"I Love Rock 'N Roll" was No. 1 on the charts. The price of gas was — um — considerably less. I was an ornery fetus. And Morten Andersen began his NFL career with the New Orleans Saints.
The year was 1982.
When we last saw our lovable Danish placekicker, it was 2004 and he was in Minnesota breaking George Blanda's record for most games played. Of course, Blanda did a lot more than just kick — that whole quarterbacking thing was kind of impressive — but a record is a record.
Two years later, Andersen — who celebrated his 46th birthday last month — was signed by the Atlanta Falcons, one of his many former teams. The 2-0 Falcons have been partying like it's 1999 — that's not a cliché, that's the year Atlanta played in the Super Bowl — but their one weakness has been punter Michael Koenen. The inexperienced 24-year-old has also assumed kicking and kickoff duties, which was supposed to save the team a roster spot.
Koenen has missed six out of eight field goal attempts, including three of four misses in the crucial 30-to-39-yard range. So when the Falcons play a close game, a reliable kicker might be of use.
Enter Andersen. Or should I say "re-enter." Andersen was the Falcons' kicker for six years, including the aforementioned 1999 Super Bowl. Anderson accounted for 7 of the team's 19 points in a losing effort to John Elway and the Denver Broncos.
The much-anticipated return to football in the Saints' Superdome will include another storyline, albeit minor compared to the big picture in New Orleans: Andersen will play against the team that gave him a paycheck for 13 seasons, while playing for his other former team.
It's unclear how Andersen will bond with his team, given that he's 46 and his closest age peer is 35-year-old O-tackle Wayne Gandy. To put it in perspective, Falcons head coach Jim Mora is 45. And from the Department Of It's A Small World, Mora's father Jim Sr. was the coach in New Orleans for several seasons in the late '80s and early '90s, the same time Andersen wore the old gold, black, and white.
If I were a betting man, I'd figure that while the rest of the team pumps up for the game listening to Jay-Z on their iPods, Andersen will be in the corner getting psyched for the game while listening to some great tunes on his Wurlitzer.
Will signing the ageless kicker solve the Falcons placekicking woes? Time will tell, but one thing's for sure … hold on, I've just been given a breaking story. Yes, it appears the Oakland Raiders have signed George Blanda to be their new quarterback.Powered by Sidelines