Mike Vanderjagt probably didn’t like it when Peyton Manning called him an “idiot kicker.” You can imagine how he would if he were taunted by a middle-school kid.
That’s allegedly what happened, according to the Naples Daily News, which reported that the ex-West Virginia and NFL kicker is alleged to have grabbed a male student at Marco Island’s Charter Middle School by the throat on March 12 after the student taunted him with “Wide left! Wide left!” in reference to a missed boot from 2006 (it was actually wide right).
No charges were filed against Vanderjagt, according to the newspaper, after the case had been sent to the state’s attorney’s office.
But according to the Naples Daily News, the charter school board voted 4-2 to put Vanderjagt’s future with the school – where he is a part-time soccer coach - in the hands of the principal.
The report said that the boy yelled at Vanderjagt through rolled up poster board, describing its use like a megaphone. According to the newspaper, which cited police, Vanderjagt suggested that his reaction came after he hit a boiling point from previous ribbing from students.
However, the report cited Vanderjagt as saying that he never choked the student but instead held him in place while apparently reprimanding him.
The second most accurate kicker in NFL history, Vanderjagt made all his field goals and extra points for the Indianapolis Colts in the 2003 season and playoffs – an unprecedented feat – before missing a potential tying kick in January of 2006 in the playoffs vs. the Pittsburgh Steelers that resulted in a 21-18 loss.
It was his last game with the Colts before playing one more season in the NFL and one in the CFL before retiring to Florida, where he also co-owns an Italian restaurant.