PFHOF Profile: Morten Andersen

morten-andersen-abf07b3fbbe74ba2Sports have grown to something completely different than when it started as leagues are now bigger than ever.

They have become massive businesses with their own TV networks and massive ad revenue that drive the business.

The problem with that growth is that there isn’t much room left to grow and leagues are now reaching their limits inside North America.

Recently every league has been looking beyond those borders in order to expand their reach throughout the world.

The NFL is one of the leaders in this respect as they have already made London, England a regular stop during the season and are looking for other places to hold games.

They are trying, like every other league, to become an international brand and grow the sport everywhere else.

It can be tougher for the NFL though as their sport is heavily concentrated in North America and very few other places.

North America is the home of football and everywhere else doesn’t really notice the sport at all.

It can be tough to develop in other countries when there are few people playing the game in those other countries.

Yet despite the few people playing the sport in those countries, there have still been players that have come from outside of North America and made an impact.

Although a few have come from Canada or from south of the USA ther

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e has been only a handful that have come from Europe and really made an impact.

Morten Andersen is a part of that handful as the native of Denmark made the NFL and became one of the most prolific kickers in the history of the league.

Andersen was born and raised in Denmark and never saw a football let alone ever kicked a football his entire life.

It wasn’t until his final year of high school when he joined an exchange program that brought him to the USA.

That is where he played the game for the first time ever and began using his natural ability to kick the ball in his new high school.

Je was so good at the position that his one year playing the game earned him a scholarship to Michigan State.

Out of nowhere this Danish teenager was a top kicking prospect in the NCAA and earned a spot with the New Orleans Saints.

Although his first year ended early he would become one of the greatest kickers of all time putting up the most points in NFL history while also making the most field goals ever.

A lot of that had to do with his longevity in the game as he played 27 years in the league and remained one of the most reliable kickers in the game.

Of course, when it came time for him to earn a spot in the Hall of Fame he had to face the biggest biases left in the NFL.

That is the bias against kickers who don’t play all that often and are protecting from even getting hit on most plays.

They come out to add an extra point or kick a field goal then sit back on the bench until they are needed again.

Unlike other players who have to get out there and suffer contact on close to half of the plays, they are the players who are specialists.

This often makes them the butt of jokes in the league as many don’t consider them to be real football players.

That thought comes through in the Hall of Fame voting as well with many voters seeing it the same way and therefore not allowing them into Canton.

morten-andersen_pg_600They are a lot tougher to quantify because they don’t play a traditional position and don’t have the traditional stats.

Nobody really knows what makes a great kicker other than making the kicks at the right time and piling them up.

It is tough for them to make an impact but they do find their way to Canton even if it is a very exclusive club.

The first pure kicker to make it into Canton was Jan Stenrud who was a part of the Class of 1991.

He joined George Blanda and Lou Groza as the only kickers in the hall but both Groza and Blanda played other positions during their careers.

Ray Guy was the next pure kicker, albeit a punter, who was a member of the Class of 2014.

Now Andersen joins this group and although he seems like a no-brainer as the leading scorer in the history of the league he still had to wait due to that bias.

Andersen will be an exclusive member of the Hall of Fame for more than one reason as he is only one of five kickers and one of five players from outside of North America to earn a bust.

It has been a strange road for a kid from Denmark but Andersen makes his way to Canton showing that kickers are people too and that the NFL has always had a bit of an international flavour.

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