Morten Andersen came to American in 1977 for his final year of high school, a foreign-exchange student from Denmark who needed to figure out how to use his time. The football coach at Ben Davis High in Indianapolis figured out exactly how to get the most out of him.
Andersen, who entered the Pro Football Hall of Fame on Saturday as the second kicker-only inductee ever, told the story of his first time on the field, via ESPN’s Mike Triplett:
“Up front of us was not a pretty view, either. There was a line of big derriers, and they were facing me,” Andersen said. “Coach (Bob) Wilbur whispered to me, ‘Just kick the (expletive) out of it. And if you don’t, I’m sending you back on the boat.’ “
Again, this was 1977. And Wilbur’s “threat” clearly was a joke. But it worked!
Andersen quickly got a scholarship to Michigan State, became a fourth-round NFL Draft pick in 1982 and went on to be the all-time leading scorer in NFL history.
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