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Where are they now? - Rich Karlis

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  • East Coast Fan
    replied
    Thanks for the update; it's very interesting to know what the Bronco "alumni" are doing!

    Leave a comment:


  • Den21-Bal19
    replied
    I remember watching Karlis when I first got into the NFL, and thinking to myself

    'This dude is crazy!'

    Always good to hear how ex-players are doing, cheers mtn_man

    Leave a comment:


  • AlWilsonizKING
    replied
    Quest huh....


    I loved watchin' Karlis back in the day.......



    PEACE!!!

    Leave a comment:


  • broncos_mtnman
    started a topic Where are they now? - Rich Karlis

    Where are they now? - Rich Karlis

    I've been sharing these stories from Broncos Magazine with the boards. Enjoy!!

    ______________________________

    Kicking has evolved over the years.

    First was the drop kick - a kick where the kicker drops the ball and boots it when it bounces off the ground.

    Then came the straight-on kick, which was the standard for decades.

    But by the 1960s, the soccer style kick was introduced. Within a few years it would come to be - and still is - the norm.

    The one style that never seemed to catch on, however, was the barefoot kick.

    Only a few brave souls ventured to try it, including former Bronco Rich Karlis.

    Karlis kicked for the broncos from 1982 to 1988 and his unique kicking style and consistency made him a fan favorite in Broncos Country.

    But for Karlis, barefoot kicking came out of necessity, not a drive to be unique.

    "I saw Tony Franklin at Texas A&M kick it barefoot," Karlis said. "We talked about it a little bit at the University of Cincinnati just because by spring football my freshman year they had switched me from punting and kicking to just kicking. It was based on the necessity of learning and learning fast."

    "I noticed that I tended to concentrate a lot more when I kicked barefoot because the pain associated with not concentrating was substantial enough."

    It was not an easy way to kick. Sore feet and cold weather were just two obstacles.

    "The coldest game (also the coldest game in Broncos history) that I played in was the game against Kansas City in 1983," Karlis said. "It was the last game of the (regular) season and I believe it registered with the wind chill at 30 below zero. And I was, without question, scratching my head not only as to why the heck I was playing barefoot, but why the heck I was even outside."

    But another cold occasion made for the greatest moment in the Ohio native's career.

    "Without question the game against the Cleveland Browns in Cleveland for the AFC Championship was my most memorable moment," Karlis said. "It was a defining moment for the team, the defining moment for (John) Elway and certainly one for me having the last kick in the game. It was also special because it was in front of so many people I grew up with."

    Following his retirement in 1990, Karlis dabbled in everything from media to running a minor-league soccer team.

    He now is director of corporate marketing at Qwest Communications in Denver. He still follows the Broncos but his 13-year-old daughter's burgeoning hockey career fills most of his weekends.

    "She keeps me hopping," Karlis said. "I try to follow the (Broncos) games on TV, or in the lobbies of different ice rinks or on my Qwest wireless phone."

    Of course, having never played hockey, Karlis can't offer his daughter much in the way of advice.

    "I never saw hockey until I went to college," Karlis said. "It is an awesome sport and she is very good at it. I really can't help her except to tell her to hustle when she hits the ice."

    And to tell her to keep her skates on.

    -Kyle Sonneman
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