Bill Gramatica still laughs at his own torn ACL

One of the funniest injuries in NFL history happened in December of 2001, when Arizona Cardinals kicker Bill Gramatica jumped into the air to celebrate a field goal and came down with a torn ACL.

Gramatica is now retired from the NFL, but the Arizona Republic recently caught up with him for an interview in which he said he’s fine with being remembered for something so ridiculous — just as long as reporters remember that it wasn’t the jump that caused the injury, it was the landing.

“You guys got it wrong,” Gramatica said. “You said I got hurt jumping. My jump was excellent. It was my landing I needed to work on. It was funny. It was part of my career. I talk about it all the time. You have to laugh about it.”

Gramatica’s injury on the field goal celebration meant he was sidelined for the ensuing kickoff, and it was Pat Tillman — who would quit football to enlist in the Army a few months later — who handled the kick.

“The coolest thing about that injury is Pat Tillman kicked off for us after I got hurt,” Gramatica said. “I have some great memories with Pat Tillman. My rookie year we were coming back in a van from the kickoff luncheon. I remember Pat telling me, ‘Just remember, football is what you love to do but at the end of the day, you have to live simple. Just keep it simple.’ “

Gramatica and his kicking brothers, Martin and Santiago, now run a company that specializes in energy-efficient construction.