01/04/2012 01:50 pm ET

Brendan Gibbons, Michigan Kicker, Thinks About 'Brunette Girls' During Sugar Bowl (VIDEO)

There are few gigs in team sports as lonely and nerve-wracking as place kicking, especially with the game on the line. Heck, opposing coaches call timeouts just to force these solitary figures to think about the coming kick. Taking a cue from Mike Shanahan, the unofficial innovator -- or, at least, popularizer -- of kicker icing, these coaches want a kicker to stand amidst his teammates, who have been sweating and hurting and fighting for every yard throughout the course of the game, and think about what's at stake.

Entering the Sugar Bowl, we had already seen errant efforts in key moments by kickers from Stanford and Georgia. In those games, both kickers had timeouts called before misses.

Forced into the spotlight due to disciplinary action against the front-line kicker, Virginia Tech's Justin Myer made four kicks but missed a much-needed 37-yard attempt in overtime. There was no timeout to freeze Myer, but his attempt was coming off a controversial replay decision to overturn a touchdown. When Michigan got the ball after that Myer miss, they spent three quick running plays getting Gibbons set up for the potential game winner.

But before Gibbons could take a crack at the win, Virginia Tech coach Frank Beamer made perhaps his last miscalculation of the 23-20 game: He attempted to ice Gibbons. Big mistake. Because this West Palm Beach native wasn't going to spend the long seconds of the timeout thinking about the stakes or his teammates. Nope. He was thinking about "brunette girls."


Since Gibbons is only a sophomore, coaches around the Big 10 might want to remember not to ice this kicker. That only seems to relax him. Between his demeanor, his facial hair and his relatively unathletic build, Gibbons became quite popular with fans getting to know him for the first time at the Sugar Bowl.


Michigan Kicker Brendan Gibbons