Former AFL Star Makes Debut in Super Bowl

For Immediate Release

January 26, 2009 (Australia Day)



Ben Graham, punter for the Arizona Cardinals, is a former AFL Geelong Cat


Next Sunday’s Super Bowl contest between the Arizona Cardinals and the Pittsburgh Steelers will mark the first time an Australian has ever played in the legendary game.  Ben Graham, the kicker for the Arizona Cardinals, is a native Australian and a former Australian Football star.


Graham, 35, the former Geelong Cat with renowned long kicking ability, ended his Australian Football career in 2004 and came to the U.S. to enter the NFL.  He joined the New York Jets in 2005 and helped introduce the “drop punt”, a style of kicking prevalent in Australian football.  The drop punt improves kicking length and accuracy. With the Jets until September 2008, Graham found himself with the Cardinals in December and now in the de facto pinnacle of all sporting events.


“It’s great for our game and we are thrilled for Ben”, said Rich Mann, President of the USAFL, the governing body of Australian Football in the United States.  “There is so much skill that is transferable to both games. Kicking is integral to our game and explains the success of players like Ben in the NFL.  On the other side, the USAFL sees many former football players who join us post their careers”, Mann continued. “In communicating with ex-coach, Mark “Bomber” Thompson (who attended the 2008 USAFL National Championships) and everyone at AFL House, I can safely say the entire Australian Football Community is behind Ben as he takes one of the worlds’ biggest sporting stages.”


Last weeks playoff match between the Cardinals and the Eagles guaranteed an Australian would make it to the Super Bowl.  Both punters came from the AFL, Graham with the Cardinals and Saverio "Sav" Rocca with the Eagles.



USAFL is the official amateur sports organization dedicated to the development of Australian Football.  A grassroots organization that promotes participation in Australian Football through promoting awareness and knowledge of the Australian culture, it promotes a sense of community among USAFL clubs and club members, and by fostering women’s, Co-ed and junior programs across the United States.
Australian Football is one of the most popular professional sports in Australia. The game is known for high-flying action, athleticism and the signature goal umpire signals and large field size. The game has been played in the U.S. since 1997 and to date has over 1,500 registered participants and continues to grow.


For more information, contact
Sue Baldwin, 303 478 0438


For more information on Australian Football in the U.S., visit

- Sue Baldwin

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