Morten Andersen has a pretty compelling case as the greatest kicker in NFL history. He’s the NFL’s all-time leader in points (2,544), field goals made (565), game-winning field goals (103) and is the only player in NFL history to have been selected to two All-Decade teams. He’s also the all-time leader in games played, having played in 382 games over a quarter of a century, and his 360-game scoring streak is the longest in NFL history by nearly 100 games.
And yet, he is not in the Hall of Fame. Why is it so hard for specialists to get in the Hall?
“Well, let me say this to start: I’m quite honestly getting tired of having to constantly defend specialists,” Andersen said on CBS Sports Radio’s Gio and Jones. “Can we just say football player? Every position now is so specialized. You can’t tell me a pass rusher that comes in only on third down is not a specialist. You can’t tell me a guy playing nickel defense is not a specialist. You can go on and on with every single position. You’re running a running back in short yardage versus other downs. So the game of football has been specialized. So I’m just getting very tired of them putting us in a box. What we do takes a special skill set, just like other positions demand special skill sets from that player. I just want to leave it at that. I think the Hall should recognize greatness in the context and history in the game.”
Andersen is a Hall of Fame finalist for the fourth straight year. What are the odds he finally gets in this season?
“What are my chances?” he asked. “They haven’t been very good the last five years. They kicked me out from 15 to 10. So it’s relevant from the standpoint of being among the 15 finalists, but they cut from 15 to 10 and then 10 to 5 and then again. There’s three votes within the room and you still got to get 80 percent. So really, this is only like the round of 16, if you will, because you’re still making cuts. It’s difficult. I don’t envy the job. But just look at the numbers. All the other Hall of Fames have their leading point scorer in the Hall. This is the only sport where the leading scorer is not in the Hall.”