Morten Andersen Welcomed to the Fraternity by HOFer Jan Stenerud

Morten Andersen Welcomed to the Fraternity by HOFer Jan Stenerud

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Gold Jacket Jan Stenerud and Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2017 kicker Morten Andersen have had some great conversations over the past three years at the Taste of the NFL, an annual event hosted by the League in celebration of the Super Bowl festivities.
This year’s event was different. While Stenerud attended the Taste of the NFL like he has in previous years, Andersen patiently waited, in his Houston hotel room with members of his family. He was waiting for the famous “knock” at the door from President & CEO David Baker of the Pro Football Hall of Fame and to hear the five magic words “You are going to Canton.”
“It was very emotional, said Andersen while addressing the media after the “NFL Honors” awards show. “We shed a few tears, and I’m tremendously humbled and excited to be in this class.”
Andersen, the NFL’s all-time leading scorer, finally selected to the Pro Football hall of Fame in his fourth-straight year as a finalist and fifth year of eligibility.

Moments after the announcement Andersen received a cheerful phone call from his fellow Scandinavian countryman.
“If I’m going to be joined by somebody in the Hall of Fame after all these years, it is pretty neat that it is somebody from a Scandinavia background,” said a joking Stenerud.
“I’m so thrilled to death for Morten! I can’t wait to see him in Canton. I think it’s so neat and again in my view he is so darn deserving. With all the numbers he has, he needs to be there and I think it was very appropriate,” added Stenerud.
During his career, Andersen played for six teams across 25 seasons in the NFL. He is one of six players in history to make the NFL’s All-Decade team for both the 1980s and 1990s.

Andersen made seven Pro Bowls and was chosen first-team All-Pro five times. He holds numerous NFL records, including games played (382), field goals made (565), points (2,544) and most game-winning field goals (103). These impressive numbers throughout Andersen’s career not only caught the attention of the Hall of Fame Selection Committee but many other kickers around the league including Gold Jacket Stenerud.
“From the first time I saw him kick in 1982, I noticed him right away and I thought ‘WOW’ let me see that again,” said an amazed Stenerud. “I thought to myself, Morten would have been a stiff challenge for me in 1967. I said to myself, ‘This guy is special’. If we were rookies together, he could be very formidable to say the least.”
Andersen is the first “pure” placekicker to be elected to the Hall of Fame since Stenerud, who was honored in 1991. Even though it’s been a 25-year span, both men are confident that this is a step in the right direction for kickers moving forward.
“I’m grateful and I’ll do whatever I can to spearhead and try to move the conversation toward more inclusion for specialists, whether it’s at the punting, place kicking, long snapping or kick return position,” said Andersen, the newest class member of 2017.  We need more, because it’s a great game at all positions, and it has to be properly represented.”

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