Garo's Gaffe in Super Bowl VII
A boneheaded play in the fourth quarter of Super Bowl VII at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum nearly jeopardized the Dolphins’ historic 1972 season. Miami was on the verge of an undefeated campaign, ahead of the Redskins 14-0 and with the ball in Washington territory in the game’s waning minutes. On fourth down, 5-foot-8 Dolphins kicker Garo Yepremian came on to attempt a 42-yard field goal and seal the title. His left-footed kick was blocked by the Redskins’ Bill Brundige, and the ball bounced around before Yepremian came up with it. Rather than wisely falling on the ball, the kicker – looking panicked – wound up robotically and tried to heave a pass right-handed; instead, Yepremian whiffed and the football slipped out of his hand and popped straight up into the air. Yepremian attempted to catch his own bobble but the ball clumsily clanked off his hands and was seized by Washington cornerback Mike Bass, who ran into the end zone, cutting the Miami lead in half. The Dolphins would hold on and win it 14-7, but the gaffe by Yepremian -- who was a 2-time first-team All-Pro and had a nice, long career – would grace many a blooper reel in the years and decades that followed.