Former Dolphins kicker Garo Yepremian dies of cancer

Former Miami Dolphins kicking legend Garo Yepremian died Friday of cancer. He was 70. Yepremian won consecutive NFL championships with the Dolphins. Yepremian played from 1966 to 1981. The native of Cyprus came to the United States at age 22 and kicked in the first NFL game he ever saw. 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 season. 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." The Dolphins still went on to have a perfect season. "His effusive personality supplemented his strong competitive nature, and no one made more pressure kicks than Garo," Dolphins senior vice president Nat Moore said in a statement. "While Garo is also remembered for his ill-fated pass attempt following a blocked kick in Super Bowl VII, even that miscue demonstrated his competitiveness -- he was just trying to do whatever it took to make a play. ... With his love of life and of the Dolphins, Garo was one of a kind." Follow me on Twitter: @RavensInsider Aaron Wilson covers the Ravens for The Baltimore Sun
Aaron Wilson
Aaron Wilson covers the NFL for National Football Post, his second stint at the Post. He has previously written for Pro Football Talk and FOX Sports-Scout. Entering his 13th year covering the Baltimore Ravens, he's a beat writer for The Baltimore Sun. Wilson has also covered the Jacksonville Jaguars and Tennessee Titans.

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