Ben Agajanian

Benjamin James "The nameless Wonder" Agajanian (August 28, 1919 – February 8, 2018) was an American football player, primarily a placekicker in the National Football League, the All-America Football Conference and American Football League.

Born in Santa Ana, California, he graduated from San Pedro High School in the San Pedro community in Los Angeles. A placekicker, he played college football at Compton Junior College and the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque.[1] He served in the U.S. Army Air Forces during World War II as a physical training instructor.[2]

Agajanian played professionally in the National Football League from 1945 through 1959, then in the newly formed American Football League for the Los Angeles/San Diego Chargers in 1960, 1961, and 1964. He also played for the Dallas Texans in 1961 and the Oakland Raiders in 1962. He is one of two players (the other was Hardy Brown) who played in the All-America Football Conference, the American Football League, and the National Football League.[3]

While playing in college, Agajanian had four toes of his kicking foot crushed in a work accident and then amputated in 1939,[2][4] but overcame the injury to become pro football's second kicking specialist (after Mose Kelsch), booting field goals for 10 different professional teams in the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s, including two NFL champions: the New York Giants in 1956 and the Green Bay Packers in 1961.[5] After retiring from the field at age 45,[6] he was the Dallas Cowboys kicking coach for 20 years.

Agajanian died in Cathedral City, California on February 8, 2018 at age 98.[7] His older brother was the late Motorsports promoter J.C. Agajanian.

Ben Agajanian
refer to caption
1955 Bowman football card
No. 3, 8
Position:Placekicker
Personal information
Born:August 28, 1919
Santa Ana, California
Died:February 8, 2018 (aged 98)
Cathedral City, California
Height:6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)
Weight:215 lb (98 kg)
Career information
High school:San Pedro (CA)
College:New Mexico
Undrafted:1941
Career history
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Player stats at NFL.com
Player stats at PFR

See also

References

  1. ^ "Agajanian signs with grid Dons". Pittsburgh Press. United Press. May 14, 1947. p. 23.
  2. ^ a b "Agajanian became star kicker after injury to right foot". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. November 1, 1945. p. 12.
  3. ^ Giants Among Men, Jack Cavanaugh, p.54, 2008, Random House, ISBN 978-1-4000-6717-6
  4. ^ "Bootin' Ben Agajanian, oldest active gridder, released by Green Bay". Florence Times. Alabama. Associated Press. p. 11, section 2.
  5. ^ Lea, Bud (November 18, 1961). "Agajanian signs with Packers". Milwaukee Sentinel. p. 7, part 3.
  6. ^ "History: Players Who've Played in NFL at Age 40 or Older". Pro Football Hall of Fame. Retrieved 2012-12-01.
  7. ^ "Ben Agajanian, Square-Shoed Kicking Star, Dies at 98". The New York Times. February 13, 2018. Archived from the original on 2018-01-24. Retrieved February 13, 2018.

External links

1945 NFL Draft

The 1945 National Football League Draft was held on April 8, 1945, at the Commodore Hotel in New York City, New York.

1945 Philadelphia Eagles season

The 1945 Philadelphia Eagles season was their 13th in the league. The team failed to improve on their previous output of 7–1–2, losing three games. The team failed to qualify for the playoffs for the 13th consecutive season.

1947 Cleveland Browns season

The 1947 Cleveland Browns season was the team's second in the All-America Football Conference (AAFC). Coached by Paul Brown, Cleveland finished with a 12–1–1 win–loss–tie record, winning the western division and the AAFC championship for the second straight year. As in 1946, quarterback Otto Graham led an offensive attack that featured fullback Marion Motley and ends Dante Lavelli and Mac Speedie.

After a number of coaching changes and roster moves in the offseason, including signing punter Horace Gillom and fullback Tony Adamle, the Browns began with a 30–14 win over the Buffalo Bills, the first of a string of five victories. The team lost its only game of the season to the Los Angeles Dons in October. Five more wins followed before a come-from-behind tie in November with the New York Yankees, the team Cleveland defeated in the 1946 AAFC championship. The Browns won their last two games, including a 42–0 shutout against the Baltimore Colts in the finale, to set up a championship game rematch with the Yankees in December. Cleveland beat the Yankees 14–3 in New York on an icy field to win its second championship in a row.

Graham was named the AAFC's most valuable player after leading the league in passing yards, with 2,753, and passing touchdowns, with 25. Speedie led the league in receiving, and several other Cleveland players were named to sportswriters' All-Pro lists. Brown was named the league's coach of the year by Pro Football Illustrated. The Browns played all their home games in Cleveland Stadium, attracting an average crowd of 55,848, the best home attendance record in both the AAFC and the competing National Football League (NFL).

1948 Cleveland Browns season

The 1948 Cleveland Browns season was the team's third in the All-America Football Conference (AAFC). After winning the AAFC crown in 1946 and 1947, the league's first two years of existence, the Browns repeated as champions in 1948 and had a perfect season, winning all of their games.

The season began with a number of roster moves, including the addition of linebacker Alex Agase and halfbacks Ara Parseghian and Dub Jones. Following training camp and two preseason games, the Browns began the regular season with a win against the Buffalo Bills. Led by quarterback Otto Graham, fullback Marion Motley and ends Mac Speedie and Dante Lavelli, the Browns followed with a string of victories leading up to a November matchup with the San Francisco 49ers. Both teams had perfect records to that point, the 49ers relying heavily on the offensive production of quarterback Frankie Albert and end Alyn Beals to win their first 10 games. The Browns beat the 49ers 14–7, and followed two weeks later with another narrow victory over San Francisco, their closest competition in the AAFC in 1948.

By the end of the season, the Browns had a perfect 14–0 record and led the league's Western Division, setting up a championship-game matchup with the Bills, who had won a playoff to take the Eastern Division. Cleveland beat Buffalo 49–7 in December to win the championship and preserve its unbeaten record. After the season, Graham, Motley and Speedie were included in many news organizations' All-Pro teams, alongside several other teammates. Graham was named the co-Most Valuable Player of the league alongside Albert. Browns games were televised for the first time in 1948.

The season is recognized as perfect by the Pro Football Hall of Fame, although the National Football League (NFL), which absorbed the Browns when the AAFC dissolved in 1949, does not recognize it. Ohio senator Sherrod Brown wrote a letter to NFL commissioner Roger Goodell in 2008 asking the league to officially recognize AAFC team statistics, including the perfect season. The 2007 New England Patriots were vying to complete a 19–0 season at the time and join the 1972 Miami Dolphins as the only teams to register a perfect record.

In the 2017 NFL season, the Browns went 0-16, becoming the first team in NFL history to have a imperfect season and a perfect season.

1956 NFL Championship Game

In the 1956 National Football League Championship Game was the league's 24th championship game, played at Yankee Stadium in The Bronx in New York City on December 30.The New York Giants (8–3–1) won the Eastern Conference title and hosted the Chicago Bears (9–2–1), the Western Conference champions. The teams had met in the regular season five weeks earlier on November 25 at Yankee Stadium and played to a 17–17 tie; the Bears entered the championship game in late December as slight favorites. The Giants hosted because the home field for the title game alternated between the conferences; home field advantage was not implemented until 1975.

Both teams had been absent from the league title game for a decade, when the Bears won the championship over the Giants at the Polo Grounds in 1946. The Giants' most recent NFL title was before World War II, in 1938. The 1956 season marked the Giants' first at Yankee Stadium, moving across the Harlem River from the Polo Grounds. This was the first championship since 1949 without the Cleveland Browns, who had appeared in six consecutive since joining the NFL in 1950.

The 1956 Giants featured a number of Hall of Fame players, including running backs Frank Gifford and Alex Webster, offensive tackle Roosevelt Brown, linebacker Sam Huff, and defensive end Andy Robustelli. Two assistants of Giants head coach Jim Lee Howell, offensive coordinator Vince Lombardi and defensive coordinator Tom Landry, later became Hall of Fame head coaches with other franchises; Lombardi coached the Green Bay Packers to five NFL Championships during the 1960s and Landry led the Dallas Cowboys to five Super Bowls, with two wins, during the 1970s. He was the head coach of the Cowboys for 29 seasons, through 1988.

1960 American Football League Championship Game

The 1960 American Football League Championship Game was the first AFL title game, played on New Year's Day 1961 at Jeppesen Stadium in Houston, Texas. With New Year's on Sunday, the major college bowl games were played on Monday, January 2.The game matched the Eastern Division champion Houston Oilers (10–4), against the Western Division champion Los Angeles Chargers (10–4), in the first championship game of the new American Football League. The host Oilers were a 6½-point favorite.The AFL had established a format in which championship games would be alternated each year between the Western Division winners and the Eastern Division. The first game was originally scheduled to be played in the cavernous Los Angeles Coliseum but with the Chargers drawing less than 10,000 a game in the 100,000+ seat coliseum it was feared ABC would pull its contract because of empty seats so the game was moved to the smaller Jeppesen Stadium in Houston, where it drew 32,183. It rained the five days prior to the game.Oilers' quarterback George Blanda had retired after ten seasons in the NFL and did not play during the 1959 season; he threw three touchdown passes (and kicked a field goal and three extra points) to lead Houston to the first AFL title, 24–16.

1960 Houston Oilers season

The 1960 Houston Oilers season was the first season for the Houston Oilers as a professional American football franchise; Head Coach Lou Rymkus led the Oilers to the AFL Eastern Division title, with a 10–4 record. It was also the first American Football League season. It ended with a 24–16 victory in the AFL championship game at home over the Los Angeles Chargers (10–4).

Agajanian

Agajanian is an Armenian surname. Notable people with the surname include:

Ben Agajanian (born 1919), Armenian-American football player

Cary Agajanian, one of the owners of the CURB/Agajanian/Beck Motorsports Indy Racing League team

Dennis Agajanian, Christian musician known as one of the fastest flatpickers in the world

J. C. Agajanian (1913-1984), Armenian-American motorsports promoter and race car owner

Fair catch kick

The fair catch kick is a rule at the professional and high school levels of American football that allows a team that has just made a fair catch to attempt a free kick from the spot of the catch. The kick must be either a place kick or a drop kick, and if it passes over the crossbar and between the goalposts of the defensive team's goal, a field goal, worth three points, is awarded to the offensive team.

The fair catch kick has its origins in rugby football. The rule is considered to be obscure and unusual, as most fair catches are made well out of field goal range, and in most cases a team that has a fair catch within theoretical range will attempt a normal drive to score a touchdown. The fair catch kick is generally used when a team has fair caught a ball within field goal range and there is insufficient time to score a touchdown. At the professional level, the last successful fair catch kick was made in 1976.

Hardy Brown

Hardy Brown (May 8, 1924 – November 8, 1991) was an American football linebacker in the National Football League (NFL), All-America Football Conference (AAFC), and the American Football League (AFL). He played college football at the University of Tulsa and then professionally for the San Francisco 49ers, Washington Redskins, and the Denver Broncos. He was one of only two men who played in the All-America Football Conference, the National Football League, and the American Football League (the other was Ben Agajanian).When Brown was four years old, he witnessed the murder of his father. He was then sent, along with his brothers and sisters, to live at the Texas Masonic Home, an orphanage for the children of deceased Freemasons in Fort Worth, Texas. At the Masonic Home, Brown became friends with Tex Coulter. Brown was a standout football player for the Mighty Mites, leading them to the state semi-finals his senior year. He then enlisted in the United States Marine Corps, serving as a Paramarine during the Second World War, before playing football at Tulsa and eventually professionally. Brown became known as one of the roughest defensive players in the game, knocking out numerous opponents with his trademark shoulder push. The Rams once offered a $500 bounty to any player who could take him out, and he had his shoulder pads checked before a game once to make sure he did not have metal plating or other such material stuffed in them. His reputation was such that supposedly, on one occasion, when future Hall of Fame quarterback Bob Waterfield was hit by a car, his first response was, "I didn't know that Hardy Brown was in town."Brown died in 1991 in a mental institution after suffering from dementia, emphysema, and arthritis in his right (knockout) shoulder so bad he couldn't lift his arm to scratch his head.

J. C. Agajanian

Joshua "J.C./Aggie" Agajanian (June 16, 1913 – May 5, 1984) was an influential figure in American motorsports history. He was a promoter and race car owner.

List of American Football League players

The following is a list of men who played for the American Football League (AFL, 1960–1969).

List of Armenian Americans

This is a list of notable Armenian-Americans, including both original immigrants who obtained American citizenship and their American descendants.

American Armenians are people born, raised, or who reside in the United States, with origins in the country known as Armenia, which ranges from the Caucasian mountain range to the Armenian plateau. There has been sporadic emigration from Armenia to the U.S. since the late 19th century, with the biggest influx coming after the Armenian Genocide of the early 20th century. The largest community is based in Los Angeles; however, other sizeable communities exist in Boston, Detroit and the New York metropolitan area.

Statistics from the United States 2000 Census, 385,488 Americans indicated either full or partial Armenian ancestry.

List of Green Bay Packers retired numbers

The Green Bay Packers are a professional American football team based in Green Bay, Wisconsin. Since their founding in 1919, over 1,600 players, including 30 Pro Football Hall of Famers have played for the team. Of those 30, 6 players have had their uniform numbers officially retired by the organization. Professional sports franchises, including the Packers, retire uniform numbers to recognize the contributions that a player has made towards the team. It is customary that after the uniform number is retired, it is no longer worn by future players with that team. These uniform numbers are usually prominently displayed within the team's arena or stadium. In the case of the Green Bay Packers, the retired numbers are displayed above the box seats in the north end zone of Lambeau Field.The first number retired by a team in a professional sport was ice hockey player Ace Bailey, whose No. 6 was retired by the Toronto Maple Leafs in 1934. The retirement of jersey numbers has spread to all major sports since then, including baseball, cricket, ice hockey, basketball, American football, and association football. There is no formal process for retiring jersey numbers; the criteria for and necessity of doing so are left up to each team. Some teams have even retired numbers to honor their fans, such as the Twelfth Man or the Sixth Man, and to honor the victims of tragedies, like when the No. 58 was retired by the Vegas Golden Knights hockey team to honor the 58 people killed in the 2017 Las Vegas shooting.

List of New York Giants players

This article is a list of American football players who have played for the National Football League (NFL)'s New York Giants. It includes players that have played one or more games for the Giants in the NFL regular season. The New York Giants franchise was founded in 1925. The Giants have played for nineteen NFL Championships and have won eight, including four of the five Super Bowls in which they have played.

List of Philadelphia Eagles players

This is a complete list of American football players who have played for the Philadelphia Eagles of the National Football League (NFL). It includes players that have played at least one game in the NFL regular season. The Philadelphia Eagles franchise was founded in 1933. The Eagles played in four pre-Super Bowl Era NFL Championships (1947, 1948, 1949 and 1960) winning three (1948, 1949 and 1960). They have also played in three Super Bowls (XV, XXXIX and LII), winning Super Bowl LII.

Mac Percival

Mac L. Percival (born February 26, 1940 in Vernon, Texas) is a former American football placekicker in the National Football League for the Chicago Bears and Dallas Cowboys. He played college basketball at Texas Tech University.

Placekicker

Placekicker, or simply kicker (PK or K), is the player in American and Canadian football who is responsible for the kicking duties of field goals and extra points. In many cases, the placekicker also serves as the team's kickoff specialist or punter as well.

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