Morten Andersen’s induction becomes celebration for specialists

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Morten Andersen’s induction into the Hall of Fame was a celebration for specialists. He became the first kicker inducted since Jan Stenerud in 1991. Ray Guy became the first punter enshrined in 2014.

“I believe my induction sends a clear message that the position of the specialist is important, relevant and undeniable,” Andersen said. “Hopefully more will find their way into the Hall of Fame.”

Andersen recalled the first time he tried American football. He arrived in the United States 40 years ago as a cultural exchange student at Ben Davis High School in Indianapolis.

That’s when he was introduced to a new game.

“It was then I learned that the process of kicking a football is quite involved,” Andersen said. “Players from everywhere proceeded to line up in front of me. I was confused. What are they doing? Is that necessary? The guys are really big. They block my view of those funny-looking posts sticking up in the air. A smaller guy approached me and asked me if I was ready. He was licking his fingers. Should I do that too, I asked him? He looked at me confused and proceeded to kneel on the ground. ‘Red, set.’ It startled me. Up in front of us was not a pretty view either. There was a line of big derrieres and they were facing me. And from the middle of the mass, a ball came flying back to the little guy kneeling on the ground. He placed it vertical on a small black platform. I took a second look. ‘Oh, man, the ball was not round.’ I looked around for help. Anyone, anything? Coach [Bob] Wilbur came over and whispered to me, ‘Just kick the [expletive] out of it. And if you don’t, I’m sending you back on the boat.’ Message received. The ball flew high and through those white things, and I looked over at my teammates and I think they liked what they saw.”

Andersen stayed in the U.S., played at Michigan State and became a fourth-round pick of the Saints in 1982. He became the NFL’s all-time leading scorer in 2006, and ended his career with 2,544 points.

Andersen played for the Saints, Falcons, Giants, Chiefs and Vikings in his 25 seasons.

11 responses to “Morten Andersen’s induction becomes celebration for specialists

  1. ” Specialists and Contributers” should have their own wing and their own ceremonies. A Kicker is not a football player unless your namemis George Blanda

  2. I’m betting had the other Anderson, Gary Anderson, made that FG for Minnesota in the NFC Championship game, Morten may have had to wait a bit longer for enshrinement.

  3. The best moment in Falcons history was his field goal in OT vs Vikings in ’98 NFC title game. The Falcons’ worst moment was every moment of the 4th quarter of SB 51.

  4. He was instrumental and a key factor in so many games. If you can affect the positive outcome of a game as often as he had for twenty-five years…… deserve to be in the HOF, every bit as much as any other elite player.

  5. flvikesfan says:
    August 5, 2017 at 11:57 pm
    Kept the Vikings from the Superbowl because he missed his first kick in two years. I hate this guy with the power of 1000 suns!

    Two things: First that was Gary Anderson who missed the kick for the Vikings, and Morten Andersen who made the kick in OT for the Falcons.

    Second, blaming Gary Anderson for that loss is not right. The Vikings still led by 7 after that missed kick, and the only thing they needed their defense to do was to stop the Atlanta offense, and they couldn’t. I remember screaming at the TV “Green will you call a blitz for once in your life!”. The DL put zero pressure on Chandler and he marched them down the field for the tying score. Green takes a knee after the ensuing kickoff and the rest is history. Plenty of blame to go around for that loss, and in no way does all of it, or even the majority of it fall on Gary Anderson.

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