Former New Orleans Saints kicker Morten Andersen wasn’t selected for the Pro Football Hall of Fame on Saturday. Although he was one of 15 finalists for enshrinement, Andersen was one of the first five candidates eliminated when the panel of 46 selectors trimmed the list down to 10.
This was Andersen’s second year of eligibility. He at least made some progress after failing to make the list of 15 finalists as a “rookie” last year.
It’s tough to predict whether Andersen will ever get over the hump. He certainly has impressive credentials as the leading scorer in NFL history and the league’s all-time leader in games played over 25 seasons with the Saints, Atlanta Falcons, New York Giants, Kansas City Chiefs and Minnesota Vikings.
However, it’s obviously tough for a kicker to kick down the door to Canton, Ohio. Only one true kicker is in the Pro Football Hall of Fame -- Jan Stenerud -- and he was enshrined 23 years ago.
Andersen said earlier this week that it would be “awesome” to make the Hall of Fame, not only for himself and those who helped him along the way, but for the entire fraternity of kickers and punters whom he believes are under-represented.
So Andersen probably took some solace in the fact that punter Ray Guy finally became the first punter selected for the Hall of Fame on Saturday as a senior candidate.
The seven members selected for Hall enshrinement were defensive back Aeneas Williams (a New Orleans native), linebacker Derrick Brooks, offensive tackle Walter Jones, receiver Andre Reed, defensive end Michael Strahan and senior candidates Guy and Claude Humphrey.
The five other finalists who made it past the first cut were running back Jerome Bettis, linebacker/end Kevin Greene, defensive end Charles Haley, receiver Marvin Harrison and guard Will Shields.
And the five who missed the first cut were Andersen, receiver Tim Brown, owner Eddie DeBartolo, coach Tony Dungy and safety John Lynch.