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Former Dolphins kicker Yepremian dies at 70

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Former Miami kicker Garo Yepremian, famous for helping the Dolphins win back-to-back NFL titles but also for his Super Bowl gaffe, died Friday after a battle with cancer.

He was 70.

Yepremian died at a hospital in Media, Pa., a year after he was diagnosed, his wife, Maritza, said.

A native of Cyprus, Yepremian was 22 years old when he came to the United States and kicked in the first football game he had ever seen.

He was a member of the Miami teams that won championships in 1972 and 1973, and his 37-yard field goal against the Kansas City Chiefs in the second overtime of the AFL championship on Christmas Day 1971 ended the longest game in NFL history.

Yepremian is also remembered for his blooper in Super Bowl VII in January 1973 as the Dolphins were trying to finish off their perfect 17-0 season.

With Miami leading 14-0, Yepremian’s field-goal attempt was blocked by the Washington Redskins. He picked up the ball and tried to pass it. Instead, he fumbled and the Redskins’ Mike Bass ran for a touchdown.

The Dolphins survived the mistake to win the Super Bowl and cap the perfect season. They also won the championship the following year.

The 5-foot-8 Yepremian was signed by the Detroit Lions as their first soccer-style kicker and, in his rookie year in 1966, he set a league record with six field goals in a game at Minnesota.

In 1970, the left-footed kicker was signed by the Dolphins and he went on to be named to the Pro Bowl twice. Yepremian also played for the New Orleans Saints and Tampa Bay Buccaneers before he retired in 1981.

He finished his career with 1,074 points, with 830 of those coming with the Dolphins, and made 210 of 313 field-goal attempts (67.1 percent) during the regular season.


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