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The Moon Ball Shot


Danny Etling has a flight to Boston Logan International Airport tomorrow. The New England Patriots training camp starts in the coming days. Danny has done everything he set out to accomplish on his return home to Terre Haute - see family and friends, pay visits to old stomping grounds, and the such. Well, he has done everything, except one thing: hit a trick shot, i.e., The Moon Ball Shot.


So where can you find Danny Etling in Terre Haute when he's not talking to WTHI's Rick Semmler? You can find him at the same place where he joined his first football team: Woodrow Wilson Middle School. While Terre Haute locals walk around the track for exercise, there's Danny in the center working on his long ball. If you ask him to do a trick shot for charity, he just might say yes. 

Danny has two days left in Terre Haute, so the plan is to do the trick shot tomorrow at ISU's Memorial Stadium. But tomorrow comes, and it is raining. Not just raining, pouring. Trick shot canceled. "Can you do the trick shot tomorrow Danny?" "I'll be throwing at Terre Haute South tomorrow at 6:00pm, so we can do the shot afterwards. But I have a family dinner at 7:30pm I need to be at."

The next day comes, and we arrive at Terre Haute South. The field becomes overcrowded with people practicing once Danny finishes, so we can't do the trick shot. It is 7:00pm. We think on our feet, and decide to just do the shot at one of our homes. Time is ticking before Danny must attend his family goodbye dinner.

Danny pulls in the driveway, and quickly does some short 10 yard throws to warm-up. After a few minutes, he's ready to start launching the moon ball. The first throw is not so close. The next few throws and he's starting to get close. One throw is so close it nails the rim. It is 7:20pm. 

Each throw has the potential to swish right through the net. But now too much time has passed, and Danny is going to be late to his family dinner. "Alright, this has to be my last throw." It's hard to describe, but there's just an inside feeling telling you the next shot is going in when it's the last trick shot attempt. Danny winds back, and launches the ball in the air. It has the distance, but misses wide.    

In trick shots, there is also a tremendous disposition to do just one more shot because you think you can hit it the next try. However, Danny resists and our hopes of Danny Etling hitting a trick shot crumble. He's heading back to Boston and we'll have to wait until he returns to Terre Haute to hit the trick shot. The morale is grim.  

It's 9:30pm, and our phones light up. It's Danny. "Hey, are you guys still out there?" The story is too good to be true: Danny comes back to over hit the trick shot. We turn on the court lights, and Danny warms up. We're not leaving until the football swishes through the rim. 

It takes 3 minutes and 47 seconds for the pandemonium. That's right, just 3 minutes and 47 seconds. The video footage captures it all. Danny winds back and launches the football, which then seamlessly swishes through the net. The Moon Ball Shot was one for the ages. Thank you Danny.


Click the image to learn more about Danny Etling

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