101 entrants fail at Chicago brewery's 'Cody Parkey Challenge'
CHICAGO -- How many would-be Cody Parkeys does it take to make a 43-yard field goal?
As it turns out, more than 100 ... and counting.
Out of 101 entrants who tried their luck at the same kick that brought the Chicago Bears' season to an untimely end last Sunday, exactly zero were able to get the job done -- in conditions that were, well, suboptimal: 30 degrees and wind and snow.
"In the snow? Yeah, it's way different. Everyone's slipping all over the place," said contestant Phil Cozzi of Elmhurst, Illinois. When informed that the lone Philadelphia Eagles fan contestant wiped out, Cozzi said, "OK -- good."
Goose Island Beer Co.'s Fulton Street location put out the call to fans the day after the Eagles-Bears game -- and the response to the #fieldgoalchallenge was overwhelming.
"It became much bigger than we ever thought it would," said Zac Connelly, a Goose Island employee who came up with the concept. "The last couple days have been crazy."
So crazy that the brewery asked fans to stop DM'ing shirtless videos of made field goals.
So crazy that Goose Island limited the number of entries to 100, with the field completely filled 2½ hours before the event. So crazy that Goose Island decided not to limit the number of winners -- not that that was a problem Saturday.
Because no prizes (which would have been an all-expenses-paid trip to any NFL game next season) were won, the brewery is donating $20,000 to the charity of Parkey's choosing -- the Lurie Children's Hospital.
"I would say that Chicago Bears fans were in need of therapy and we held a successful session. There are a lot of smiles around the streets right now," said Todd Ahsmann, president of Goose Island Brewery. "It was really cool to see Chicagoans just being lighthearted about everything.
"We may have had a month of depression if it wasn't for this event."
To be sure, one of the most devastating playoff losses in recent Chicago sports memory was still fresh in participants' minds, but for some, frustration had shifted to sympathy.
"It's his job to make that kick; it's a real bummer that he didn't," said Zach Laszkiewicz, from Westchester, Illinois. "But I think we let him work out his kinks in the off season and bring him back for a little bit of redemption next year. Maybe me and him get together."
Goose Island's Connelly had the last word on Parkey: "The kick was tipped."