K.
But Degman is now getting blowback online because he had the audacity to throw his footballs like basketballs instead of the traditional over-the-top motion. The chest-pass technique has long been utilized in these contests and some people hate it.
They argue that it looks ridiculous and isn’t real football. This stance is often tinged with questions regarding the participant’s masculinity, if male.
Allow me to offer a counterpoint. Briefly altering one’s throwing motion for $100,000 is a small sacrifice and any secure human being would do the same. There is no RIGHT WAY to participate in integrated marketing thinly disguised as a parlor game. There are no unwritten rules and code of honor. It is not football. It’s a commercial, the perfect time to sell out like everyone else.
You play to win the game. If whipping in bullets a la Cam Newton gives the student the best chance to win, they should do that. If they need to guide it in there like a Hickory player feeding Jimmy Chitwood, then so be it.
A chest-pass motion allows for a quicker reload and, perhaps, a better angle. Just because it doesn’t look cool isn’t a reason to lose. It’s actually a lot like pop-a-shot basketball. A high score is not attained by shooting with great basketball form, but rather getting as many shots up with a staccato motion and backspin.
There is no eye test. The scoreboard is the only relevant metric.
Tap into the realistic part of your mind and ask how far you’d debase yourself on national television for $100,000. Throwing a football weird seems like a great deal. People do far more degrading things for far less on reality television and for free on YouTube.
If anything, Degman and the army of chest-passers are noble for not letting pride get in the way of life-changing money. There are a few atrocious free-throw shooters who have chosen to keep hurting their teams instead of their shooting style who could learn a few things.
So shine on, you halftime chest-passers. Keep on shoveling that pigskin toward the circular opening. May the wind always be at your back and your aim as true as your dreams.