Sunday, December 5, 2010

Bear Down Sunday #12

The Chicago Bears at 8-3 have the second best record in the NFC.  That is amazing.  Today, they face the Detroit Lions, who are 2-9.  The Bears lool like a good bet for the playoffs.  Dare I start dreaming about a Super Bowl?
The Lions have never made it to the Super Bowl.  However, an ex-Lion was involved in one of the most memorable plays in Super Bowl history.
Diminutive kicker Garo Yepremian started his NFL career in Detroit.  In 1970, he made the roster of the Miami Dolphins and wound up becoming quite a star.  Her was the MVP of the 1974 Pro Bowl and he was named to the All-Decade team for the 1970's.  After nine seasons in Miami, Yepremian finished his career with a year with the Saints and two years with the Buccaneers.
Yepremian's most memorable moment occurred in Super Bowl VII.  The prefect Miami Dolhins were leading the Washington Redskins 14-0, when Yepremian was sent in to try a field goal.  The attempt was blocked, but Yepremian recovered it and attempted to pass the ball.  He bobbled it around and into the arms of Mike Bass of the Redskins, who returned it for a touchdown.  The Dolphins held on for a 14-7 win though.
When I met Yepremian, he somehow seemed taller than I expected.  We talked  bit about his unusual route to the NFL.  I asked him about his Hall of Fame chances and he just kind of shrugged.  Kickers get a raw deal in the NFL HOF.
It was a pleasure meeting Yepremian.  You really should check out his story.  It is an amusing and fascinating tale of his rise to the top of the kicking ladder.  Yepremian may be short in stature, but his legacy is very large, as is his personality.
Garo Yepremian and me in Oaks, PA-October 2009.

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