John Anderson – Money!

The loneliest and perhaps one of the most pressure-packed positions on the football field has got to be place kicker. It takes a certain personality to be able to balance the down time of standing alone on the sidelines waiting your turn, with the calm to be able to trot onto the field and kick a crucial field goal with little preparation.

Everyone knows when you screw up, there's no place for a kicker to hide. John Anderson has the perfect make-up for that role. He has struggled a bit this season as the placekicking unit gets their timing down between the snap, hold, and kick. However, even when Anderson struggles, no one ever wavers in their confidence in him.

The USC game was a perfect example. Anderson had missed an earlier field goal attempt in the game, but the offense was able to maneuver down the field and get into position for an Anderson trey that would win it. When Larry Tripplett was asked what he was doing while Anderson was lining up for his last second game-winner, Larry responded, "I was taking off my tape. John Anderson is money."

That's the type of trust his teammates and coaches place in him. It's that fun-loving, joking, easy-going personality that enables him to take such pressure situations and make them seem routine.

Well, not exactly routine. Anderson admits that the final kick against USC was not accomplished without some butterflies present.

"I was nervous. It was awesome. I hit it, saw it was good, and said, ‘Thank God.' I was just really happy."

Anderson's parents, Jeff and Patty, were in attendance and both were speechless nearly an hour after the game. "Yes, they get pretty nervous," said John with a smile. "But they are very supportive of me, so it's just fun."

Coach Rick Neuheisel once said of Anderson, "John has ice water in his veins. He lives for the moment." Did that show through before his kick against the Trojans? Well . . .

"I don't know if he was more nervous or if I was more nervous," recalls Anderson. "He told me that he wasn't nervous, but I could tell he was. He looked at me and asked me if I was nervous, and I said, ‘No.' I think he knew I was lying too."

"There is a good nervous and a bad nervous. The good nervous is when you are confident and you know you have the ability to do it. It's not like I went out there and thought, ‘I can't make this kick. I've never made this before in my life.' Then, I would've been really nervous. I was just glad to be in that situation."

If you know John Anderson, you know that he's most at home with a fishing rod in his hands. When he's not sending three-pointers through the uprights, he's trying his best to get out on the water. "Growing up in South Florida, we live near the ocean, so I got a lot of opportunities. I grew up on fishing boats and have done it since I was really little. It is just what I love to do," said Anderson.

"It is what I do at home, and I am starting to go up here. I have done a little bit of fishing up here now. I went fishing for salmon a couple of times. It was fun."

If it came down to it, Anderson would have a difficult time determining which moment he would enjoy more, hauling in the big fish from the deep sea or kicking the game winning field goal. "Actually, I'd like both."

He then thought about it some more and settled on the game winner on the field. "That is awesome and I can't do that forever. I will always be able to fish."

One item you would likely find in his boat if you went fishing with the Anderson clan would be a Doobie Brothers CD. That is a bond between Husky Head Coach Rick Neuheisel and John, a passion for good classical rock. The Doobie Brothers connection was important enough for Rick Neuheisel to write about on a photo he autographed of John that sits in the Anderson family living room.

"I like a lot of classical rock, the Doobie Brothers, absolutely. My dad is a big fan too and definitely influenced me. They've got a lot of good songs."

The biggest adjustment for Anderson in moving to the northwest has been what you would expect. "The weather, and not being able to go fishing on the weekends," said John. "Mainly, just adjusting to the college life. I still like to call Florida my home and that will never change. But I love Seattle – don't get me wrong – it is a great place. I love going to school here. I am really glad I choose to go to school here. But, I am a Florida kid, a native Floridian. I need sun and surf," laughed John.

If you were to go visit Anderson and ask him for a tour of South Florida, you'd be in for a football treat. "I would take you to go see high school football games. Especially on Friday nights, teams like Suncoast, and Belle Glades, who is one of the top five teams in the country. It is different. If you have never seen football in Florida or Texas, you have never seen high school football. There are 15,000 people there, barbecuing, it's an event. The whole town is there. It is awesome." was in Florida in early September and attended a game involving Suncoast and Glades with Charles Frederick, Sr. and Jeff Anderson. Five trips to the chicken-wing stand said it all.

"(Laugh) It is awesome. They have fried catfish there and everything," said Anderson.

So how does a South Beach kid learn about Washington football? Seems that the Huskies' drubbing of top-ranked Oklahoma on New Year's Day in 1985 had quite an impact on a five-year old kid.

"I was really little, but I remember going to the game because I remember the Sooner wagon flipped over. That is the one thing I can tell you about the 1985 Orange Bowl."

Well, maybe it wasn't so much the quality of football as it was the wagon.

Thankfully, the boy who practiced kicking from his dad's hold through a set of Fisher-Price uprights on the front lawn decided to leave behind the world of catfish and chicken wings for a chance to create his own Husky memories.

John admitted the game winning field goal against USC was one of the greatest moments in his kicking life. Let's take a look back, courtesy of Husky announcer, Bob Rondeau:

"The man from Florida comes onto the field – Junior from Boynton Beach, John Anderson. Pickett will hold for him. 32-yard attempt to win the football game – presumably.

Three seconds remain. Here we go …

Snap back, ball down, kick on the way … MONEY!" Top Stories