Atlanta Sports Hall of Fame Induct Falcons’ Legend

Morten Andersen

getty Place kicker Morten Andersen (L) of the Atlanta Falcons celebrates his game-winning field goal with holder Dan Strynski.

In 2017 former Falcons standout kicker Morten Andersen was inducted into the NFL‘s Pro Football Hall of Fame and this month, Andersen among six others were added to the Atlanta Sports Hall of Fame.

The ceremony was held at the College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta. Alongside Anderson, Calvin Johnson, Dikembe Mutumbo, Garland Pinholster, Gary Stokan and Margaret Matthews Wilburn were inducted as well.

Andersen’s Helluva Career

Andersen spent a total of eight seasons as an Atlanta Falcon. He first signed with them in 1995 and then in 2000. And then came back again from 2006 to 2007.

At 47-years-old, the legendary kicker retired in 2007 with 806 points and still the most in Falcons’ history. He ended his career making an average of 82.1 percent of his goal attempts and 99.2 percent of his extra points. He was also a seven-time Pro Bowler and three-time All-Pro player. The most memorable kick in Falcons’ franchise history is Andersens’ 38-yard field goal against the Minnesota Vikings during their first Super Bowl.

A High-Pressure Job

Being a kicker is not as easy as it looks, you’re the center of attention facing towards screaming fans and have to block all of it out of your head to focus on one goal, literally, in high-pressure situations.

According to an interview with Yahoo Sports, what Andersen lived by throughout his career is an old George Patton quote “The more you bleed in peace, the less you bleed in war.”  For Andersen, this meant preparation is key for any field-goal kicker facing a high-pressure situation.

He spent a lot of time on the practice field prepping for every high-pressure situation he could think of.  For one, he would have the defense yell rude slurs to him about his mother. He would ask the long snapper to snap it high or he would ask the place holder to put the ball laces facing in. Anderson made every practice as difficult as possible for himself to increase the challenge while there was no pressure.

‘Celebrate the Other Guys’

Most recently, Anderson interviewed with Nola.com’s Jeff Nowak where Nowak asked Andersen, “Do you keep track of your records?” from his 25-year NFL career.

Andersen’s response was humble as could be:

“I don’t spend 5 seconds thinking about it, honestly. My work’s done. I dropped the mic when the gold jacket was put on me. It’s a great equalizer. I would celebrate success. I celebrated my own success and I’m certainly open and willing to celebrate other guys, other kickers, colleagues’ success when they have it. And believe me, there’s not one ounce of envy or regret within my body or mind. I’m completely at rest, at ease, relaxed about what I did for 25 years – which it’s hard to believe 25 percent of the league’s existence I’ve played, it’s crazy to think about that in a way. All three commissioners, two all-decade teams. I had my time, I had my run, I’m proud of it. And it’s well documented, and I have a bronze bust that’s going to last 40,000 years in Canton, Ohio.

“I tell all the guys that I meet, ‘I want you to fulfill your own American dream. Go as far as you can. If that means breaking all my records, have at it.”

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