January 26, 1992, was — as to be expected — a chilly day in Minneapolis. But for Roeland Park resident Kelly Goodburn, it was a day that continues to provoke warm memories.
Goodburn was suited up in a Washington jersey that day inside the Metrodome as the Redskins handed the Buffalo Bills their second consecutive Super Bowl loss. Goodburn, a punter who spent his first three seasons with the Chiefs, got to show off his leg four times that day, averaging 37.5 yards per punt.
He retired after the next season, eventually settling in the Kansas City area, where he now lives with his wife Sara, a member of the Shawnee Mission Board of Education, and two sons. But last month, Goodburn had a chance to remember his Super Bowl appearance and provide a cool memento to his school in Correctionville, Iowa.
Goodburn got his start in football at Eastwood High School, where he played quarterback, defensive back, kicker and punter.
“You know, we only had about 30 kids go out for the team, so you played everywhere,” he remembers.
It was Goodburn’s appearance in a Iowa Class 1A semi-final game in 1978 that got him — and a number of college scouts — thinking he might have a future at the next level. On fourth down, Goodburn received a snap in his own end zone and wound up for a punt. The ball sailed down the field. And kept sailing. Eventually it rolled to a stop at the opponents’ two yard line. The punt had traveled 86-yards, an Iowa high school record that stands to this day.
“That set off a few alarms among some of the colleges,” he recalls.
Goodburn went on to start his college career at Iowa State before making his way to the NFL with the Chiefs.
As part of the lead up to this year’s Super Bowl in Santa Clara, Calif., the NFL presented golden footballs to the more than 3,000 players to have played in a championship game for them to deliver to their high schools. In a ceremony in October in Iowa, Goodburn was joined by around a dozen teammates as he delivered his golden ball for the display at the school.
“I hadn’t been back there in a while, so it was really neat to see everything,” he said. “There was a lot of excitement.”