Remembering ‘The Kick’ : 40 Years Later

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"41-yard field goal to win it.   It is long is good!  Wow!  With three seconds to play in the game."

It’s simply the most famous field goal in Oklahoma football history.

Sooner fans call it “the kick”, Uwe von Schamann’s 41-yard field goal to beat Ohio State in Columbus in the first meeting between the two college football powers.

For the man who kicked the field goal, it’s become a moment he’s reminded about constantly.

"Not every day, but maybe every other day.     I usually have one or two people come up to me and tell me where they were, what they did."

"NCAA football from Ohio stadium in Columbus, Ohio, the Sooners of Oklahoma against the Buckeyes of Ohio State."

Oklahoma jumped to a 20-0 lead before the buckeyes scored the next 28 points to lead 28-20, and after recovering an onside kick with a minute and a half to play, moved into position to give von Schamann a chance to win it.

"I heard the crowd, 'block that kick'.   I usually don't hear the crowd but in that instance i did.    I don't know why I did it, but I just led the chant."



Von Schamman’s field goal not only won the game and upset legendary Ohio State coach woody Hayes, it made OU coach Barry Switzer so happy he kissed Uwe.

"We were in the locker room and he said everybody on defense gets a game ball and Uwe gets a kiss."


"Layla is not necessarily an OU fan but today you are, right?"


These days von Schamann is giving back, serving on the board at the children’s center rehabilitation hospital in Bethany and visiting with children fighting battles most of us can’t imagine.

" I just fell in love with it.   I fell in love with the kids.   They work so hard when they do their rehabilitation.   And we celebrate when they reach certain goals.   To us they might be just small, but to them they're huge.  


Not long ago von Schamann had his own health scare.   Diagnosed with colon cancer, recently he rang the bell to symbolize the end of his treatment.

"I think I almost tore it off the wall.   Somebody asked me what's the biggest moment for you, ringing the bell or making that field goal, and I go, I’d probably have to pick the bell.   That's kind of life changing when you go through something like that."


Ringing the bell may mean more now, but the kick still rings true 40 years later.

It even inspired a painting by Tulsa artist Jay o’Meilia.

"It's humbling.   It's pretty neat."


But for one of his OU coaches, it’s a bitter sweet memory for other reasons.

"One of my coaches told his girlfriend before the game that if we won the game, he would marry her.   I saw him five years later and he goes, I sure wish you'd missed that son of a gun.”

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