Jan Stenerud

Jan Stenerud (/ˈstɛnəruːd/, Norwegian: [ˈsteːnərʉːd]; born November 26, 1942) is a Norwegian-born former American football player for the AFL/NFL Kansas City Chiefs (1967–1979), Green Bay Packers (1980–1983), and Minnesota Vikings (1984–1985). He is the first pure placekicker to be inducted in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Stenerud is distinguished as being the first Norwegian to play in the NFL.

Jan Stenerud
refer to caption
Stenerud in 2005
No. 3, 10
Position:Placekicker
Personal information
Born:November 26, 1942 (age 76)
Fetsund, Norway
Height:6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
Weight:187 lb (85 kg)
Career information
College:Montana State
AFL draft:1966 / Round: Red Shirt 3 / Pick: 24
Career history
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Field goals:373/558 (66.8%)
Longest field goal:55
Extra points:580/601 (96.5%)
Points scored:1,699
Player stats at NFL.com
Player stats at PFR

Background

Born in Fetsund, in the county of Akershus, Norway, Stenerud came to the United States as a college student, on a ski jumping scholarship to Montana State University in Bozeman.[1][2] In the fall of 1964, Stenerud was training for the upcoming ski season by running the stadium steps of Gatton Field, the football venue through 1971, directly south of Romney Gym. That day, he was cooling down from a workout by kicking a football with injured halfback Dale Jackson. Stenerud had played soccer as a youth in Norway, and his right leg's prowess was observed by basketball head coach Roger Craft, while he walked to the nearby Fieldhouse.[2] Craft notified football head coach Jim Sweeney of the Norwegian ski jumper's kicking abilities, and Sweeney offered him a tryout, which was successful. Though ineligible for football competition that season, Sweeney encouraged Stenerud to suit up with the team for the final home game of 1964, to help him better understand the unfamiliar American game.[3][4]

Following the ski season, Stenerud joined the football team for spring drills in 1965 and as a junior that fall he kicked a 59-yard field goal, then a college football record, in a 24–7 home win over rival Montana.[3][5] In 2013, Stenerud recalled that he had a significant tail-wind aiding him on that kick in Bozeman; the ensuing kick-off went over the end-zone bleachers at Gatton Field,[4] whose elevation exceeded 4,900 feet (1,495 m) above sea level.[6] He was named an All-American by The Sporting News as a senior in 1966,[4] and was also an All-American in ski jumping and a three-time Big Sky champion.[7]

Professional career

Stenerud was one of the first professional football players to be used as a dedicated kicker, because of his excellent "sharpshooting" ball-kicking performance. He was one of the first placekickers to use the "soccer style", a technique the Hungarian-born Pete Gogolak had recently introduced in the AFL. During his first three years as professional, the last seasons for the AFL, Stenerud hit 70% of his field goals, compared with a 53% average for the other kickers in the AFL and NFL.

The Chiefs were the final AFL champions in 1969, and they met the NFL Champion Minnesota Vikings in Super Bowl IV in New Orleans. The underdog Chiefs won 23-7, and Stenerud kicked three field goals, scoring the first nine points of the game. His first, a 48-yarder, was the longest field goal in a Super Bowl for 24 years, exceeded by Steve Christie of the Buffalo Bills in Super Bowl XXVIII in January 1994.

On Christmas Day 1971, the Chiefs hosted the Miami Dolphins in an AFC divisional playoff game. In perhaps his toughest day as a professional, Stenerud made a 24-yard field goal in the first quarter, but then missed from 29 and 32 yards, the latter with 35 seconds remaining in regulation, and had a 42-yarder blocked three minutes into overtime.[8] The Dolphins won 27–24 in double overtime on a 37-yard field goal by Garo Yepremian.[9][10] Through 2017, the game remains the longest in NFL history at 82 minutes, 40 seconds of playing time, and was also the final football game in Municipal Stadium.

Jan Stenerud
Stenerud's name in the Chiefs' ring of honor at Arrowhead Stadium

Stenerud retired after the 1985 season, his 19th (3 AFL, 16 NFL). He converted 373 out of 558 field goals (67 percent) and 580 out of 601 extra points (97%) for a total of 1,699 points scored. At the time of his retirement, he was the longest-tenured (19 years) professional football player to have played in the AFL.

Enshrined in 1991, Stenerud, along with George Blanda, Lou Groza, Ray Guy, and 2017 inductee Morten Andersen, is one of only five kicking specialists in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, and is one of three who did not play another position (Blanda played quarterback, Groza was a tackle). The Chiefs retired Stenerud's jersey number 3 in his honor. In 1994, he was selected to the NFL's 75th Anniversary Team.

In recent years, Stenerud has been involved in a Kansas City firm involved in designing stadiums and sports arenas. He also worked as a commentator for Scandinavian TV channel TV3's Super Bowl Sunday coverage in the 1990s, and still maintains strong ties with his native Norway. The street where he grew up, in the municipality Fetsund, was renamed in his honor.

References

  1. ^ "Montana's Mt. Rushmore of Sports". ESPN. February 2, 2009. Retrieved August 21, 2011.
  2. ^ a b Nuanez, Colter (April 25, 2013). "Hometwon Hero: Bobcat legend Jan Stenerud honored by MSU, Pro Football Hall of Fame". Bobcat Nation. Archived from the original on January 8, 2014. Retrieved January 8, 2014.
  3. ^ a b "Stenerud to be honored by Hall of Fame in Bozeman Thursday". Montana State University Athletics. April 19, 2013. Retrieved January 8, 2014.
  4. ^ a b c "Bobcat legend Stenerud to be honored in Bozeman". Missoulian. (Montana). Billings Gazette news services. April 25, 2013. Retrieved January 8, 2014.
  5. ^ "Montana State, 24-7". Eugene Register-Guard. (Oregon). Associated Press. November 7, 1965. p. 3B.
  6. ^ "The distinctions aren't as easy to make any more, but, God willing, some things will never change". missoulian.com. Retrieved October 13, 2008.
  7. ^ Putnam, Pat (November 4, 1968). "Big kick out of a strange game". Sports Illustrated: 74.
  8. ^ "Kicker climaxes longest tussle". Spokane Daily Chronicle. (Washington). Associated Press. December 27, 1971. p. 16.
  9. ^ Underwood, John (January 3, 1972). "Up, up, up and away". Sports Illustrated: 12.
  10. ^ "Yepremian boots FG in long battle". Youngstown Vindicator. (Ohio). Associated Press. December 26, 1971. p. D-1.

External links

1966 American Football League draft

The 1966 American Football League draft was held on Saturday, November 27, 1965. The AFL added the Miami Dolphins as an expansion team in 1966 to bring its total to nine franchises for its seventh season. The only Hall of Famer to come out of this draft was Jan Stenerud, who was picked by the Kansas City Chiefs in the third round of the Red Shirt portion of the draft.

This was the last competitive draft of the American Football League before the AFL–NFL merger agreement, which was announced in June 1966. The next draft of college players in 1967 was a common draft, held in mid-March.

The 1966 NFL Draft was held the same day, November 27, 1965.

1967 Kansas City Chiefs season

The 1967 Kansas City Chiefs season was the 8th season for the Kansas City Chiefs as a professional AFL franchise; Despite their AFL championship win and an appearance in the inaugural AFL-NFL championship game the previous year, the Chiefs missed the AFL playoffs for the first time since 1965.

The club’s special teams got a boost with the addition of kicker Jan Stenerud from Montana State and kick returner Noland “Super Gnat” Smith from Tennessee State. Interest in the team skyrocketed, forcing an increase in seating capacity at Municipal Stadium from 40,000 to 47,000. In June, Jackson County voters approved a $43 million bond issue for construction of a sports complex to be completed by 1972.

The Chiefs' first non-playoff game against an NFL team resulted in a commanding 66–24 Chiefs preseason victory against the Chicago Bears at Municipal Stadium on August 23. Injuries again hit the club hard during the regular season as the Chiefs clawed their way to a 9–5 record.

1968 Cincinnati Bengals season

The 1968 Cincinnati Bengals season was the team's first year in professional football.

Paul Brown, who left the Cleveland Browns following the 1962 season with National Football League (NFL) record of 115–49–6, seven conference titles, and three NFL championships, had the urge to get back into football. His son Mike Brown did a study on pro football expansion and recommended Cincinnati as a potential site. In 1965, Brown met with Ohio Governor James Rhodes and the two agreed the state could accommodate a second pro football team.

1966 – Fearful the Cincinnati Reds baseball team would leave town and feeling pressure from local businessmen pushing for a pro football franchise, Cincinnati's city council approved the construction of Riverfront Stadium.

1967 – Brown's group was awarded an American Football League (AFL) expansion franchise. Brown named the team the Bengals, the name of Cincinnati's pro teams in the old AFL of the late 1930s. The Bengals acquired their first player late in the year when they traded two draft picks to Miami for quarterback John Stofa.

1968 – The Bengals were awarded 40 veteran players in the allocation draft. In the college draft, they selected University of Tennessee center Bob Johnson as their first pick. The Bengals lost their first preseason game 38–14 to the Kansas City Chiefs before 21,682 fans at the University of Cincinnati's Nippert Stadium. The Bengals upset the Denver Broncos 24–10 and the Buffalo Bills 34–23 in their first two regular-season home games. Halfback Paul Robinson led the AFL in rushing with 1,023 yards and was named Rookie of the Year.

1969 Kansas City Chiefs season

The 1969 Kansas City Chiefs season was the team's 10th, their 7th in Kansas City, and also their final season in the American Football League. It resulted in an 11–3 record and a 23–7 victory in Super Bowl IV over the NFL's heavily favored Minnesota Vikings. The team beat their rivals, the Oakland Raiders in the final AFL Championship Game, claiming their third AFL Championship in franchise history. The Chiefs were coached by Hank Stram, led by quarterback Len Dawson and a powerful defense led by Bobby Bell, Willie Lanier, Buck Buchanan, Emmitt Thomas, Johnny Robinson and Curley Culp. The Chiefs' defense became the fourth defense in the history of pro football to lead its league in fewest rushing yards, fewest passing yards and fewest total yards. The Chiefs were the second AFL team to win the Super Bowl and last AFL team to do so before the AFL-NFL Merger in the following season.

The season was marred not only by an injury to quarterback Len Dawson but also controversy surrounding Dawson and his purported involvement in a sports gambling ring. Back-up quarterback Mike Livingston and the Chiefs' stellar defense led the Chiefs back to the Super Bowl, this time, to win it all.

Along with owner Lamar Hunt, nine future Hall of Famers were members of the 1969 Chiefs, including QB Len Dawson, LBs Willie Lanier and Bobby Bell, DT Buck Buchanan, DT Curley Culp, CB Emmitt Thomas, S Johnny Robinson, K Jan Stenerud, and Coach Hank Stram.

In 2006, the 1969 Kansas City Chiefs were ranked as the 18th greatest Super Bowl champions on the NFL Network's documentary America's Game: The Super Bowl Champions.In 2007, ESPN.com ranked the 1969 Chiefs as the seventh-greatest defense in NFL history, noting "Hank Stram's 'Triple Stack' defense, which gave the linebackers lots of room to roam, was superb, holding five opponents to fewer than 10 points and giving up an average of less than two touchdowns a game.... Then they got serious. Against the [defending] Super Bowl champion Jets in the AFL divisional playoff game at Shea Stadium, the Chiefs held on for a 13–6 victory, thanks to a remarkable three-play goal line stand that stifled the Jets on the one. After losing twice to the Raiders during the regular season, the Chiefs allowed a single touchdown, in the first quarter, to win the AFL title over Oakland 17–7. The Chiefs defense then stifled the Vikings in the Super Bowl, allowing only two rushing first downs and picking off three passes in the fourth quarter to win 23–7. Total points against the Chiefs in the playoffs: 20." Kansas City is the only team in the Super Bowl era to win the title without allowing as much as 10 points in any postseason game.

1971 Kansas City Chiefs season

The 1971 Kansas City Chiefs season was the franchise's 2nd season in the National Football League, the 9th as the Kansas City Chiefs, and the 12th overall. They improved from a 7–5–2 campaign in 1970 to record a 10–3–1 mark and win the AFC West division championship, the Chiefs' first division title since 1966. The Chiefs tied with the Miami Dolphins for the best record in the AFC and were tied for the third-best record overall in the NFL, trailing only the 11–3 marks of the Dallas Cowboys and Minnesota Vikings.

Most of the pieces of the team which won Super Bowl IV two years earlier were still in place. Left defensive end Jerry Mays retired after the 1970 season, with Marvin Upshaw taking his spot, but the other 10 defensive starters were the same as they were two years prior. Middle linebacker Willie Lanier was a unanimous All-Pro selection following the season, and would likely have been named NFL Defensive Player of the Year had not Viking defensive tackle Alan Page become the second defensive player to win the league's Most Valuable Player award. Outside linebacker Bobby Bell, defensive tackles Buck Buchanan and Curley Culp, and cornerback Emmitt Thomas joined Lanier on the AFC Pro Bowl squad following the season. Bell, Buchanan, Culp, Lanier, and Thomas are all members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

On offense, Robert Holmes was traded to the San Diego Chargers midway through the season, leaving Wendell Hayes to assume the fullback duties next to third-year pro Ed Podolak, who had become the starting halfback when Mike Garrett was traded to San Diego in 1970. Morris Stroud, the tallest player in NFL history at 6-foot-10, and Willie Frazier, acquired from San Diego, alternated at tight end for the retired Fred Arbanas, but the rest of the offensive line, save for center Jack Rudnay, remained the same from the Super Bowl winning team. Rudnay assumed the starting center spot in 1970 over veteran E. J. Holub. At wide receiver, rookie Elmo Wright, the Chiefs' first-round pick in the 1971 NFL Draft from the University of Houston, assumed the slot opposite all-pro Otis Taylor, as Frank Pitts had moved on to the Cleveland Browns. Taylor earned selection to the Pro Bowl, along with guard Ed Budde, quarterback Len Dawson, and tackle Jim Tyrer.

Kansas City's special teams remained among the league's elite units, thanks to the combination of kicker Jan Stenerud and punter Jerrel Wilson, both of whom were named to the Pro Bowl. Podolak and Warren McVea handled the bulk of the return duties.

The season was the last for the Chiefs in Municipal Stadium, as owner Lamar Hunt and general manager Jack Steadman were overseeing the construction of Arrowhead Stadium, located at the junction of Interstate 70 and Interstate 435 in Jackson County, Missouri, at the eastern edge of the Kansas City city limits. Arrowhead, along with Royals Stadium, being constructed for the Kansas City Royals of Major League Baseball, would form the Truman Sports Complex, bucking the trend of multi-purpose stadiums in vogue at the time.

The season ended in heartbreak, as the Miami Dolphins won the longest game in National Football League history on Christmas Day, defeating the Chiefs 27–24 in double-overtime on a 37-yard field goal by Garo Yepremian in the last football game in Municipal Stadium, as well as the last game for safety Johnny Robinson, who was an original member of the Dallas Texans in 1960. Coach Hank Stram often called the 1971 Chiefs the franchise's best-ever squad, and this loss haunted Stram for the rest of his life, even after his induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2003. Stram died July 4, 2005 at age 82. Others who are in the Hall of Fame from this squad are owner Hunt (who died December 13, 2006, at age 74), quarterback Dawson, and kicker Stenerud.

The loss to Miami began a nosedive in the Chiefs' fortunes. Kansas City backslid to 8–6 and 7–5–2 in 1972 and 1973, before falling to 5–9 and a tie for last in the AFC West in 1974, leading to the Stram's firing following the season. Kansas City would not reach the playoffs again until 1986, did not host (or win) another playoff game until 1991, and did not win the AFC West division title again until 1993.

1972 Pro Bowl

The 1972 Pro Bowl was the NFL's 22nd annual all-star game which featured the outstanding performers from the 1971 season. The game was played on January 23, 1972, at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles, California. The final Score was AFC 26, NFC 13. The Kansas City Chiefs swept the Most Valuable Player (MVP) awards, with placekicker Jan Stenerud named the game's offensive MVP and Willie Lanier selected as the defensive MVP. This was the last NFL game overall played with the hashmarks (also called the inbound lines) set at 40 feet apart (20 yards from the sidelines); the next season, they were brought in to 18​1⁄2 feet, the width of the goalposts, where they still stand to this day.Attendance at the game was 53,647. Don McCafferty of the Baltimore Colts coached the AFC while the NFC was led by the San Francisco 49ers' Dick Nolan. The referee was Ben Dreith.

1977 Oakland Raiders season

The 1977 Oakland Raiders season was the team's 18th season overall, and 8th season since joining the NFL. The Raiders entered the season as the defending Super Bowl champions.

The 1977 Raiders reached the AFC Championship Game for the fifth consecutive season, and their sixth time in eight years. They lost the AFC Championship, however, to the division rival Denver Broncos.

The 1977 Raiders set a professional football record with 681 rushing attempts. Fullback Mark van Eeghen 324 times for 1273 yards, and running back Clarence Davis ran 194 times for 787 yards.

1980 Kansas City Chiefs season

The 1980 Kansas City Chiefs season was the franchise's 11th season in the National Football League and 21st overall. They improved from 1979 from a 7–9 to an 8–8 record, the most wins for the franchise since an 8–6 season in 1972, but with missing the playoffs for the ninth consecutive season.

The Chiefs selected guard Brad Budde, the son of Chiefs Hall of Fame guard Ed Budde, as the team's first-round draft choice, making the Buddes the first father-son combination to become first-round draftees of the same team in NFL history. In a then-controversial move on August 26, the Chiefs released placekicker Jan Stenerud, who at the time was club's all-time leading scorer. He was replaced by journeyman Nick Lowery, who had been cut 11 times by eight different teams himself.After suffering an 0–4 start, the team rebounded to post a four-game winning streak. After Steve Fuller was sidelined with a knee injury late in the season, former Miami 12th-round draft choice Bill Kenney became the team's starting quarterback. He was so anonymous that when he appeared in that contest, the name on the back of his jersey was inadvertently misspelled "Kenny." Kenney went on to lead the club to a 31–14 victory against Denver on December 7 in his initial NFL start. The defense continued to evolve as defensive end Art Still and safety Gary Barbaro became the first Chiefs defensive players to be elected to the Pro Bowl in five seasons.

1983 Green Bay Packers season

The 1983 Green Bay Packers season was their 65th season overall and their 63rd in the National Football League. The club posted an 8–8 record under ninth-year head coach Bart Starr to finish second in the NFC Central division. The team set an NFL record for most overtime games played in one season with five, winning two and losing three. On Monday Night Football in October, Green Bay defeated the Washington Redskins, 48–47, in the highest-scoring game in MNF history. It was voted one of the ten best Packer games and is featured on the NFL Films collection, "The Green Bay Packers Greatest Games."

Green Bay hovered around the .500 mark all season. Entering their final regular season game on December 18 at Chicago, the Packers (8–7) could secure a playoff berth with a victory. Green Bay scored a touchdown to take a one-point lead with just over three minutes in the game, and Chicago running back Walter Payton was sidelined with a wrist injury. The Bears returned the kickoff to their 38 and drove fifty yards, down to the Packer twelve, with 1:17 remaining. Although Green Bay had all three of its timeouts, they opted not to use any, and the Bears kicked a winning 22-yard field goal with ten seconds on the clock. Green Bay fumbled away the ensuing kickoff, and the Los Angeles Rams (9–7) gained the final playoff slot.Starr was fired the following day by team president Robert Parins, ending a 26-year association with the team as a player and coach. Former player Forrest Gregg, the head coach of the Cincinnati Bengals, was hired before the end of the week, announced on Christmas Eve. Gregg had led the Bengals to Super Bowl XVI two years earlier, but had less success in his four seasons in Green Bay, then left for his alma mater SMU in Dallas in January 1988.

1983 Washington Redskins season

The 1983 Washington Redskins season was the franchise's 52nd season in the National Football League (NFL) and their 47th in Washington, D.C.. The season began with the team trying to win consecutive Super Bowls, following their victory in Super Bowl XVII against the Miami Dolphins. Washington's 14–2 record was the best in the NFL. Though the Redskins did win their second-consecutive NFC Championship they were blown out by the Los Angeles Raiders in Super Bowl XVIII, 9–38.

The Redskins' 541 points scored and +209 point differential was the best in the league, with the 541 points setting an NFL record at the time. The 1983 Redskins also had a turnover margin of +43, an NFL record. Washington was the first team since the merger to record more than 60 takeaways (61).This season is cornerback Darrell Green's first in the league. He would spend the next 19 years with the team.

1984 All-Pro Team

The 1984 All-Pro Team is composed of the National Football League players that were named to the Associated Press, Newspaper Enterprise Association, Pro Football Writers Association, Pro Football Weekly, and The Sporting News in 1984. Both first- and second- teams are listed for the AP and NEA teams. These are the five teams that are included in Total Football II: The Official Encyclopedia of the National Football League. In 1984 the Pro Football Writers Association chose only one defensive tackle and two inside linebackers in a pure 3-4 format. Pro Football Weekly added a "Special Teams" player, a non-returner who excelled in special teams play.

1991 Kansas City Chiefs season

The 1991 Kansas City Chiefs season was the franchise's 22nd season in the National Football League and 32nd overall. They failed to improve on their 11–5 record from 1990 and finished with a 10–6 record. The Chiefs passing game wasn't as good as their 1990 campaign as Steve DeBerg’s consistency dropped. The running game made up for lost time as Christian Okoye ran for 1,031 yards for the season, and Barry Word was productive, and rookie Harvey Williams was outstanding in limited playing time. The Chiefs defeated their division rival, the Los Angeles Raiders in the Wild Card round, resulting in the franchise's first playoff victory since Super Bowl IV in 1970. The next week, the Chiefs lost to the Buffalo Bills in the divisional playoffs.

The season began on July 27 when Jan Stenerud, the hero of Super Bowl IV was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

But the Chiefs rebounded to win 4 straight games, including an October 7 game in which the Chiefs trounced the Buffalo Bills 33–6. It was the Chiefs' first home Monday Night Football game since 1983 and on October 13, The Chiefs blasted the Miami Dolphins 42–7 as Christian Okoye ran for 153 yards.

The Chiefs continued to play playoff football and on December 22 Christmas came early for the Chiefs and their fans. By playing brilliantly and holding off the Raiders, in the end, they left Los Angeles with a 27–21 win. The victory gave the Chiefs a home playoff game against the Raiders. A loss would have meant playing in Los Angeles again the following week. It was the first playoff game in Kansas City in 20 years.

The offense was superb as quarterback Steve DeBerg completed 14 of 20 passes for 227 yards and 2 touchdowns. Barry Word rushed for 152 yards, and J. J. Birden caught 8 passes for 188 yards and 2 touchdowns. Even more impressive was that the Chiefs didn’t have to punt in the game and held the ball for almost 40 minutes.

List of Green Bay Packers in the Pro Football Hall of Fame

The Green Bay Packers are a professional American football team based in Green Bay, Wisconsin. They are currently members of the North Division of the National Football Conference (NFC) in the National Football League (NFL), and are the third-oldest franchise in the NFL. Founded in 1919 by coach, player, and future Hall of Fame inductee Curly Lambeau and sports and telegraph editor George Whitney Calhoun, the Packers organization has become one of the most successful professional football teams, having won a total of 13 professional American football championships—nine NFL Championships and four Super Bowls—the most in the NFL. The franchise has recorded 18 NFL divisional titles, eight NFL conference championships, and the second most regular season and overall victories of any NFL franchise, behind the Chicago Bears. In 1963, the Pro Football Hall of Fame was created to honor the history of professional American football and the individuals who have greatly influenced it. Since the charter induction class of 1963, 31 individuals who have played or coached for the Packers have been inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.Of the 30 inductees, 25 made their primary contribution to football with the Packers, while five only contributed a minor portion of their career to the Packers and two were assistant coaches. Of the original 17 individuals inducted in 1963, four spent the major part of their career with the Green Bay Packers. This includes the founder Curly Lambeau, the NFL's all-time offensive tackle Cal Hubbard, the 1941 and 1942 Most Valuable Player Don Hutson, and 1931 All-NFL player Johnny (Blood) McNally. The first two decades of the Hall of Fame's existence saw 17 Packers enshrined, including one inductee who was not a player for the Packers, Vince Lombardi. Coaching the Packers from 1959 to 1967, Lombardi led the team to five NFL Championships, plus winning the first two Super Bowls against the American Football League, and an overall winning percentage of .754. The most recent Packer to be inducted was Jerry Kramer in 2018.

List of Kansas City Chiefs players

This is a select list of players from the Kansas City Chiefs football team from the National Football League.

For more information, see Kansas City Chiefs.

List of athletes from Montana

There are no major league sports franchises in the American state of Montana due to the state's relatively small and dispersed population, but a number of minor-league teams play in the state.

Baseball is the minor-league sport with the longest heritage in the state, and Montana is home to four Minor League baseball teams, all members of the Pioneer Baseball League. Many athletes move out of Montana to pursue their professional career in other states.

Football and basketball are the two most popular sports at the high school level. Montana is one of the few states where the smallest high schools participate in six-man football leagues. Numerous other sports are played at the club and amateur level, including softball, rugby, and soccer.

A number of Montanans have become notable for their involvement in a wide range of sport. Dave McNally is a baseball player who was a starting pitcher for the Baltimore Orioles for 13 years. Phil Jackson is a basketball player and head coach who has been voted one of the Top 10 Coaches in National Basketball Association History. Flint Rasmussen is a rodeo clown who won the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association "Clown of the Year" award for eight consecutive years. Football players and coaches from Montana include Dave Dickenson, Pat Donovan, Jerry Kramer, and Jan Stenerud. Dickenson played quarterback in both the Canadian Football League (CFL) and National Football League (NFL) before becoming a head coach in the CFL for the Calgary Stampeders and BC Lions. Pat Donovan was ranked the top football player and number five overall athlete from Montana in the 20th century. Donovan played left tackle for the Dallas Cowboys, was a four-time Pro Bowler, and played in three Super Bowls, winning one. Jerry Kramer played offensive guard for the Green Bay Packers, was a three-time Pro Bowler, and a five-time All-Pro. He is ranked the number one player not in the Pro Football Hall of Fame by many Hall of Fame voters. Jan Stenerud is a Norwegian who went to college in Montana on a ski jumping scholarship. He was a placekicker in the American Football League (AFL) and NFL for 19 years, mostly for the Kansas City Chiefs. He was the first soccer-style kicker in the NFL and was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1991.In 1904, a group of young Native-American women from Montana, after playing undefeated during their last season, went to the Louisiana Purchase Exposition held in St. Louis, Missouri, and defeated all challenging teams and were declared to be world champions. For this they received a large silver trophy with the inscription "World's Fair – St. Louis, 1904 – Basket Ball – Won by Fort Shaw Team".

Montana State Bobcats football

The Montana State Bobcats football program competes in the Big Sky Conference of the NCAA's Division I Football Championship Subdivision for Montana State University. The program began in 1897 and has won three national championships (1956, 1976, and 1984). It is the only college football program in the nation to win national championships on three different levels of competition, NAIA, NCAA Division II, and NCAA Division I-AA (now FCS). The Bobcats have played in 981 games and their all-time record stands at 491–482–32.

The first championship came in Montana State's last season in the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference, which moved to NAIA in 1952. The national championship was the first ever for the RMAC and was also the first time the NAIA had a football champion. The Bobcats were members of the RMAC from 1917 to 1956, after being an independent from 1897 to 1916. MSC rejoined the NCAA (College Division) in 1957, and had one of its most successful runs as an independent from 1957 to 1962 with six straight winning seasons, including an 8–2 mark in 1957 and 8–1 in 1958. In 1963, Montana State became a charter member of the Big Sky Conference, where it has won two national championships.

Montana State has won 20 conference titles, including 15 in the Big Sky Conference and five in the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference. The Bobcats have won conference titles in eight of the past nine decades and have won multiple conference titles in seven of the last eight decades. MSU finished the 1926 season undefeated in RMAC conference games, but was not awarded a conference title. They have qualified for the NCAA playoffs eight times, once (1976) as a Division II member and seven times (1984, 2002, 2003, 2006, 2010, 2011, and 2012) as a Division I-AA/FCS member. MSU has been in the post-season twelve times, most recently in 2012. Through the 2016 season, the Bobcats are 12–9–2 in postseason play.

Their primary rival is Montana, whom they meet in the annual Brawl of the Wild, more commonly referred to as the Cat-Griz game.

Morten Andersen

Morten Andersen (born August 19, 1960), nicknamed the "Great Dane", is a Danish former American football kicker and All-American at Michigan State University. He is the all-time leader in games played in the NFL, with 382, the former all-time leading scorer as well as leading field goals in NFL history having had his record broken by Adam Vinatieri and, at retirement, the all-time leading scorer for two different rival teams; the New Orleans Saints, with whom he spent 13 seasons, and the Atlanta Falcons, with whom he spent a combined eight seasons.

He retired in 2008, after not playing for a team that season. Andersen was announced as a member of the 2017 induction class of the Pro Football Hall of Fame at that year's NFL Honors. He is only the second exclusive placekicker inducted in the Hall of Fame, and the first since Jan Stenerud in 1991.

Ray Guy

William Ray Guy (born December 22, 1949) is a former American football punter for the Oakland/Los Angeles Raiders of the National Football League (NFL). Guy was a unanimous All-American selection in 1972 as a senior at the University of Southern Mississippi, and was the first pure punter ever to be drafted in the first round of the NFL Draft, when the Oakland Raiders selected him with the 23rd overall pick in 1973. Guy was elected to both the College Football Hall of Fame and the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2014. A six-time NFL All-Pro, Guy is widely considered to be the greatest punter of all time.With his induction to the Hall of Fame on August 2, 2014, he became only the second pure kicker (after Jan Stenerud) and the first pure punter so honored.

Rex Robinson

Rex Robinson (born March 17, 1959) is a place kicker that played for the Marietta Blue Devils, University of Georgia Bulldogs of the Southeastern Conference and the New England Patriots of the National Football League.

Originally from Marietta, Georgia, Rex Robinson grew up watching the NFL’s latest curiosities, soccer style kickers, such as Jan Stenerud, Garo Yepremian, and Pete and Charlie Gogalak on television each Sunday and then tried to imitate what he saw them doing. By the time he reached high school, he was receiving a great deal of attention. As a 15-year-old on Marietta’s JV team, Rex kicked a 51-yard FG in a game. A local news station sent a crew out to verify the feat. It took a few tries, but Rex duplicated the kick for the camera and was on the 6 o’clock news that night.

As a senior, Rex received several scholarship offers but chose the University of Georgia. He would have the chance to play as a freshman, and UGA seemed the perfect distance from home. Rex was the team’s leading scorer and made the All-SEC Freshman Team in 1977. He would make 1st team All-SEC in 1978, 1979 & 1980 and Playboy All-American in 1979 & 1980. Rex also made the Walter Camp, Football News, Football Writer’s, and UPI All-American teams in 1980. He was invited to play in the 1981 Senior Bowl. The highlight of his senior year was beating Notre Dame in the 1981 Sugar Bowl and the Bulldogs being named the 1980 National Champion football team.

Rex finished with several SEC records including the single season FG% at 88.2%, career points (269), career field goals (56) and consecutive extra points (101). The last two categories were second in NCAA history at the time. He also had six FG’s over 50 yards, with two 57 yarders in 1980. He was drafted by the Cincinnati Bengals in the 6th round in 1981. He played for the New England Patriots in the strike shortened season of 1982. Rex was honored in 2007 as The University of Georgia’s representative at the SEC Legends Dinner as a part of the SEC Championship weekend.

Rex sells sporting goods, athletic and corporate apparel for Pro Sports Team Outfitters in Atlanta. He has also worked with hundreds of young kickers since 1996 and several have gone on to play on the collegiate level. He now has a kicking instruction service called Total Kicker.

Regular season statistics
Season Team (record) G FGM FGA % <20 20-29 30-39 40-49 50+ LNG BLK XPM XPA % PTS
1967 Kansas City Chiefs (9–5) 14 21 36 58.3 4–4 7–9 5–8 3–9 2–6 54 0 45 45 100.0 108
1968 Kansas City Chiefs (12–2) 14 30 40 75.0 10–10 6–6 8–10 4–6 2–8 52 0 39 40 97.5 129
1969 Kansas City Chiefs (11–3) 14 27 35 77.1 9–9 4–6 6–8 6–9 2–3 54 0 38 38 100.0 119
1970 Kansas City Chiefs (7–5–2) 14 30 42 71.4 6–6 8–9 9–10 6–11 1–6 55 0 26 26 100.0 116
1971 Kansas City Chiefs (10–3–1) 14 26 44 59.1 12–13 5–9 4–8 4–9 1–5 54 0 32 32 100.0 110
1972 Kansas City Chiefs (8–6) 14 21 36 58.3 3–3 3–4 9–13 5–9 1–7 50 0 32 32 100.0 95
1973 Kansas City Chiefs (7–5–2) 14 24 38 63.2 5–6 3–4 8–10 8–15 0–3 47 0 21 23 91.3 93
1974 Kansas City Chiefs (5–9) 14 17 24 70.8 1–1 7–7 5–8 3–4 1–4 50 0 24 26 92.3 75
1975 Kansas City Chiefs (5–9) 14 22 32 68.8 1–1 7–8 8–9 5–10 1–4 51 0 30 31 96.8 96
1976 Kansas City Chiefs (5–9) 14 21 38 55.3 0–0 7–12 6–8 7–15 1–3 52 0 27 33 81.8 90
1977 Kansas City Chiefs (2–12) 14 8 18 44.4 0–0 6–6 2–5 0–5 0–2 37 0 27 28 96.4 51
1978 Kansas City Chiefs (4–12) 16 20 30 66.7 1–1 8–10 6–9 5–7 0–3 47 0 25 26 96.2 85
1979 Kansas City Chiefs (7–9) 16 12 23 52.2 0–1 4–6 3–4 5–10 0–2 46 0 28 29 96.6 64
1980 Green Bay Packers (5–10–1) 4 3 5 60.0 0–0 1–1 1–1 1–3 0–0 40 0 3 3 100.0 12
1981 Green Bay Packers (8–8) 16 22 24 91.7 2–2 7–8 9–9 2–3 2–2 53 0 35 36 97.2 101
1982 Green Bay Packers (5–3–1) 9 13 18 72.2 1–1 4–5 5–5 3–6 0–1 48 0 25 27 92.6 64
1983 Green Bay Packers (8–8) 16 21 26 80.8 2–2 6–6 7–9 6–9 0–0 48 0 52 52 100.0 115
1984 Minnesota Vikings (3–13) 16 20 23 87.0 2–2 3–3 9–9 3–5 3–4 54 0 30 31 96.8 90
1985 Minnesota Vikings (7–9) 16 15 26 57.7 1–2 10–11 3–7 1–5 0–1 49 0 41 43 95.3 86
Career (19 seasons) 263 373 558 66.8 60–64 106–130 113–150 77–150 17–64 55 0 580 601 96.5 1699
Jan Stenerud

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