R. C. Owens’ one-of-a-kind field-goal block

A couple of years ago, when R. C. Owens died, newspapers mentioned the unusual way he’d once blocked a field goal try for the Colts. From his New York Times obituary:

In 1962, the 6-foot-3 Owens wowed fans by standing under the goal post at the goal line (goal posts have since been moved to the back of the end zone) and leaping to block a long, line-drive field-goal attempt by the Washington Redskins. The tactic was legislated out of existence.

Unfortunately, none of Owens’ obits featured a photo of his amazing play, perhaps because papers couldn’t find one. I ran into the same problem 25 years ago when I was digging up art for my first book, The Pro Football Chronicle. Nobody had kept the negative — or something.

Too bad. As you can see, R. C. really got up there. He was already on his way down (along with the ball) when this was snapped. Don’t ask me where it came from.

(For more, see: “R. C. Owens’ one-of-a-kind block, revisited.”)

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2 thoughts on “R. C. Owens’ one-of-a-kind field-goal block

  1. Jack Finarelli


    I think I remember Erich Barnes (DB, Giants) doing this also in a game about 1961 or 1962. As I recall, it was considered a “blocked field goal” and was open for recovery. You are the historian – not me – so if you cannot find evidence of this, then I’ll chalk it up to me living in a delusion in my advancing age.

  2. Dan Post author

    I’ll have to check that out, Jack. All the stories said Owens was the first to do it, and I haven’t come across anybody else who did. I noticed Barnes’ Wikipedia page says, “While with the Browns, Barnes was known for standing at the goalpost (then stationed at the goal line) and blocking field goal attempts (a practice later outlawed in the NFL).” That, of course, would be after R.C. I distinctly remember the Chiefs putting 6-10 TE Morris Stroud back there to try to block a long George Blanda FG attempt near the end of one game. He just missed.

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