GREAT PLAY FROM A GREAT NAME
You can be sure plenty of folks will remember “the play.” It came in the second quarter of the 1973 Orange Bowl game against Notre Dame when Johnny Rodgers threw a touchdown pass to Frosty Anderson.
“I wasn’t supposed to be in for that play,” Frosty Anderson said. “We knew the play would be there and it would be an easy six.” It was and the rest of the night was a disaster for the Fighting Irish. But, that’s not the game that Frosty thinks of as his best game.
“The Wisconsin game was my best game,” he said. “We kept getting behind and then I finally scored and put Nebraska ahead. I thought that would do it but Wisconsin came back and scored. That’s when Tony Davis went to work with one of his three rushes for about 30 yards each.” Nebraska won.
“Someone came up and made a comment that I had something like nine catches and 160 yards,” Frosty said. “I didn’t think much about it even though it turned out to be an I-back type of performance.”
It’s not surprising Frosty might turn in a memorable performance against a Big 10 team. He comes from Big 10 roots. His father, Forrest, Sr. who was better know as “Forddy” coached basketball at Michigan State. The family moved to Scottsbluff where his dad accepted a basketball coaching position. Frosty became a standout for Scottsbluff and caught the eye of Nebraska coach Jim Ross during a Scottsbluff-Fremont game.
Coach Devaney knew Frosty’s dad from his days as an assistant football coach at Michigan State.
“I always assumed I would be headed for Michigan State but when the Nebraska offer came, I thought what the heck and signed,” he said. Not bad decision when you consider that only two years later, the young Scottsbluff star would be wearing a National Championship ring.
Like all freshmen players in those days, Frosty started in the Nebraska freshman football program. That team only had one loss. “We lost to the Kearney State first team,” Frosty said.
“Jim Walden was our freshman football coach,” Frosty said. “He was my first experience with a ‘south-mouth’ and he preached three things: be ag-ile, be mob-ile and be hos-tile. Frosty red-shirted his sophomore year.
“I’m what was known as hope of the second team,” he said. “To play at Nebraska, you have to be top-notch, be accountable for what you do, and be patient. That’s just the way it is.” Frosty got knocked around on the scout team and was “Blackshirt bait” before he earned his day in the Memorial Stadium sun.
His first varsity touchdown came on a Van Brownson pass during a Utah State game. “It was off of a hook pattern out and up,” Frosty remembered as a smile came across his face. “He almost overthrew me and I had to lay out for it but I got it.”
Patience and practice paid off as the talented split end inched up the depth chart. He made the ABC Sports highlight films with a clutch 3rd. down and 15 yard catch against Colorado. “It was a precise seventeen yard down and out pattern and I caught it.”
Not everything went the Husker’s way during Frosty’s senior year. “We went to California to play UCLA and Mark Harmon and they beat us. I lost my starting job at that game,” Frosty said. Oklahoma also throttled Nebraska, 27-0. “It took almost seven years before I stopped taking that Oklahoma defeat personally.”
In spite of the losses, Frosty earned All-Conference honors at his split end position and also academic honors. “I met Mark Harmon at the academic event and he told me they were really afraid of Nebraska. I was surprised by that.”
The pro scouts noticed Frosty, too. The New Orleans Saints drafted him in the eighth round as a wide receiver. His pro career lasted two years. During his first season, he went in late in the first half against the New York Jets, with Joe Namath at the helm, and separated his shoulder. “They had to keep me because of my contract, but I got cut the next year.”
That ended football for Frosty Anderson. Frosty is still in great shape and is an avid runner. “Not the marathon stuff,” he quickly pointed out. “I don’t have time for that.”
If he turns around in his office chair just a little, he can look out his 11th floor office window and see Memorial Stadium but the football memories don’t consume him. “When you have kids, you soon find out that they aren’t impressed that you played for the Huskers. They just want their diapers changed. It didn’t take long for me to move on.”
He has become a unique fan, too. “People need to remember that they are just kids. Kids don’t hear you. Nobody had to tell me we played a bad game or we lost a game. We knew it. It’s just a game.”
Not in Nebraska, Frosty, especially with a great name like yours.