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Jan Stenerud

Jan Stenerud

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Jan Stenerud is a former professional football
American football
American football is a sport played between two teams of eleven with the objective of scoring points by advancing the ball into the opposing team's end zone. Known in the United States simply as football, it may also be referred to informally as gridiron football. The ball can be advanced by...

 player for the American Football League
American Football League
The American Football League was a major American Professional Football league that operated from 1960 until 1969, when the established National Football League merged with it. The upstart AFL operated in direct competition with the more established NFL throughout its existence...

's Kansas City Chiefs
Kansas City Chiefs
The Kansas City Chiefs are a professional American football team based in Kansas City, Missouri. They are a member of the Western Division of the American Football Conference in the National Football League . Originally named the Dallas Texans, the club was founded by Lamar Hunt in 1960 as a...

 (1967-1969), and the NFL's Chiefs (1970-1979), Green Bay Packers
Green Bay Packers
The Green Bay Packers are an American football team based in Green Bay, Wisconsin. They are members of the North Division of the National Football Conference in the National Football League . The Packers are the current NFL champions...

 (1980-1983), and Minnesota Vikings
Minnesota Vikings
The Minnesota Vikings are a professional American football team based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Vikings joined the National Football League as an expansion team in 1960...

 (1984-1985).

Background


Jan Stenerud was born in Fetsund
Fetsund
Fetsund forms the center of the municipality Fet in the county of Akershus, Norway. The name comes from the way the area is, and Fet means "where water meets grass". As for the -sund part, it simply means 'strait, inlet'...

, in the county of Akershus
Akershus
- Geography :The county is conventionally divided into the traditional districts Follo and Romerike, which fill the vast part of the county, as well as the small exclave west of Oslo that consists of Asker and Bærum...

, Norway
Norway
Norway , officially the Kingdom of Norway, is a Nordic unitary constitutional monarchy whose territory comprises the western portion of the Scandinavian Peninsula, Jan Mayen, and the Arctic archipelago of Svalbard and Bouvet Island. Norway has a total area of and a population of about 4.9 million...

. Stenerud came to the United States on a ski jumping
Ski jumping
Ski jumping is a sport in which skiers go down a take-off ramp, jump and attempt to land as far as possible down the hill below. In addition to the length of the jump, judges give points for style. The skis used for ski jumping are wide and long...

 scholarship
Scholarship
A scholarship is an award of financial aid for a student to further education. Scholarships are awarded on various criteria usually reflecting the values and purposes of the donor or founder of the award.-Types:...

 to attend Montana State University in Bozeman, Montana
Bozeman, Montana
Bozeman is a city in and the county seat of Gallatin County, Montana, United States, in the southwestern part of the state. The 2010 census put Bozeman's population at 37,280 making it the fourth largest city in the state. It is the principal city of the Bozeman micropolitan area, which consists...

. Late in his sophomore year, Stenerud was spotted kicking a football by the college's baseball coach who relayed the news of his abilities to the football coach. He joined the football team and in 1965 kicked a 59-yard field goal, then a college football record, against the rival Montana Grizzlies
Montana Grizzlies
Montana Grizzlies is the nickname given to the athletic teams of the University of Montana. The women's basketball team, however, uses the moniker Lady Griz...

. He was recruited to the MSU team by Jim Sweeney
Jim Sweeney (coach)
Jim Sweeney is a former American football coach. He served as the head coach at Montana State University , Washington State University , and California State University, Fresno . Sweeney's 143 wins as the head coach at Fresno State are the most in the history of the program...

.

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
Pete Gogolak
Peter Kornel Gogolak is a retired American football placekicker in the National Football League for the New York Giants and in the American Football League for the Buffalo Bills. He is widely considered the chief figure behind the game's adoption of soccer style placekicking...

 had recently introduced in the AFL
American Football League
The American Football League was a major American Professional Football league that operated from 1960 until 1969, when the established National Football League merged with it. The upstart AFL operated in direct competition with the more established NFL throughout its existence...

.
During his 3 years in the AFL, Stenerud hit 70% of his field goals, compared with a 53% average for the other kickers in the AFL and NFL.

After the 1969 season, Stenerud won Super Bowl IV
Super Bowl IV
Super Bowl IV was the fourth AFL-NFL World Championship Game in professional American football, and the second one to officially bear the name "Super Bowl"...

 with the Chiefs when they defeated the Minnesota Vikings
Minnesota Vikings
The Minnesota Vikings are a professional American football team based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Vikings joined the National Football League as an expansion team in 1960...

 23-7. In that game, Stenerud kicked three field goals, scoring the first 9 points of the game for his team. His first, a 48-yarder, would remain the longest field goal in a Super Bowl until January 1994, when the record was broken by the Buffalo Bills
Buffalo Bills
The Buffalo Bills are a professional football team based in Buffalo, New York. They are currently members of the East Division of the American Football Conference in the National Football League...

 kicker Steve Christie
Steve Christie
Geoffrey Stephen Christie is a former Canadian American football placekicker in the National Football League, who, as a member of the Buffalo Bills, became known for his ability to kick clutch field goals, even in poor weather.-Early career:Christie, who grew up in nearby Oakville, Ontario,...

 in Super Bowl XXVIII
Super Bowl XXVIII
Super Bowl XXVIII was an American football game played on January 30, 1994, at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta, Georgia, to decide the National Football League champion following the 1993 regular season. The National Football Conference champion Dallas Cowboys defeated the American Football...

.

Stenerud missed two field goals and had another kick blocked on Christmas Day, 1971 in an AFC divisional playoff game against the Miami Dolphins
Miami Dolphins
The Miami Dolphins are a Professional football team based in the Miami metropolitan area in Florida. The team is part of the Eastern Division of the American Football Conference in the National Football League...

. The Dolphins won the game 27-24 in double overtime on a 37-yard field goal by Garo Yepremian
Garo Yepremian
Garabed Sarkis "Garo" Yepremian is an Armenian-American former football placekicker in the National Football League for the Detroit Lions, Miami Dolphins, New Orleans Saints, and Tampa Bay Buccaneers during a career that spanned from 1966 to 1981. -Career:Yepremian was born in Larnaca, Cyprus to...

. The game is the longest in NFL history at 82 minutes, 40 seconds of playing time, and was also the final football game in Kansas City Municipal Stadium
Municipal Stadium (Kansas City)
Kansas City Municipal Stadium was a baseball and football stadium that formerly stood in Kansas City, Missouri. It hosted the minor league Kansas City Blues of the American Association from 1923 to 1954 and the Kansas City Monarchs of the Negro Leagues during the same period...

.
Stenerud retired after the 1985 season, after 19 years (3 AFL, 16 NFL). In his career, he converted 373 out of 558 field goals (67 percent) and 580 out of 601 extra points (97%). Overall, Stenerud scored a total of 1,699 points. At the time of his retirement, he was the longest tenured (19 years) Professional Football player to have played in the AFL. The last former AFL player in Professional Football was Charlie Joiner
Charlie Joiner
Charles B. Joiner Jr. is a former American football player who starred in professional football for eighteen seasons, virtually exclusively at the position of wide receiver. He retired with the most career receptions, receiving yards, and games played of any wide receiver in NFL history. He was...

 (Houston Oilers, 1969), who retired from the San Diego Chargers
San Diego Chargers
The San Diego Chargers are a professional American football team based in San Diego, California. they were members of the Western Division of the American Football Conference in the National Football League...

 after the 1986 season.

Enshrined in 1991, Stenerud, along with George Blanda
George Blanda
George Frederick Blanda was a collegiate and professional football quarterback and placekicker...

 and Lou Groza
Lou Groza
Louis Roy Groza was an American football placekicker and offensive tackle who played his entire career for the Cleveland Browns....

 is one of only three kickers in the Pro Football Hall of Fame
Pro Football Hall of Fame
The Pro Football Hall of Fame is the hall of fame of professional football in the United States with an emphasis on the National Football League . It opened in Canton, Ohio, on September 7, 1963, with 17 charter inductees...

, and he is the only one of those three who did not play another position (Blanda played Quarterback
Quarterback
Quarterback is a position in American and Canadian football. Quarterbacks are members of the offensive team and line up directly behind the offensive line...

, Lou Groza played Offensive Tackle). The Chiefs have retired 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 that is 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.

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