Gary Anderson (placekicker)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
This article is about the placekicker. For other people of the same name, see Gary Anderson (disambiguation).
Gary Anderson
No. 1
Kicker
Personal information
Date of birth: (1959-07-16) 16 July 1959 (age 54)
Place of birth: Parys, Orange Free State, South Africa
Career information
College: Syracuse
NFL Draft: 1982 / Round: 7 / Pick: 171
Debuted in 1982 for the Pittsburgh Steelers
Last played in 2004 for the Tennessee Titans
Career history
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
FG Att 672
FGM 538
Pct 80.1
Points scored 2,434
Stats at NFL.com
Stats at DatabaseFootball.com

Gary Allan Anderson (born July 16, 1959) is a former National Football League placekicker. He was the first NFL kicker to have a "perfect regular season," successfully making every field goal and every PAT during regular season play in 1998.

Early life[edit]

Anderson was born in Parys, South Africa and grew up in Durban. His father, the Reverend Douglas Anderson, played professional football in England.[1] His mother was South African. Shortly after Gary graduated from high school at Brettonwood High, Reverend Anderson left South Africa and moved his family to the United States.[2]

Anderson had hoped to follow in his father's footsteps and become a professional soccer player in Europe. On his third day after immigrating to the US, Anderson had been given a few American footballs to kick. He went to a local high school football field in Downingtown, Pennsylvania to see what kicking this type of ball was like. Gary grew up playing Rugby and was drop kicking them from the 50-yard line. A high school football coach and personal friend of Dick Vermeil watched Gary and arranged a tryout with the Philadelphia Eagles the next day.[3] Gary was just 18 having just graduated high school, so after the tryout there were University scouts present, all four scouts offered scholarships to Gary on the spot. Gary chose Syracuse after they promised him that he would also be able to play on the school's soccer team. He played for the Syracuse soccer team in 1978 and 1979, scoring nineteen goals, before devoting himself to football his junior and senior seasons.[4]

Professional career[edit]

After graduating from Syracuse University, he was drafted as a placekicker by the Buffalo Bills in the 1982 NFL Draft but was cut before the season began. He then, within a few days, signed as a free agent with the Pittsburgh Steelers and spent the following 12 seasons in Pittsburgh. For the 1995 and 1996 seasons, Anderson signed as a free agent with the Philadelphia Eagles. He then spent the 1997 season as a member of the San Francisco 49ers.

He also had the distinction of wearing a one-bar facemask throughout his career, even though the NFL outlawed their use prior to his final season in 2004 - he, along with Arizona Cardinals punter Scott Player, were afforded a grandfather clause.

In 1998, Anderson signed with the Minnesota Vikings and converted all 35 of his attempted field goals and all 59 extra points in regular season play, becoming the first placekicker to finish the regular season with a 100% success rate on both field goals and extra points. His only miss of the season came in a playoff game against the Atlanta Falcons. The Falcons ending up winning the game in overtime sending them to Super Bowl XXXIII. Anderson played for the Vikings until 2002. In 2000 while with the Vikings, Anderson surpassed the legendary George Blanda to become the NFL's All-Time Leading Scorer and held the record upon his retirement from the NFL in 2004. Anderson played his final 2 seasons with the Tennessee Titans in the 2003 and 2004 seasons. Gary played 23 years in the NFL; only Morten Andersen and George Blanda have had longer playing tenures.

NFL records[edit]

Single Season[edit]

  • Held record for Points in a single season with no touchdowns scored: 1998 (164 points, 59 PATs, 35 FGs)[5](broken by David Akers in 2011)
  • Field Goal Percentage: 1998 (100%, 35/35)[6]

Career[edit]

  • PATs made/attempted in postseason: 56/57[citation needed]
  • Points: 2nd place, 2,434[7] Held record from 2000 (passing George Blanda) until 2006 (passed by Morten Andersen).
  • FG made: 2nd place, 538.[8]
  • Extra points made: 3rd place, 820.[9]
  • Games: 2nd place, 353.[10]
  • Points as a Pittsburgh Steeler: 1,343[11]
  • Postseason losses: 13.

Monday Night[edit]

  • Points scored on Monday Night: 241
  • PATS made/attempted on Monday Night: 88/88
  • Field goals made on Monday Night: 51
  • Field goals attempted on Monday Night: 66-tied with Jason Elam
  • Field goals made in career: 978

Streaks and miscellaneous[edit]

  • Games with at least 3 field goals: 76
  • Games with at least 3 PATs: 127
  • Games with at least 2 PATs: 216
  • Games with at least 10 points: 85
  • Games with at least 6 or more Points in a Season: 16 (1998)
  • Consecutive seasons with at least 50 points: 23, (1982–2004)
  • Oldest player to kick 6 field goals in a game: 39 years, 150 days
  • Oldest player to score 20 points in a game: 39 years, 150 days
  • Held a record for 16 straight postseason field goals (broken by David Akers on January 11, 2009).

Retirement[edit]

Anderson stayed with the Vikings until the 2003 season, then he joined the Tennessee Titans as a replacement for the injured Joe Nedney. Anderson connected on 27 of 31 field goal attempts in the regular season despite rotating periodically with punter Craig Hentrich, who booted four of five FGAs. In Tennessee's playoff win over Baltimore Anderson connected on the winning 46-yard field goal in the final seconds, while in Tennessee's playoff loss to New England he missed on his one attempt.

After that season, Anderson was making plans to retire and turned down offers from several teams to come kick for them. Also, in June 2004, Anderson and his wife, Kay, and sons Austin and Douglas moved to the Canadian Rocky Mountains in Canmore, Alberta, Canada (just outside of Banff National Park). When Nedney went down with another season-ending injury after the start of the 2004 season, Anderson again agreed to kick for the Titans, commuting from Canada each week. At the time of his retirement, Anderson was the last active player in the NFL to have played under former Steelers head coach Chuck Noll. Anderson's son Austin, began his University career the Fall of 2008 as a Freshman at the McGill University in Montreal, Quebec and remained the starting placekicker for the McGill Redmen Football Team until his graduation in April 2012. Gary, and his wife, Kay, give back to their community by hosting an annual charity fundraiser called, "Dreams for Teams" in Canmore, Alberta with the mission to: To make a positive difference in the lives of Bow Valley School Athletes, primarily through providing financial support, to assist them to become Leaders, Valuing Teamwork, and Achieving Athletic and Academic Excellence. Anderson also gives back by coaching the local boys high school soccer team in Canmore. Anderson is passionate about fly fishing and is also a spokesman for the fly fishing industry.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Sporting positions
Preceded by
Eddie Murray
Philadelphia Eagles Starting Kickers
1995-1996
Succeeded by
Chris Boniol
Records
Preceded by
George Blanda
(2,002)
Career NFL points record holder
(2,434)

2000–2006
Succeeded by
Morten Andersen