Former Miami Dolphins kicker Garo Yepremian, a member of the team’s 1973 perfect season, passed away at the age of 70 on Friday night. According to the Associated Press, the cause of death was cancer.
Yepremian played for four teams over the course of a 16-year career. He earned two Pro Bowl appearances and won back-to-back Super Bowls with the Dolphins in the 70’s.
A native of Cyprus, Yepremian wasn’t well versed in American football. In fact, the first NFL game he saw was the one he debuted in as a kicker. Known for multiple memorable plays during his career, Yepremian was responsible for ending the longest game in NFL history on Christmas Eve of 1971 when he kicked a game-winning 37-yard field goal in double overtime to help Miami defeat the Kansas City Chiefs in the playoffs.
However, it’s one big time blooper that Yepremian is remembered for the most. With Miami leading the Washington Redskins 14-0 in the fourth quarter of Super Bowl VII, Yepremian had a field goal blocked. He proceeded to attempt to throw the ball before fumbling. Redskins defensive back Mike Bass then recovered the fumble and returned it 49 yards for a score.
Fortunately for Yepremian and the Don Shula-led Dolphins, they were able to come away with a 14-7 win to complete the perfect season.
Yepremian was the CEO of the Garo Yepremian Foundation for Brain Tumor Research. He is survived by his wife, Maritza.