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John DeShazier: Morten Andersen prepared for emotional induction into Pro Football Hall of Fame

Saints legend has his speech ready to deliver

After compiling a 25-year professional career in which even his most significant moments on the field could be capsuled in five- to eight-second snippets, Morten Andersen plans to take his time Saturday during his induction speech into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio.

The Copenhagen, Denmark, native and former New Orleans Saint (1982-94) is the NFL's all-time leading scorer (2,544 points), and is just the second kicker to reach the Hall of Fame, after Jan Stenerud.

Andersen, during a Monday interview on the Black And Blue Report – a podcast featuring Saints and New Orleans Pelicans content which is broadcast on teams' respective websites – said that the recommendation was that the speech last eight to 10 minutes.

"That's just not realistic to get that done," he said, laughing. "Couldn't land the plane in eight minutes – for 25 years, how do you do that? Mine is going to be right at 13 minutes. If I stay to the script, if I take time for crying, for hopefully some applause and laughter, we might be at 13-and-a-half, 14 minutes.

"I'm going to try to hold it together but there are obviously moments that you bring forward that are going to be emotional. There's no way around that."

Saints legend Morten Andersen was inducted to the Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2017 at the NFL Awards show.

And, finally this year, there was no way around Andersen being inducted into the Hall.

Andersen, a six-time All-Pro and seven-time Pro Bowler, was a finalist four times before he was selected. He will be presented by his son, Sebastian.

"I've spent a great deal of time on my acceptance speech," he said. "I think my son, Sebastian, who's presenting me, has done a good job – he's already videotaped his piece. We've picked out some clothes we want to wear, the family is ready to go. Just basically, have really kind of spent some time with friends and family and people in my life that were a huge part of this. We've got over 350 people coming, so it's going to be more like a wedding."

Twenty-five years of labor laid the foundation for the blissful union. And it also presents an opportunity for Andersen to pay homage to his native country.

"The legacy is long, the career is long, 25 years," he said. "All five (NFL) teams I played for, most significantly the New Orleans Saints, but also my college team the Michigan State Spartans, my high school team, and the country of Denmark and its fans.

"We have the Danish flag right now flying in Canton, Ohio. We actually did a Facebook Live ceremony a couple of days ago, and more than 25,000 people watched it. A lot of Danish fans are interested in this. But I think it's just a wonderful celebration of what can happen when people do things the right way and do it together."

Andersen also said he is appreciative of all the people who helped make possible his induction.

"It's a very humbling realization to know that you have a bronze bust that's going to last thousands of years, long after you're gone and all of your contemporaries are gone," he said. "That is a very difficult thing to put words to. Any time you start talking about legacy and being immortalized, those things are uncomfortable territory because I know that nothing happens by yourself.

"No one with great success has done it alone. I'm just continuing to be mindful of the collaborative nature of my experience in the NFL, and understanding that there were a lot of guys pulling in the same direction. I'm very fortunate to be going into the Hall, but it's also a reflection of the quality of the people I had helping me."

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