Remembering Bill Gramatica Tearing His ACL Celebrating a Field Goal
By Brady Williams
Kickers get a bum rap in the National Football League. Most kicks are mundane, and the few iconic ones a man will make only come around so often. The bad ones, of course, are often remembered even more vividly. A missed kick in a clutch situation can shatter a career and end a season. However, in December of 2001, Arizona Cardinals kicker Bill Gramatica manged to end his own season despite converting a field goal successfully.
About midway through the first quarter of a game against the New York Giants, Gramatica lined up for a 43-yard attempt. He easily drilled it, and was naturally excited -- but his celebration ended in catastrophe.
That leap resulted in a torn ACL. It was certainly a tough look for a rookie who had otherwise made 80% of his field goals in the 13 games he played that year. Still, when speaking to the Arizona Republic in 2010, Gramatica was able to muster up a sense of humor about the situation.
"You guys got it wrong," Gramatica said. "You said I got hurt jumping. My jump was excellent. It was my landing I needed to work on. It was funny."
Indeed, Gramatica will definitely be remembered, even if it's not for one of the best possible reasons. In a certain way, however, it's amazing that his name has now become a verb.
Gramatica's injury is still one of the more ridiculous ACL tears in sports history. Luckily, his lighthearted evaluation of the episode looking back means this story has a happy ending.