You might say Abbotsford’s Tommy Kippes is a man of extremes.
As an amateur boxer four years ago, Kippes travelled to Northern Alberta and prepared for months to take on an opponent in his own weight division.
But at the last minute, the promoter informed the 2012 Yale Secondary grad that his original opponent had injured his ankle and he could be in the main event against someone new if he agreed.
Kippes decided to accept the new challenger – who just happened to be 6’ 10” and over 300 pounds.
Three rounds later, he emerged victorious via unanimous judges’ decision.
It’s with that same vigour that Kippes has taken to the viral #ShotgunJake challenge on Twitter.
He may not be fighting giant men from Alberta anymore, but shotgunning an entire can of baby clams might be even more daunting – depending on who you talk to.
For those unaware, the #ShotgunJake phenomena began in the 2018-19 season after popular TSN 1040 radio hosts Jason Brough and Mike Halford decided to film themselves shotgunning a beer and post it online as a way for fans to cheer on Vancouver Canucks forward and Abbotsford’s own Jake Virtanen.
Brough boldly predicted that Virtanen would score 20 goals last season, and while he managed 15 the phenomenon caught on and fans of the show began posting their own videos to cheer him on.
Kippes said he has been a huge fan of the Halford and Brough show for years, and originally gained a little bit of fame by texting in some of his hot sports takes using the name “Tommy the Tractor Guy” because he works on local chicken farms all day long. Several of his texts got read on air by the hosts over the years and when the #ShotgunJake trend began he wanted to get involved.
“They started #ShotgunJake and I was always hearing about this guy called ‘Dweeb’ on Twitter and how he does these sick shotguns,” Kippes said. “So I was like, you know what, I’m going to start my own little thing and see if it takes off and I’m going to shotgun weird things. I wanted to be different.”
#ShotgunJake gets his Sweet 16 on #LegendsNight!! Really turning back the clock with the beautiful retro jerseys to boot. 16/20 ⏰🍻👍#FreeTheSkate #Canucks@HalfordTSN @JasonBroughTSN pic.twitter.com/qMzOIv4f2j— dweeb. (@edweeb) February 11, 2020
Different is one way to describe some of the items Kippes has decided to shotgun.
Unlike the traditional beers that many fans choose, Kippes began his #ShotgunJake journey with Pina Colada coolers, and it escalated from there.
He has shotgunned a can of beans, one litre of chocolate milk, V-8 juice, a can of pineapple chunks, an entire Slurpee mixed with vodka, a Tim Hortons coffee, a carton of cream, a can of tuna, a bottle of maple syrup and – most recently – the clams.
These videos are getting noticed, with the majority of them receiving thousands of views, retweets and likes on Twitter. It has helped that Virtanen has scored 16 goals so far this season.
Kippes said he has enjoyed the taste of fame, but he has also developed a passion creating the videos.
“I’ve always had a creative side to me and made some really stupid YouTube videos back in the day but I’ve always been into videography,” he said, noting he shoots and edits all his videos on his cellphone.
He said he and his family moved to B.C. from Germany in 2005 and he made the move from a soccer fan to hockey.
“I’ve been a huge Canucks fan since 2010, which might make me sound like a complete bandwagoner but I just didn’t know a lot about hockey before then,” he said. “I started noticing that so many people were following the Canucks, and I’ve been hooked ever since.”
Kippes said he loves all the Canucks, but his favourite guy on the team is Antoine Roussel.
“That guy is a fricking beauty,” he said, laughing. “That guy is all for the team and will stick up for anybody.”
Kippes said his ultimate goal with the Twitter account is to continue to entertain people and have fun.
“It’s really fun for me to do it and people seem to enjoy it,” he said. “I adore editing videos and I just get lost in it. It’s a lot of fun and I’ve been thinking about maybe a career in videography or doing reality or wedding videos one day. There’s lots of possibilities.”
To follow along with Kippes online, check out his Twitter account @tommykippes.