Commentary

On the Hot Seat: Derek Anderson

Updated: December 5, 2007, 4:52 PM ET
By Jason Sobel | ESPN.com

Here's what you likely know about Derek Anderson: As a first-year, full-time starter for the Cleveland Browns, he's led the team to a 7-5 record while throwing 24 touchdown passes against only 13 interceptions.

Here's what you likely don't know about Derek Anderson: In addition to being an NFL quarterback, he's a full-blown golf nerd who not only plays a lot, but watches Golf Channel all the time.

We put Anderson on the ESPN.com Hot Seat to discuss his dream foursome, his favorite courses and how golf could be a factor in where he suits up in 2008.

Q: I hope you don't mind, but I'm not going to ask one question about football -- nothing about the loss to the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday, nothing about an impending playoff berth. Instead, we're going to talk golf. That OK with you?
A: Oh yeah.

Q: Just how obsessed are you with golf?
A: I'm pretty obsessed, actually. I enjoy playing as much as I can. I've done 54 [holes] in a day numerous times.

Q: When was the last time you did that?
A: Right before I came to training camp.

Q: None of your coaches are going to read this, so you can be honest with me. How much golf do you play during the season?
A: Actually, I haven't played at all. I left my clubs in Oregon this year, but in college, I used to play every Sunday.

Q: C'mon -- not at all? Really?
A: Nope, don't even have 'em out here.

Q: How's the handicap these days?
A: Oh, it's frozen now, I believe [laughs], since the winter is coming upon us.

Q: In more ways than one?
A: Exactly.

Q: Where do you rank on the team? Are you giving everybody strokes?
A: Yeah, probably. Me and [kicker Phil] Dawson are probably pretty close.

Q: Have you played against him?
A: Yeah, I beat him a couple of times. And he's beat me a couple of times.

Q: Your team beat the Baltimore Ravens in overtime a few weeks ago. Prior to the game, you were asked if you're a better golfer than their quarterback, Kyle Boller, and you responded: "I haven't really played with him for a little while, but I'm going to go ahead and say I'll beat him next time we play." Those are fighting words, man.
A: Well, you know, it's always good. He's actually going to probably come out to Oregon in the offseason and play Bandon Dunes with me, so I'll probably get him then.

Q: Any other players you have a not-so-friendly rivalry with on the course?
A: Not really. Most of the time it's a good time, but occasionally it gets pretty heated.

[+] EnlargeDerek Anderson
Jeff Harwell/US PresswireAnderson has a quarterback rating of 87.7 this season.

Q: What other guys in the league do you often play with?
A: I played a lot with Trent Dilfer when he was here and Phil and Dave Zastudil. Mostly guys here. And one of my best friends was with the Lions, so we'd go up to Detroit and play with [Dan] Orlovsky and [Don] Muhlbach and those guys up there, so we had a nice little thing going.

Q: Do you get more of a thrill out of throwing a touchdown pass or making a birdie?
A: Hmmm, I don't know. Touchdown passes are great [laughs].

Q: And birdies aren't?
A: No, they are, but they're more frequent [laughs].

Q: I guess you get more high-fives when you throw a touchdown pass.
A: That's right, a little more excitement.

Q: Who's your favorite golfer to watch on TV?
A: Tiger [Woods], by far. He's pretty spectacular.

Q: Have you ever met him?
A: No, I haven't.

Q: Would you like to? And would you like to play with him someday?
A: Yeah, that'd be awesome. I'd probably be a little nervous [laughs].

Q: Shank one off the first tee with him watching you?
A: Oh, I'd probably hit two or three in the woods!

Q: You recently told "ESPN First Take" that you watch Golf Channel "all the time." How much is "all the time?" Are we talking infomercials and everything?
A: Yeah, I watch a little bit of the infomercials, a little Golf Central, whatever's on, for the most part. Then my wife tells me, "That's enough," and she takes the controller.

Q: You list your favorite TV show as "Big Break." If you had to break a pane of glass like they do in the show, how many tries would you need before you nailed it?
A: I don't know. I mean, I've never really had to do that, but I'd probably say less than 10. I hope.

Q: Would you like to be on a show like that, where you get to tout your skills a little bit?
A: Yeah, I think they had one already where the Packers guys [Brett Favre, Ryan Longwell, Aaron Rodgers, Al Harris and Mark Tauscher] went on there and did it. I think it would be pretty cool.

Q: Your favorite movie is "Happy Gilmore." Solid choice. Give me your favorite line.
A: The Bob Barker one!

Q: Nice. Yeah, I guess you can't really say it on here, huh?
A: No [laughs].

Q: I'm also a big fan of yelling, "Go to your home!" anytime I leave a 10-foot putt about 5 feet short -- which is pretty often.
A: Yeah, that's one of my favorites, too.

Q: Who's in your dream foursome?
A: Hmmm, I don't know. I think probably Tiger, Jack [Nicklaus], Arnie [Palmer] and Ben Hogan would be sweet. Obviously, not all of those are possible.

Q: So you're just watching, then? You're not even playing?
A: Right. I would just follow them.

Q: And who's winning out of those four?
A: Probably Tiger.

Q: And in this dream scenario, what course would they play?
A: St. Andrews.

Q: Have you played there before?
A: I haven't. My grandparents have been over there a couple of times, and they have lots of cool pictures. Hopefully soon I'll get a chance to go over there.

Q: Is that the one place you would go if you could play anywhere in the world?
A: Yeah, possibly. We have Bandon Dunes and Pacific Trails and all of that in Oregon. It's kind of a similar type of golf, but I may need to go over there and see all of those courses.

Q: Last question: You may become a free agent at the end of this season. All things being equal, does a warm-weather city with plenty of good courses hold an advantage?
A: [Laughs.] Actually, I don't know. I don't think it really matters, just because once the snow comes, you're in the middle of the season and you can't play anyway.

Q: That's a good, political answer.
A: Thanks [laughs].

Q: Derek Anderson, you're off the ESPN.com Hot Seat.
A: Thanks for having me.

Jason Sobel is ESPN.com's golf editor. He can be reached at Jason.Sobel@espn3.com

Jason Sobel | email

Golf Editor, ESPN.com
Jason Sobel, who joined ESPN in 1997, earned four Sports Emmy awards as a member of ESPN's Studio Production department. He became ESPN.com's golf editor in July 2004.