Former Colts K Mike Vanderjagt Still Hearing About 2005 AFC Divisional Playoff Game

Nov 20, 2005; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Indianapolis Colts kicker Mike Vanderjagt (13) kicks a field goal against the Cincinnati Bengals in the third quarter. Colts beat the Bengals 45-37. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons- US PRESSWIRE

Allegedly, former Colts K Mike Vanderjagt still knows how to choke.

Only this time, it wasn't at the end of a playoff football game between the Indianapolis Colts and the Pittsburgh Steelers. It was the throat of a student after he taunted Vanderjagt by chanting "Wide Left! Wide Left!" in reference to his missed kick at the end of the 2005 NFL Divisional Playoff game between the Colts and Pittsburgh.

Vanderjagt, a volunteer coach and school parent at Charter Middle School in Marco Island, Fla., according to witnesses, grabbed a student by the throat and began swearing at him after the student was seen and heard yelling "wide left" through a rolled up poster board.

Vanderjagt said he placed his hand on the student's shoulder, by the base of his neck, and did not choke him.

Local police reviewed the matter and sent an incident report to the state's attorney general's office, who concluded no charges would be filed. Vanderjagt also said he's spoken with the boy's family, and he apologized. The boy also apologized.

The school board voted 4-2 in favor of allowing the school's principal to handle the decision of whether to keep Vanderjagt on as a coach.

Apparently, the boy he allegedly choked (and admittedly touched) was only the latest of many who were taunting Vanderjagt in a similar fashion over the months.

Obviously accosting a child is against the moral code of any teacher or child, but a certain level of respect should be given to those coaches and teachers. It seems like a good life and history lesson for both Vanderjagt, the student and everyone involved with the incident.

For life, one must learn to overcome failures, accept them and move on. For history, they should all remember the kick was wide right, not left.


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