Thursday, October 9, 2014

Laces Out, Dan? Not So Fast.

In honor of the Packers traveling to Miami this Sunday, I thought I’d revisit the greatest Hollywood field goal attempt in recent memory – that from Ace Ventura, Pet Detective (1994). I’m going to go ahead and assume you’ve seen it because if you haven’t, honestly, I feel bad for you.

But the main antagonist’s desire for revenge stems from the kicker’s miss of a potential Super Bowl-winning field goal due to the classic laces out vs. laces in argument. Now, most people assume the football should be positioned toward the goal post (laces out) rather than toward the kicker (laces in). This supposedly allows the kicker to connect with the smooth part of the ball, and better control its trajectory.

But is this always the case? What if the laces were in for the only pro athlete to come out of Cauler County? The Ranter was determined to find out so along with our advanced software engineering intern, Log Jam, we hit our in-house 3D virtual laboratory to see if a laces-in kick would’ve allowed Ray Finkle to make that fateful field goal in Ace Ventura.

First of all, let’s take a good look at the kick. As you can see, the ball just sails juuuuuust past the left goal post.
"Ray Finkle blew a 26-yard field goal!"
Taking a virtual model of the field goal post, then triangulating the position of the ball with relation to distance of kick, we discover the ball passes a mere twelve inches to the left – a relative minuscule amount. In other words, by not striking the ball perpendicular to its axis, one could say Finkle simply “pulled the kick.” By extrapolating the distance (W) of the missed kick within the Cartesian coordinate system of a simple X-Y graph, we can see a clear +2.3-degree variance along the X axis (marked in blue) accounts for the noted deviation.
Now, let’s reverse this mathematically induced scenario with laces-in circumstances. You’ll notice immediately that the convex physical characteristics of the laces (NFL standard laces protrusion = approx. 5.5mm) allows Ray to connect with the ball earlier, actually offsetting the x axis variance from the laces-in model and striking the ball perfectly square.

The kick is clean and true, traveling perfectly straight through the uprights. He makes the field goal, guys. *drops mic*

Conclusion: In most cases, the common laces-out configuration holds true (pun intended). However, the aforementioned scientific analysis provides sufficient evidence that a laces-IN kick would’ve indeed allowed Ray Finkle to make the field goal described in the seminal film, Ace Ventura, Pet Detective (1994).

And if you TROLLS dare question the translation accuracy of the visual medium, let it be known that Log Jam spent numerous hours analyzing samples of 1980’s projector-style reel footage superimposed onto 1990's Hollywood-style 35mm film and then compressed the into Youtube’s 2014 online platform. (Turns out, it’s basically a wash.)
Log Jam earning his letter of recommendation
Edit: I just realized if Ray Finkle makes the kick, it creates a significant distortion in the space-time continuum of the Ace Ventura movie universe. That means Ray Finkle never transforms into Lieutenant Einhorn in order to seek out revenge. A young-Courtney-now-a-cougar-Cox never reaches out to Ace Ventura to find Snowflake. The entire story is erased from existence and the world misses out on one of the greatest comedic performances of all time! 

S#$T! How do I delete this post? Damn it, Jim – I’m a scientist, not a computer programmer!


  1. A_Lerxst_in_PackerlandOctober 10, 2014 at 6:11 PM

    Yes, but what about the case where Finkle hits the ball square and that no-good, lousy, stinking Marino held the ball laces-in? What then? Would it account for Finkle missing the kick?

  2. A_Lerxst_in_PackerlandOctober 10, 2014 at 8:02 PM

    Purely hypothetical, of course; a detailed re-examination of all of the available film and photographic evidence, as originally provided by Roger Podacter (prior to his untimely demise), clearly, and I must emphasize, CLEARLY shows that QB Daniel Constantine "Dan" Marino, Jr. was holding the football in its preferred and proper LACES OUT orientation when Ray Finkle made his ill-fated "Kick Heard 'Round the World", robbing #13 of his almost-certain Superbowl victory.

    I have excorcised the demons! This blog post is now clea-yuh.

    If I'm not back in five minutes... just wait longer.

    1. HAHAHA. You, sir, are clearly well-verse in the Ace Ventura movie universe, and I applaud you for it!


Google requires us to state we use third-party advertising, who may use information (not including your name, address, email, or phone) about your visits to provide ads of possible interest. For more information or to opt out, click here.
To contact us or to advertise, email packerranter {at}