Morten Andersen, the NFL's Oldest Player
Originally published: 01.01.07 by Terry Tanker
Morten Andersen is the oldest player in pro football, the league's all-time leading scorer and a shoe-in for the Hall of Fame, assuming he ever retires. He met with Publisher Terry Tanker to discuss football, business and, the preparation that goes into both.
1. What is your favorite college memory?
I'm not sure I can tell you that ...
2. What about the 63-yard field goal you kicked for Michigan State against Ohio State in Columbus?
That is a great memory, but I till can't tell you the favorite one.
3. You're the oldest player in the game and a year older than your coach, Jim Mora. Do you give him advice?
I'd like to think I have an important role in the locker room with the younger players. I also think it's easier for me to let the coaching staff know if their message is being understood. Sales teams often function the same way, with older, more established reps mentoring the rookies.
4. You've played on seven Pro Bowl teams. What was that like?
It's an honor and I highly recommend the Hawaiian experience.
5. You hold over a dozen professional football records. Which one is your favorite?
Consecutive games scoring. That dates back to 1983. We've scored at least one point in over 345 consecutive games.
It may be cliché, but it's a team game. I may kick the ball and score the points, but it couldn't happen without a snapper, holder, and the others on the line. I assume the contractors your publication writes for operate in a similar fashion with sales, service, and installation people all working toward a goal.
7. Is there a favorite game you recall?
That would be the 1999 conference championship game. We were 14-2 and had to play Minnesota, who was 15-1 on the road. A successful 39-yard kick in overtime sent us to the Super Bowl that year.
8. We are conducting this interview a few days before your game against Dallas. You need just one point to became the all-time leading scorer in pro football history. Are you more nervous than normal?
Everyone gets butterflies, but I'm not nervous. In sports or business, it's about the focus and preparation you put in. It's about team results, not individual. If you prepare well, you do well. When you are fully prepared for a sales call, you're not nervous, you are confident; you can't wait for the call to start. You're excited. That's game day. I can't wait for Sunday.
9. What has been the secret to you're longevity?
Ninety percent of life is showing up, and I like to show up, prepare, and then execute on Sunday. I'm sure good contractors do the same thing.
10. How do you approach the season?
I set goals in the off season and determine what I'll need to do to achieve them. In your terms, it's my business plan. Once the season starts, I've only got 16 weeks to accomplish the goals I've set. I've been involved with several businesses and took the same approach, but our season was 52 weeks. You may not reach the goal every week, but you show up, execute and then adjust. On the field or in business, it's all about getting better every week.
11. What type of businesses have you been involved with?
A restaurant, a hotel, and a direct-marketing company that dealt with displays for tradeshows and point-of-purchase displays.
12. Anything else?
I've done some promotional work for Grundfos. They are a Danish company, and I'm friends with Poul Due Jensen, the grandson of the company founder.
13. How did that relationship begin?
I was playing for Kansas City at the time, and received a phone call from Poul, who I believe was in charge of their marketing at the time. We're both from Denmark, so it was a natural fit.
14. What did you do for them?
I did some promotional appearances, speeches, and met with some of their dealers. They have good products. After spending time learning about the company and what they have to offer, I ended up installing one of their circulation pumps in my home.
15. Do you know the brand of your HVAC system?
16. What do you know about the HVAC system in your home?
Right is on, left is off and I own a service contract.
17. Can you tell me about the service contract?
It's a whole-home service contract. One day per month, the company comes out and checks all the systems. They maintain and fix everything — HVAC, plumbing, lighting.
18. What convinced you to own a service contract?
Knowing my limitations. I own three homes, and one of them is in Denmark. I'm not mechanical, but I know there are good service companies out there willing to help you. When I find one, I write the check
19. How large is the check?
You can buy a three-month contract up to one year. Mine is for one year and it cost $5,000 for my home in Atlanta. That number also includes allowances for replacement parts.
20. Final question, when are you going to retire?
When they tell me I can't play anymore.