Wednesday, September 04, 2013

Kick For a Kia: The Call

Many years ago I started what I call a hobby: entering sweepstakes. Back when stamps were cheap I would mail in postcards to enter sweepstakes. Nothing that I depended on to provide for out family, but instead a nice little 5-10 minute diversion several days of the week.  When Al Gore invented the internet entering sweepstakes became cheaper and easier, but actually winning them became harder, since more people were entering them. Over the years I’ve been fortunate enough to win trips to Los Angeles, New York City, and a baseball fantasy camp in Arizona. I turned down trips to Curacao and San Antonio. Won a computer, football helmet, tickets, and a Braves watch.  

I go through times when I enter lots of sweepstakes, and times when I don’t enter as many. I usually focus on contests where a car is the prize, or a large sum of money or a house. There’s not enough time to enter every sweepstakes, so I stay away from most of the vacation sweepstakes (unless it’s a trip to Europe or Italy).

A recent “Kick For a Kia” sweepstakes was appealing for several reasons: The prize is a top of the line Kia Sorento SUV worth over $35,000.00, plus $100.00 and tickets to the Alabama / Virgia Tech game and FanFest. Six ticket winners were selected from all internet entries (Georgia, Alabama, & Virginia residents only), and six more are to be “randomly” selected at the FanFest the morning of the game. These twelve will kick four 15 yard field goals to cut the field in half, then kick four 25 yard field goals to narrow the field to two. At the end of the third quarter these two kick inside the filled Georgia Dome. Farthest kick wins. I’d like to think my kicking experience would give me an advantage. So I entered every day until the contest expired August 11th.

Lately I’ve been entering sweepstakes as “Dave” as opposed to “David” and use my cell number, so when an unknown call comes in asking for Dave I’ll know it might be a sweepstakes. And on Friday that’s exactly what happened.

AUG 16: Friday afternoon at 3:32 pm my cell phone rings: Unknown caller. As I answer the thought crosses my mind: wrong number, or perhaps I won something. A kind male voice asks for Dave, and my heart races. It was Neil Simon from Host Production, calling about the Kia Kick Sweepstakes. He is very careful to explain that I have yet to win the grand prize. I listen carefully, already quite familiar with the rules.

On the way home from work I check five stores for footballs, purchasing a nice Nike Tacktician high school football at Play It Again Sports. back home I change and head up to nearby Tritt Elementary for my first practice session. Shoes are of course important equipment, and I wear my pair of tight Puma Voltaic running shoes. I kick well, with needed height and accuracy. I’m not kicking the ball as far as in the old days, and I still have a level of discomfort, but overall I am pleased with the results. I don’t want to overdo it. back home I rip off 30 minutes on the elliptical machine: working out should help get my legs (and distance) back.

AUG 17: My right instep is quite sore from kicking. I don’t want to overdo it, so I take the day off from kicking. I exercise with weights and walk a mile in flip-flops while waiting for Matthew (and almost sprain my ankle!). I break the news to the fam, and the fight begins. Anna googles Sorentos. She “hates” my car. Will says he needs a car, and will give his Jeep to Anna. I decide against playing this up on social media, and remain under the radar. Might have to get advice from the CPA, though.

AUG 18: Instep feels better. Before the rain hits I lace on Will’s Reebok turf shoes and kick at Walton High School’s Astroturf stadium. The light rain feels good. At first I kick good, until my leg starts hurting. I call it a day. Back home curiosity gets to me, and I look up Kias on the internet. Could I trade the Sorento for a full size four door hybrid? Or upgrade without taking a big tax hit? I tried not to think about it, though Ceil and Anna were spending the money in their heads.

I rested the leg and stretched, but whenever I tried to kick my leg would immediately start to ache. My strategy was to rest it as much as possible, then try to kick through any pain on the big day.

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