Martín Gramática Born: November 27, 1975 (Buenos Aires, Argentina)
Graduated: Immaculata-La Salle High School (Miami, FL), 1994;
Kansas State University, 1999.
The Wildcats were already well in control of the game with 2.6 seconds on the clock in the first half of the second game of the 1998 season. Leading the Northern Illinois Huskies 56-7, K-State head coach Bill Synder called on the smallest player on his roster to do the unthinkable: attempt a 65-yard field goal.
The ball was spotted on the Northern Illinois forty-eight yard line and as Martín Gramática trotted onto the field at KSU Stadium the crowd stood, knowing they might be witnesses to a moment in NCAA history. “I felt I had to make it since Coach Snyder put me on the field,” said the kicker from Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Gramática’s kick sent the Wildcat bench and the entire crowd into a frenzy. It also sent the kicker into the NCAA record books with the longest field goal in NCAA history without the use of a tee. Gramática’s reaction to the record-setting field goal was nothing new. He chased the ball off his foot, like he instantly knew he made it, jumped in the air, and hugged his teammates. It was his enthusiasm, his passion, and his skill, that have endured the test of time and endeared Gramática in the hearts of the Wildcat faithful.
Although his 65-yard record field goal was an impressive feat, by the time of the kick, most K-State fans expected that “Automatica Gramática” would make it, no matter where it was on the field. Born in Argentina, Gramática grew up kicking a soccer ball. He did not play organized football until his senior year of high school. He made an immediate impact on the K-State team, hitting six of nine field goal attempts and 38 of 39 PAT attempts. His success continued his sophomore year as he connected on seven of ten field goal attempts.
Gramática suffered a knee injury which put him on the sidelines for the entire 1996 season. When he came back his junior year, he was better than ever and made 19 of 20 field goal attempts on his way to earning first team All-Big XII and first team All-America status. Gramática became the first major national award winner in school history by being named the 1997 Lou Groza Award winner given to the nation’s top collegiate kicker.
There was no let down his senior year as Gramática set the collegiate scoring record for a kicker with 135 points and was named a finalist for both the Lou Groza and the Mosi Tatupu Special Teams Awards. And of course, there was that 65-yard NCAA record. Gramática set numerous career and season records at K-State, including Total Points Scored, PATS attempted and made, and Field Goals attempted and made.
He was selected in the third round of the 1999 NFL draft by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and was named to the All-Rookie Team and the NFL Pro Bowl after his second year in the league. In 2002, Gramática and the Buccaneers won Super Bowl XXXVII. He owns Tampa Bay career records for Field Goals (137), PATs (181), and Total Points Scored (592). Gramática played ten NFL seasons for four teams, scoring 693 points with a career field goal percentage of 76.4% and a career extra point percentage of 99.1%.
In 2008, Gramática was honored in the K-State Football Ring of Honor which recognizes “those in the football program who have distinguished themselves on and off the field.”