Skip to main content

Extraordinary Kick

July 2024
1min read

APRIL 9, 1984— As an old historian of college football, I couldn’t help but be intrigued by the sentence on page 58 of the April/May issue in which Professor Kazin reports that Buzz Law of Princeton “kicked a goal from behind his own goalpost.” This would have been more than a hundred yards, at least forty yards longer than anything that Charlie Brickley of Harvard or Pat O’Dea of Wisconsin ever accomplished. I suspect that it ought to have been “punted” from behind his own goalposts.

APRIL 24— I just happened to be browsing in the National Collegiate Athletic Association Football Guide , and noticed that the major school record for a punt is 99 yards by Pat Brady from Nevada-Reno back in 1950; of more familiar teams, there is George O’Brien’s 96-yard punt for Wisconsin in the 1952 Iowa game. The fieldgoal record is 67 yards, shared by three players—Little of Arkansas, Erxleben of Texas, and Williams of Wichita State. Of course, the NCAA does not have statistics for the old-time games, so there is a tiny possibility that Law did what Kazin says he did, but nobody should wager the rent money on it.

Enjoy our work? Help us keep going.

Now in its 75th year, American Heritage relies on contributions from readers like you to survive. You can support this magazine of trusted historical writing and the volunteers that sustain it by donating today.