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Former Miami Dolphins kicker Garo Yepremian dies at 70

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#1 Yervant1


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Posted 18 May 2015 - 10:11 AM

May 16 2015

Former Miami Dolphins kicker Garo Yepremian dies at 70

NFL.com Wire Reports

MIAMI -- Garo Yepremian, the former NFL kicker who helped the Miami
Dolphins win consecutive NFL championships but is best remembered for
a Super Bowl blooper, died Friday of cancer. He was 70.

Yepremian's wife, Maritza, said he died at a hospital in Media, Pa.
His illness was diagnosed in May 2014, she said.

Yepremian played from 1966 to 1981. A son of Armenian parents,
Yepremian was born in Cyprus and came to the United States at age 22
and kicked in the first NFL game he ever saw.

"Garo was one of the most popular and productive players in Miami
Dolphins history, and we were sorry to learn of his passing. His
effusive personality supplemented his strong competitive nature, and
no one made more pressure kicks than Garo," the Dolphins said in a

His 37-yard field goal in the second overtime ended the longest game
in NFL history, a Dolphins' playoff victory over Kansas City on
Christmas 1971, and he helped Miami win back-to-back NFL titles in
1972-73. But Yepremian's gaffe in the fourth quarter of the Super Bowl
in January 1973 nearly spoiled the Dolphins' bid to complete a perfect

With Miami leading 14-0 and on the verge of finishing the season 17-0,
the Washington Redskins blocked Yepremian's field-goal attempt. He
picked up the ball and tried to throw it but fumbled, and the
Redskins' Mike Bass ran it 49 yards for a touchdown.

"Every airport you go to, people point to you and say, 'Here's the guy
who screwed up in the Super Bowl,'" Yepremian said in a 2007
interview. "After a while it bothers you. If it was anybody else he
would go crazy, but fortunately I'm a happy-go-lucky guy."

Decades later, Pro Football Hall of Fame coach Don Shula was able to
laugh as he reminisced about the play -- perhaps the weirdest in Super
Bowl history.

"I thought, 'Boy, this will be great if Garo kicks this field goal and
we go ahead 17-0 in a 17-0 season. What a great way that would be to
remember the game,'" Shula said. "And then Garo did what he did, and
it's 14-7 with still a couple of minutes to go. I'm looking for Garo,
and I'm ready to kill Garo, and I couldn't find him. He went down to
one end of the bench, and I haven't seen him since."

In a statement Saturday, Shula said: "When you think back about Garo
there were a lot of great moments and some that were not so great. No
matter what, though, he had a positive attitude all the time. He
always wanted to be involved in everything and I enjoyed having him on
the team. He was unique in Dolphins history and will be missed."

Despite Yepremian's mistake, Miami won to complete the NFL's only
perfect season. Yepremian also kicked for the Dolphins when they
repeated as champions in 1973. Prematurely bald and only 5-foot-8, the
left-legged Yepremian hardly looked like an NFL star.

"Being as small as he was, I didn't know how he kicked a ball so far
and so straight, but he did and made most of his field goals. He was a
huge part of the success of those great teams," said Dolphins great
Bob Griese.

Yepremian broke in with the Detroit Lions, who signed him as their
first soccer-style kicker when that approach was a novelty. As a
rookie in 1966 he broke a league record with six field goals in a game
at Minnesota. He joined the Dolphins in 1970, made the Pro Bowl twice
with them and led the league in field-goal accuracy three times. He
also kicked for the New Orleans Saints and Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Private funeral arrangements are pending. A viewing is planned
Wednesday in Wynnewood, Pa.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.



#2 Yervant1


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Posted 18 May 2015 - 10:12 AM

The Inquisitr
May 17 2015

Garo Yepremian Dead At 70: Changed NFL Kicking Game, But Remembered
For Bizarre Pass Attempt

Garo Yepremian is dead from cancer at age 70. One of the most
innovative kickers in NFL history, Yepremian will always be better
remembered for a comical pass attempt in the 1973 Super Bowl. But
Yepremian, who played 14 seasons in the NFL despite never having seen
a football game, much less played in one, before emigrating to the
United States at age 22, kicked for two Super Bowl winning teams ' and
was part of the only undefeated team in NFL history.

Garabed Sarkis Yepremian was born to Armenian parents in Cyprus on
June 2, 1944. After emigrating to America with his brother hoping to
secure a soccer scholarship to Indiana University, he arrived only to
find that the school did not offer scholarships to soccer players.

After seeing an NFL game on television, he realized he could apply his
considerable soccer skills to kicking a football, so he taught himself
to do just that. At the time, American football placekickers
approached the ball on a straight line and kicked with the front of
the foot.

But Yepremian used a `soccer style' technique, taking an angled route
and impacting the ball with the instep of the foot. It worked for
Yepremian, who managed to secure a tryout with the Detroit Lions
though he had never played football before and, at a diminutive 5'9³
and 170 pounds, he hardly fit the part.

By the time Yepremian retired in 1981, the soccer style kicking
technique was common, and today, all NFL kickers take Yepremian's

Yepremian was also known as a colorful character in the far less
regimented National Football League of the late 1960s and early 1970s,
recognizable by his outrageous, multicolored wide neckties and his
often hilarious broken English ' once declaring, `I keek a touchdown!'
after hitting one of his first field goals.

But his bizarrely botched pass for the then 16-0 Miami Dolphins in the
1973 Super Bowl against the Redskins nearly cost the Dolphins their
perfect season and left Yepremian answering questions about the play
seemingly every day for the rest of his life.

Even President Barack Obama kidded Yepremian about the play during a
2013 White House visit celebrating the 40th anniversary of the
Dolphins' perfect season.

`After a while it bothers you. If it was anybody else he would go
crazy,' Yepremian said recently. `But fortunately I'm a happy-go-lucky

According to his wife Maritza, Garo Yepremian was diagnosed with
cancer last year and passed away at a hospital near his Avondale,
Pennsylvania home on May 15.

[Image: NFL]

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#3 MosJan


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Posted 19 May 2015 - 04:59 PM


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