As part of the NFL's Legends initiative, former Atlanta Falcons players had an opportunity to attend a reception before the Thursday Night Football game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Earlier in the season, as part of the NFL's Legends initiative, former Atlanta Falcons players had an opportunity to reunite at a reception before the Thursday Night Football game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, giving us a chance to catch up with some of the club's greatest players in franchise history, including former Falcons kicker Morten Andersen.
The year was 1995 and the Falcons were four years removed from their last playoff berth in 1991, when the team signed Andersen as a free agent, turning out to be one of the best moves in franchise history.
It didn't take the left-footed kicker long to put his imprint on the team, setting an NFL mark with three field goals from beyond 50 yards in one game; makes from 55, 55 and 51 yards helped the Falcons edge Andersen's former team, the New Orleans Saints, 19–14.
The victory gave Atlanta its first sweep of the Saints since 1985, which certainly didn't hurt the "Great Dane's" chances of becoming a fan favorite. Three years later, he helped deliver an NFC title to the city, booting a game-winning overtime kick that was heard around the world, topping the Minnesota Vikings in the NFC Championship, advancing to Super Bowl XXXIII.
Andersen played for Atlanta from 1995-2000 and in the 2006-07 seasons, during which he became the NFL's all-time leading scorer (2,654 points) and seized Falcons franchise records for most field goals made (184), PATs (254), most consecutive games scoring (124) and most field goals from 50-yards-plus (15), just to name a few. He also owns league records for most consecutive games scored in (360), most field goals (565) and games played (382), scoring at least one point in a game for 22.5-consecutive years.
In the 1998 season, the Atlanta Falcons took on the Minnesota Vikings in the NFC Championship game, a game that came down to one last field goal by Falcons' kicker Morten Andersen in overtime giving the team a 30-27 victory.
While Andersen's stats will hopefully soon earn him a well-deserved spot in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, the 54-year-old former kicker isn't worried about it, saying, "it's out of my hands, but I would be humbled if they let me in."
As for what Andersen is up to in his post-NFL career, just like his playing days, he's making the most of it, literally impacting the world.
"I started a company in 2009 – Morten Andersen Global," Andersen said. "I do international business consulting, business-to-business consulting. I also have an event planning business and I also have my kicking services on the website. I have a non-profit that my wife and I stated in 2009 as well, Morten Andersen Family Foundation; we raise money for quality life programs for children and youth and also quality life programs for our servicemen and women, specifically special operation forces, Marines, Navy SEALs and Army Rangers. There's plenty on our plate and plenty of exciting things in the next stage of our life."