Sam Seely

Garo Yepremian

“Many big people were chasing me. I didn’t know what to do. So I thought I would surprise them and throw it.” - Garo Yepremian, Miami placekicker, after a disastrous attempt to throw a pass in the Super Bowl.

I came across this quote on Paul Graham’s site a few years ago and instantly cracked up. It’s just understated enough to belie the unfortunate situation to which Yepremian refers.

I like this quote. It says, it’s okay to make mistakes. It could be worse. You could be Yepremian during the 1973 Super Bowl.

But even for Yepremian, everything worked out fine. The Dolphins went on to win the game. He had two pro bowl appearances. He was elected to the Florida Sports Hall of Fame. (It’s something.)

And all of this after he started his football career by cold-calling the Detroit Lions, an immigrant from Cyprus who decided he wanted to be a kicker when he saw football on TV. If you have five minutes, read his wiki page. The guy blazed his own path. Further incentive:

“His talent aside, Yepremian was, nonetheless, at a loss regarding football vernacular and custom. In his first game his coach told him that their team had lost the coin toss, at which point Yepremian ran to midfield and dropped to his knees looking for the coin.”

This and other great moments abound in the life of Yepremian.