When Lars Anderson was attending Columbia University's Graduate
School of Journalism, one course that was not offered was
Introduction to Wild Hog Hunting. So when Anderson, an SI
reporter, recently found himself on just such an expedition in
south-central Texas with Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Koy
Detmer and his dad, Sonny, he was forced to wing it.
"I'd never been on a hog hunt before, so the Detmers really
wanted me to get one," says Anderson, 26. "It was hot and humid,
cacti everywhere--and there were rumors of rattlesnakes. So I
was a little distracted. Besides, we didn't spot any hogs until
just before it was time to head home. Koy was the only hunter to
The hunt netted the Detmers some good eats and Anderson an
insightful look at the family forces that have shaped the
careers of Koy, a rookie quarterback vying for a spot with the
Eagles, and his brother Ty, Philadelphia's starting QB (page
74). Though Koy is the first professional quarterback Anderson
has bonded with on a hunting trip, there was a time when he
believed he was related to a pro QB. As a kid in Lincoln, Neb.,
where the nearest NFL team is a three-hour drive away in Kansas
City, Lars adopted the Cincinnati Bengals as his team. Why?
"Orange was my favorite color," says the kid from Big Red
country, "and they had a quarterback named Anderson."
Knowing that Ken Anderson was his son's football hero, dad
Robert would arrange to have the operator ring the Anderson's
line on Sunday mornings in autumn. Robert would then answer the
phone and stage a conversation with "Uncle Ken." Six-year-old
Lars fell for it hook, line and sinker.
"The thought that I had an uncle who played pro ball made for
great stories at recess," says Lars. "When my dad finally told
me it was a hoax, it was like the sky had fallen. But I never
stopped pulling for Ken Anderson."
And he never lost his love of the game. "Growing up in Lincoln,
it's hard not to be passionate about football," he says. His
interest eventually extended beyond the American version of the
game; at St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minn., Anderson played
forward on the soccer team. An avid basketball fan, he recently
beat his friend and former Nebraska star (and current L.A.
Clipper) Eric Piatkowski at a game of H-O-R-S-E. Anderson is
currently working on a book with SI colleague Chad Millman
called Pickup Artists, about the country's top playground
"Lars is a fine writer, but he also has a nose for what makes
sports interesting," says SI senior editor Larry Burke. "And
that leads him to a lot of good ideas--like taking a poll of NFL
players to find out who their dirtiest opponents are (page 9).
Lars has a real knack for getting to the heart of a story."
Even if it means chasing hogs in the Texas heat.
COLOR PHOTO: MANNY MILLAN "Uncle Ken" was Anderson's hero. [Photograph of Lars Anderson superimposed on photograph of Ken Anderson]
COLOR PHOTO: RONALD C. MODRA [Ken Anderson wearing Cincinnati Bengal's helmet]