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This is a good article. Follow the link for more information. Groza was professional football’s career kicking and points leader when he retired after the 1967 season. He played in 21 seasons for the Browns, helping the team to win eight league championships in that span. He set numerous records for distance and number of field goals kicked during his career. 1946 to play for the Browns.
Helped by Groza’s kicking and play at offensive tackle, the Browns won the AAFC championship every year between 1946 and 1949, when the league disbanded and the Browns were absorbed by the more established NFL. Groza set NFL records for field goals made in 1950, 1952 and 1953. Later in life, he ran an insurance business and served as a team ambassador for the Browns. The award is given annually to the country’s best college placekicker. Groza died in 2000 of a heart attack. Groza owned and ran Groza’s Tavern on Main Street. He was also captain of the baseball team.
Groza learned placekicking from his older brother Frank, and practiced by trying to kick balls over telephone wires when he and his friends played touch football in the street. Groza saw a soldier shot in the face. He was stationed in a bank of tents about five miles from the front lines and helped doctors tend to the wounded. I saw a lot of men wounded with severe injuries”, he later said. Lose legs, guts hanging out, stuff like that. It’s a tough thing, but you get hardened to it, and you accept it as part of your being there.
He showed up in army fatigues carrying all his clothes in a duffel bag. Groza was mainly a placekicker in his first two years with the Browns, but he played a big part in the team’s early success. In his first season, he set a professional football record for both field goals and extra points. 1 record and made it back to the championship game. Groza, however, was injured and could only watch as the team won its second championship in a row.
Further success followed for the Browns and Groza, who was nicknamed “The Toe” by a sportswriter for his kicking abilities. Groza led the league in field goals and the team won all of its games in 1948, recording professional football’s first perfect season. With Groza, the Browns could attempt field goals at a range many other teams could not. The war had shortened Groza’s college career, so he continued to study at Ohio State in the offseason in his early years with the Browns. He graduated with a degree in business in 1949.
Groza married that year, to Jackie Lou Robbins, a girl from Martins Ferry who was working as a model in New York City when they first dated. AAFC in its short existence, some sportswriters, NFL owners and coaches considered the league inferior. Groza broke a 24-year-old NFL record by kicking his 13th field goal of the season. He also scored the only touchdown of his career in that game on a reception from Graham. That forced a playoff against the Giants in which Groza kicked the winning field goal for the Browns with under a minute to play. The game-winning field goal in the 1950 NFL championship was the highlight of Groza’s long career.