From his office in Manhattan to his home among the tree-lined streets of Darien, Conn., there's nothing about Peter (as he prefers to be known) Gogolak's life these days that could be described as revolutionary. That wasn't always so. As the first soccer-style kicker in pro football, as well as the first established player to jump from the AFL to the NFL, he is one of the most influential players of the last 50 years. Gogolak was 14 when his family emigrated to America in 1957 from its native Hungary; he went out for football as a junior at Ogdensburg (N.Y.) Free Academy and was a sidewinder from the start. "My first year, I couldn't get the ball in the air," he says. "But I thought it was something I could do." In 1964, after playing at Cornell, he was selected by the Buffalo Bills in the 12th round. The next season, he kicked 28 field goals to set an AFL record. In 1966, Gogolak became a pioneer of another sort, jumping to the NFL's New York Giants and starting a free-agent war that led to the merger of the rival leagues in 1970. Today, Gogolak, 58, is the vice president of sales at R.R. Donnelley Financial, a printing business. His success in football (he's still the Giants' alltime scoring leader) blazed a trail for undersized men with tiny pads and names like Yepremian and Nittmo—there hasn't been a straight-ahead kicker in the NFL since Mark Moseley retired in 1986. Still, Gogolak isn't sentimental about his place in history. "I don't look at soccer-style kicking as something I created," he says. "Frankly, I'm amazed nobody else saw the potential."