The journey of Yepremian to NFL stardom is a better story than any Hollywood writer could concoct. He had emigrated to the United States from the island of Cyprus in the 1960's looking for work.
He inadvertently watched a few minutes of an NFL game on television and decided he could make money kicking a ball.
After tryouts with several teams, he made the Detroit Lions roster in 1966. He knew so little about the game that he decided not to wear a facemask at first.
When Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame linebacker Ray Nitschke hurt him in the fourth game of the season, Yepremian decided to wear one.
A famous story of his football innocence was in a story Lions Pro Bowl defensive tackle Alex Karras liked to tell. Detroit scored a touchdown late in a game that they were losing heavily. Yepremian celebrated after converting an extra point, prompting Karras to ask Yepremian what he was happy about.
"I keek a touchdown!" was Yepremian's reply.
He set an NFL record as a rookie by kicking six field goals on eight attempts in a single game. Jim Bakken, of the St. Louis Cardinals, broke that record the next season by making seven of nine attempts.
Yepremian still holds the rookie record. He also set an NFL record by making four field goals in one quarter. This has been tied since, but he owns the record for a rookie.
Though he made six field goals that day, Yepremian made just seven of 14 attempts in the other eight games he appeared in. Detroit had him suit up for eight games the next year, where he attempted just six field goals and made two.
They preferred having Pro Bowl linebacker Wayne Walker kicking field goals. He joined the Army for a short stint in 1968, then kicked for the Michigan Arrows of the Continental Football League.
The team folded after the season, so Yepremian was out of the game in 1969. The Miami Dolphins gave him a tryout in 1970, and Yepremian made the team.
He had worked hard on his game during his year off, and this was shown by his leading the NFL in field goal percentage that year. He was named first team All-Pro in 1971 after making 28 field goals on a career-best 40 attempts and leading the league with a career-best 117 points.
His highlight that year was kicking a game-winning field goal during double-overtime against the Kansas City Chiefs in the longest game ever played in NFL history.
Yepremian led the NFL in extra point attempts the next year, as well as making the first three field goals of his career of 50 yards or longer. He would only make two kicks of 50 yards or longer the rest of his career.
The highlight for Yepremian was not just the fact that the Dolphins had a perfect season, but his famous moment in Super Bowl VII will have him forever a part of the game's historical lore.
The Dolphins were winning 14-0 when they decided to have Yepremian try a field goal against the Washington Redskins. The kick was blocked right back into Yepremian's hands, where he inexplicably tried to pass the ball.
The ball started to slip from his hands, causing Yepremian to bat it straight in the air. Washington's Mike Bass caught it and ran for a score. Though it was a play considered a comedy of errors, Miami prevailed with a 14-7 victory.
Yepremian made his first Pro Bowl, as well as earning his second first team All-Pro honor in 1973, as the Dolphins repeated as champions. He was now a celebrity in Miami, rubbing elbows with their most famous residents.
In the 1973 Pro Bowl, he became the second kicker to ever win the MVP Award after making a Pro Bowl record five field goals. Though Jan Stenerud won it two years earlier, he shared the award with teammate, and fellow Hall of Famer, Willie Lanier. Yepremian is the first kicker to win the award by himself.
Staying with the Dolphins until 1978, he made his last Pro Bowl that year after making 20 consecutive field goals and leading the NFL in field goal percentage.
Miami still allowed him to join the New Orleans Saints in 1979, where he played one season. Yepremian joined the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 1980, then retired after playing in three games the following season.
Of the 1,074 career points Yepremian had, 830 came with the Dolphins and is the second most in team history. His 117 points in a season was a team record until 1991.
No other Dolphin has attempted nor made as many extra points as Yepremian. He has the second most field goal attempts and third most made field goals in team history.
He is an inductee of the Dolphins Honor Roll as a member of the 1972 team and the first Dolphins kicker to ever go to the Pro Bowl or be named first team All-Pro.
Yepremian is a member of the NFL's 1970s All-Decade Team. He was named Kicker of the Decade for the 1970's, beating out Hall of Famer Stenerud. He was also named one of the Dolphins "Greatest Players" on their 40th Anniversary celebration.
Miami has employed several excellent kickers in their franchise history, yet there have been none better than Garo Yepremian.
Pete Stoyanovich, Uwe von Schamann and Olindo Mare deserve mention.