Thursday, 11 June 2009
Obed Chukwuma Ariri (born April 4, 1956 in Owerri, Nigeria) is a former American football placekicker in the National Football League for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Washington Redskins. He also played in the United States Football League for the Washington Federals and in the Arena Football League for the Miami Hooters.
Ariri was born in Nigeria, and his middle name Chukwuma means "God Only Knows". He became a skilled soccer player and was scouted by Clemson University's then soccer coach Ibrahim M. Ibrahim. After watching him play in Nigeria, Ibrahim offered Ariri a soccer scholarship to Clemson on the spot.
Ariri was drafted in the seventh round of the 1981 NFL Draft by the Baltimore Colts. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers acquired Obed in the 1984 pre-season but was waived before final cuts. After kicker Bill Capece flopped in the final Buccaneer pre-season game, Ariri was hired in time for the start of the regular season and he was their regular kicker that season. He was nicknamed the "Automatic African" by his teammates.