Why a kicker is my favorite NFL player ever


This is a repost of sorts. I first shared my fan message to Rich Karlis on a facebook note back in August of 2010. Someone mentioned him on twitter the other day and I thought it would be fun to re-share this.

Dear Rich Karlis,

My name is Sara. One time, when I was a kid, my dad took my brother and I to the Greeley mall to get Steve Watson’s autograph. Steve Watson’s wife was in labor and so instead, we got your autograph. Remember?

Okay, in case you don’t remember… you told me you really liked the name Sara and you had a dog named Sara who looked out the window. I didn’t have a dog, but the next fish I got, I named Karlis because of you. (Keep in mind I was 7 or 8… so that’s cute and not creepy.)

Ever since, you were my favorite Bronco. Ever. Like seriously. People are all “who’s your favorite Bronco… Elway?” and I say, “No. Rich Karlis had a dog named my name, so he was my favorite.”

I cheered for the Vikings for a bit because of you, too. Plus my stepdad was a crazy Packers fan so that was neat.

Anyway, today I turned 31. My brother just gave me my birthday present. He ordered a shirt from the internet with the old (and I think cooler) Broncos log on the front and a number 3 and Karlis on the back. I was giddy when I opened it. I’m 31 so is that creepy or cute?

I bought your autographed football card from ebay and I have it hanging in my office at work. I’m a youth pastor. It’s inspiring to me to remember that kind words to an awkward 7 or 8 year old can have a lifelong impact. Seriously… more than Elway.

Right. So I looked on facebook, laughing and saying “maybe Rich Karlis has a facebook page.” Look, you do. And I’m sending you fan mail delayed twenty some years.

Thank you for being my favorite football player ever. I tried to kick a football barefoot once. It hurt.


This is the signed football card I bought on ebay.


Happy birthday! What a nice note to get. You brought back many good memories. I loved my Brittany spaniel, Sara. Still one of my favorite names. If you’d like to mail the jersey to me to sign, I’d be happy too. Just let me know.

The lesson we learn from this– Rich Karlis is cool and I’m a nerd who always cheers for the kicker. I have a Denver Broncos comic book signed by Rich Karlis in what looks to be blue Bic ink, too. I keep it next to my ebay-bought Matt Prater signed mini-football helmet. Gotta love kickers.

3 responses »

  1. Sara, he is my favorite Bronco too!!! I named my daughter after him.. and the response he gave to you is just one of the reasons why!! I think he is an all around great guy!!….can your brother get me a number 3 jersey!!! Just kidding…but i did always want one!! All my friends were getting the number 7 and all i ever hoped for was that number 3…not so easy to find back in the day. Loved reading your post. Have a super day

    • Dana, That’s fantastic! (I just saw your comment– I was off getting married and stuff.) I actually think you can go to the Denver Broncos store and order a customized jersey with Karlis and 3. It says no former players but I think they forget about kickers. 🙂 Thanks for sharing your story. Did you name your daughter Karlis? That’s so cool.

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