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Vikings receiver Cris Carter during his playing days.

Carlos Gonzalez, Star Tribune file

Carter ready to join Hall of Fame with six others

  • Article by: ASSOCIATED PRESS
  • August 3, 2013 - 9:47 AM

Cris Carter was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame on his sixth try, a long wait for the former Vikings receiver.

But one more of Saturday’s inductees, ex-Packers linebacker Dave Robinson, had an even longer wait.

An Ohio native, like Carter, Robinson’s superb 12-season pro career ended in 1974 with three championship rings, but the ultimate recognition of his performances as one of the game’s most versatile linebackers didn’t come until this January.

“That bust means an awful lot,” Robinson said. “That bust will last forever.”

He had to wait nearly four decades to be voted in as a senior candidate. Rather than expressing any bitterness over the lengthy delay, Robinson has been as giddy about making the hall as if he had been unanimously chosen in his first year of eligibility.

“I’ve been involved with the board of directors since 1980,” he said, “so I’ve been around the Hall of Fame a lot. I’ve never been on this side before. … It’s a big thrill.”

Carter and Robinson are joined in the Class of 2013 by offensive lineman Larry Allen, senior selection Curley Culp, offensive tackle Jonathan Ogden, coach Bill Parcells and defensive tackle Warren Sapp.

The seven-man class was elected by the Hall of Fame Committee on Feb. 2, the day before Super Bowl XLVII, in New Orleans.

Carter was noted for his near-impossible sideline catches — tiptoeing both feet at the sideline and successfully pulling in a pass in the split-second before falling out of bounds.

“I catch everything that the normal people catch and I catch a few things that no one catches. That’s what I used to say to myself before every game,” Carter said.

Four of his former Vikings teammates, Chris Doleman, John Randle, Randall McDaniel and Gary Zimmerman, preceded Carter with enshrinement over the past five years.

Culp retired in 1981, and is also grateful for his belated recognition.

“It’s an exciting time, people calling, wanting to write a story — friends and people you meet over the years calling and congratulating,” he said. “It’s been great to enjoy the ride.”

The standout defensive lineman played a big role in helping shut down the Vikings offense when Kansas City won Super Bowl IV.

Allen, who won a Super Bowl with Dallas, plans to remember his mother, Vera, who kept him away from gangs when Allen was a kid in Los Angeles. Vera Allen died a year ago.

“I miss her,” Allen said. “Whenever I’d get nervous or had a big game and got ­nervous, I’d give her a call, and she’d start making me laugh.”

“She was one of the biggest reasons I’ll be up there, and I know she’ll be looking down on me.”

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