Pete Gogolak-the First Soccer Placekicker

The Buffalo Bills in 1964 showed the first player to use the soccer style place kick.   Pete Gogolak, a refuge from Hungary,  helped the Bills win two AFL Titles.  Gogolak was from Cornell.  His best season was 1964 when he led the league in field goals attempted, 44 and made, 28.  Gogolak jumped to the NFL and played  for the New York Giants for eight years.

Gradually, other teams went for the soccer style or sidewinder kickers.  A kicker can get greater distance  because of the whip like action.  On the other hand, the initial trajectory is lower making them easier to block. Mark Moseley for the Cleveland Browns in the 80s was the last straight on kicker. For his career, Pete Gogolak kicked 173 field goals in 294 attempts and 344 of 354 extra points.   His brother Charlie came from Princeton and played from 1966 to 1972 with the Washington Redskins and New England Patriots.


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