the study of the kicking components within sports

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Kicking in the 70's

The 1970's gave us Watergate, 8-track tapes, The Godfather, Earth Day, pocket calculators, All in the Family, an oil crisis, sideburns, Roe v. Wade, Voyager, disco and punk, pong, the Camp David Accords, Star Wars, platform shoes and polyester, terrorists, Laverne & Shirley, Roots, a test tube baby, pet rocks, and Three Mile Island. But we're not here to discuss those, we're here to talk kicking - as always.

1970 Super Bowl IV, Kansas City 23, Minnesota 7: The Chiefs built a 16-0 lead by half time, including three field goals by Jan Stenerud, the first soccer style kicker to play in a Super Bowl.

1970 Tom Dempsey made a 63 yard FG (2-way tie for longest) for New Orleans against Detroit.

1971 Curt Knight attempted 49 FGs (2-way tie for most in a season) for Washington.

1971 Super Bowl V, Baltimore 16, Dallas 13: In a game dominated by defense and eleven turnovers, the Colts won in the final seconds on kicker Jim O'Brien's 32 yard field goal.

1972 NFL rule change: hashmarks were moved nearer the center of the field, 23 yards, 1 foot, 9 inches from the sidelines… the hashmarks were now 18 feet, 6 inches apart (the same width as the goalposts), cutting down on severe angles for short field goal attempts.

1973 Two years after his original curve ball pitching machine, John Paulson created the first JUGS football machine, which allowed kickers and punters to rest while the return teams could still practice.

1973 Gerry Organ became the first soccer style kicker to play in the CFL's Grey Cup (Ottawa Rough Riders).

1973 Super Bowl VII, Miami 14, Washington 7: Despite a highly successful NFL career, Dolphins kicker Garo Yepremian is often remembered by many for his ill-fated pass attempt that resulted in the Redskins' only score of the game.

1974 Offensive lineman and kicker Lou Groza was elected to Pro Football Hall of Fame.

1974 NFL rule changes: the goal posts were moved from the goal line to the end lines and the uprights would be extended to 30 feet above the crossbar in an effort to decrease the number of field goals; kickoffs were moved from the 40 back to the 35-yard line; and after missed field goals from beyond the 20, the ball was to be returned to the line of scrimmage.

1975 Former Wittenberg University and semi-pro kicker Fred Mitchell presented to Wilson Sporting Goods the idea of manufacturing kicking nets to be deployed on the sideline for high school, college and professional kickers to warm up.

1976 Ove Johansson kicked the longest recorded field goal at any level, a 69 yarder off a two inch tee, for Abilene Christian against East Texas State (NAIA).

1976  Tony Franklin of Texas A&M became the only kicker to ever hit two 60+ yard FGs in one game, with 64 and 65 yarders off a two inch tee (NCAA).

1976 Gus the Miracle Mule (California Atoms) proves to arguably be the greatest kicker ever.

1978 NCAA rule change: after missed field goals from beyond the 20, the ball was to be returned to the line of scrimmage.

1979 Monsoon Bowl: Neil O'Donoghue (Tampa Bay) vs. Jan Stenerud (Kansas City).

1979 NFL rule change: prohibited players on the receiving team from blocking below the waist during kickoffs, punts, and field-goal attempts.

1979 Tony Franklin (Philadelphia) was the first kicker to kick barefoot in the NFL.

1 comment:

Charlie Lee said...

Wow, this brings back both some great memories and some kicking trivia. Thanks for sharing.

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