Tearful Cris Carter finally makes Hall of Fame

  • Article by: MARK CRAIG , Star Tribune
  • Updated: February 3, 2013 - 7:40 AM

“This,” the former Vikings receiver said, “is the happiest day of my life.” After six tries, he’ll be enshrined in Canton, Ohio, his native state, on Aug. 3.

NEW ORLEANS - Cris Carter, the man who became a Viking for the paltry sum of a $100 NFL waiver claim in 1990, finally reached the Pro Football Hall of Fame's end zone on an emotional, tear-filled Saturday evening at the New Orleans Convention Center.

After a 16-year career defined by so many scores -- 130 in all -- that former Eagles coach Buddy Ryan once proclaimed, "All he does is catch touchdowns," Carter was selected Saturday as a member of the Hall of Fame's Class of 2013. He will be enshrined in Canton, Ohio, his native state, on Aug. 3.

"This," said Carter, "is the happiest day of my life."

Later, when the bright lights of the NFL Network's show had clicked off, Carter stood in a corner and talked about that waiver claim. It took him several seconds to compose himself as he remembered how the Vikings reached out to him at a point in his life when chemical dependency had cost him his job with the Eagles and threatened to wreck his pro career after just three seasons.

"Man, [the Vikings] invested so much time in me," said Carter, breaking down again. "They got me to see the right people. Man, when I got there, I needed a lot of help. Oh my goodness."

Carter's voiced trailed off. He looked down. He dabbed at his swollen eyes with a Kleenex that had lost its usefulness much earlier in the night.

Contributing to the flood of emotions was the fact Carter was in his sixth year as a Hall of Fame finalist. He broke through as the third receiver from the 1990s when the Hall's 46-man selection committee busted up a longtime logjam that included two of Carter's receiving peers: Tim Brown was eliminated when the 15 modern-era finalists were cut to 10. Andre Reed was eliminated in the cut to five.

Carter, the fourth former Viking to be selected in the past five years, is joined in this year's seven-member class by former Giants, Patriots and Jets coach Bill Parcells, Buccaneers and Raiders defensive tackle Warren Sapp, Ravens left tackle Jonathan Ogden, Cowboys guard Larry Allen and Seniors Committee picks Curley Culp, a nose tackle for the Oilers and Chiefs, and Dave Robinson, a Packers linebacker.

Carter thanked former Vikings coach Denny Green and the team's eight-member ownership group that was in place in 1990. Without them and his family, he said, he never would have beaten his drug addiction and fulfilled his potential.

"It was a lot of hard work, but there were a lot of people helping me, not on the football field, but just getting my life together," Carter said. "They really cared about me. I owe everything to the Vikings. What they invested in me was more than money. What they taught me was how to live the rest of my life. I didn't have to be a prisoner to the things that held me back before. That I could finally, finally tap into my athletic ability. That was the first time that I really feel like the car was running 100 percent."

Carter was a fourth-round supplemental draft pick for the Eagles in 1987. After joining the Vikings, he became an eight-time Pro Bowl pick and two-time first-team All-Pro. He had back-to-back 122-catch seasons (1994-95), eight consecutive 1,000-yard seasons (1993-2000) and five consecutive seasons with at least 10 touchdown catches (1995-99).

Ten seasons after he retired, Carter still ranks fourth in NFL history in career catches (1,101) and receiving touchdowns (130), eighth in total TDs (131) and ninth in receiving yards (13,899). Of the 22 modern-era receivers in the Hall, Carter's career touchdown total ranks second to Jerry Rice's 197.

Carter also thanked his mom, a single mother who raised him and six siblings in a housing project in Middletown, Ohio. "From the housing project I grew up in, it's 242 miles to the steps of the hall," Carter said. "But it felt like a million miles away when I was in trouble [with drugs]."

Carter said his son, Duron, 21, will present him at the Hall of Fame enshrinement ceremonies. Duron, also a receiver, entered this year's NFL draft after college stints at Ohio State, Coffeyville (Kan.) Community College and Florida Atlantic.

"He's had very, very similar struggles as myself," Carter said. "And he wants to play in the NFL. I think he would be a perfect presenter."

Obviously, Carter hopes his son can find the same path that he found 23 years ago. "When I got myself together, the Vikings really believed in me, and we never looked back," Carter said. "We never had any hiccups. Never had any mistakes. Never had any failed tests. Man, it's just hard to believe. I knew this would be good, but I never thought it would be like this."

  • Pro Football hall of fame
  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Chicago 11/27/14 11:30 AM
Detroit
Philadelphia 11/27/14 3:30 PM
Dallas
Seattle 11/27/14 7:30 PM
San Francisco
Cleveland 11/30/14 12:00 PM
Buffalo
Washington 11/30/14 12:00 PM
Indianapolis
Tennessee 11/30/14 12:00 PM
Houston
San Diego 11/30/14 12:00 PM
Baltimore
NY Giants 11/30/14 12:00 PM
Jacksonville
Cincinnati 11/30/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Oakland 11/30/14 12:00 PM
St. Louis
New Orleans 11/30/14 12:00 PM
Pittsburgh
Carolina 11/30/14 12:00 PM
Minnesota
Arizona 11/30/14 3:05 PM
Atlanta
New England 11/30/14 3:25 PM
Green Bay
Denver 11/30/14 7:30 PM
Kansas City
Miami 12/1/14 7:30 PM
NY Jets
Golden State 6:00 PM
Orlando
Brooklyn 6:00 PM
Philadelphia
Portland 6:00 PM
Charlotte
Washington 6:00 PM
Cleveland
LA Clippers 6:30 PM
Detroit
New York 6:30 PM
Dallas
Toronto 6:30 PM
Atlanta
Milwaukee 7:00 PM
Minnesota
Sacramento 7:00 PM
Houston
Utah 7:00 PM
Oklahoma City
Indiana 7:30 PM
San Antonio
Denver 8:00 PM
Phoenix
Memphis 9:30 PM
LA Lakers
Winnipeg 6:00 PM
Buffalo
Washington 6:00 PM
NY Islanders
Philadelphia 6:30 PM
Detroit
NY Rangers 6:30 PM
Tampa Bay
Carolina 6:30 PM
Florida
Toronto 6:30 PM
Pittsburgh
Los Angeles 7:00 PM
Minnesota
Chicago 8:00 PM
Colorado
Calgary 9:30 PM
San Jose
Robert Morris 11:00 AM
Chattanooga
Rochester College 11:00 AM
Eastern Mich
Marist 11:00 AM
Fresno State
Butler 11:00 AM
North Carolina
Liberty 12:30 PM
Morgan State
Denver 1:00 PM
Belmont
American Univ 1:00 PM
Hampton
Sacred Heart 1:00 PM
James Madison
Northeastern 1:00 PM
Massachusetts
Samford 1:00 PM
Kennesaw St
ULM 1:30 PM
Coastal Carolina
Hawaii 1:30 PM
East Carolina
UCLA 1:30 PM
Oklahoma
Missouri 1:30 PM
Chaminade
North Florida 3:00 PM
Elon
Oral Roberts 3:00 PM
Milwaukee
Chicago State 3:30 PM
Western Carolina
Purdue 4:00 PM
BYU
Furman 4:00 PM
Duke
San Francisco 5:00 PM
Evansville
Wisconsin 6:00 PM
UAB
Davidson 6:00 PM
UCF
Albany 6:00 PM
Colgate
Canisius 6:00 PM
Cornell
Longwood 6:00 PM
George Washington
Delaware State 6:00 PM
Iona
Trinity Baptist 6:00 PM
Jacksonville
Cleveland State 6:00 PM
Louisville
St Johns 6:00 PM
Minnesota
PSU-Harrisburg 6:00 PM
Navy
Richmond 6:00 PM
NC State
Grambling St 6:00 PM
Notre Dame
Georgia State 6:00 PM
Oakland
Campbell 6:00 PM
Ohio State
Goucher 6:00 PM
Towson
Bryant 6:00 PM
Vermont
Miami-Ohio 6:00 PM
Virginia Tech
Mount St Marys 6:00 PM
Wake Forest
Lafayette 6:00 PM
Yale
UMKC 6:00 PM
Youngstown St
Kansas State 6:30 PM
Pittsburgh
Va Military 6:30 PM
West Virginia
Lehigh 7:00 PM
DePaul
UC Riverside 7:00 PM
Loyola Marymount
Morehead State 7:00 PM
Marshall
Miss Valley St 7:00 PM
North Texas
UNC-Asheville 7:00 PM
South Carolina
Tenn Tech 7:00 PM
SE Louisiana
Texas Southern 7:00 PM
SMU
Radford 7:00 PM
TCU
TX-Pan American 7:00 PM
Utah
Wayne St-NE 7:00 PM
South Dakota
Northern Ill 7:30 PM
Iowa
Fla Gulf Coast 7:30 PM
Green Bay
Carroll (MT) 8:00 PM
Montana
Florida A&M 8:00 PM
New Mexico St
Auburn 8:00 PM
Oregon State
Eastern Ky 8:00 PM
Southern Utah
Stetson 8:00 PM
Wyoming
Northern Ky 8:05 PM
Eastern Wash
Utah Valley U 8:05 PM
Idaho State
Florida 8:30 PM
Georgetown
Georgia 8:30 PM
Gonzaga
Northwestern 8:30 PM
Northern Iowa
Cal Poly 9:00 PM
California
Arizona 9:00 PM
San Diego St
Utah State 9:00 PM
UC Davis
Alabama State 9:30 PM
North Dakota
Portland State 10:00 PM
CS-Northridge
Tulsa 10:30 PM
Oklahoma State
Pacific 10:30 PM
Alaska-Anchorage
Missouri State 11/27/14 1:00 AM
Colorado State
Ohio U 24 FINAL
Miami-Ohio 21
LSU 11/27/14 6:30 PM
Texas A&M
(6) TCU 11/27/14 6:30 PM
Texas
Northern Ill 11/28/14 10:00 AM
Western Mich
Nebraska 11/28/14 11:00 AM
Iowa
Western Ky 11/28/14 11:00 AM
(19) Marshall
UCF 11/28/14 11:00 AM
So Florida
Houston 11/28/14 11:00 AM
SMU
Akron 11/28/14 12:00 PM
Kent State
Ball State 11/28/14 12:00 PM
Bowling Green
Buffalo 11/28/14 12:00 PM
Massachusetts
Toledo 11/28/14 12:00 PM
Eastern Mich
Arkansas 11/28/14 1:30 PM
(17) Missouri
Navy 11/28/14 2:00 PM
South Alabama
(13) Arizona State 11/28/14 2:30 PM
(12) Arizona
Stanford 11/28/14 2:30 PM
(9) UCLA
(21) Colorado State 11/28/14 2:30 PM
Air Force
Virginia 11/28/14 7:00 PM
Virginia Tech
East Carolina 11/28/14 7:30 PM
Tulsa
North Texas 11/29/14 11:00 AM
TX-San Antonio
Old Dominion 11/29/14 11:00 AM
Fla Atlantic
(16) Georgia Tech 11/29/14 11:00 AM
(8) Georgia
Kentucky 11/29/14 11:00 AM
(24) Louisville
So Carolina 11/29/14 11:00 AM
(23) Clemson
West Virginia 11/29/14 11:00 AM
Iowa State
Rice 11/29/14 11:00 AM
Louisiana Tech
Michigan 11/29/14 11:00 AM
(7) Ohio State
Purdue 11/29/14 11:00 AM
Indiana
Illinois 11/29/14 11:00 AM
Northwestern
Cincinnati 11/29/14 11:00 AM
Temple
NC State 11/29/14 11:30 AM
North Carolina
Syracuse 11/29/14 11:30 AM
Boston College
Louisiana 11/29/14 11:30 AM
Troy
Utah 11/29/14 12:00 PM
Colorado
Texas State 11/29/14 1:00 PM
Georgia State
Idaho 11/29/14 1:00 PM
Appalachian St
Wyoming 11/29/14 2:00 PM
New Mexico
New Mexico St 11/29/14 2:00 PM
Arkansas State
UAB 11/29/14 2:30 PM
Southern Miss
(4) Miss State 11/29/14 2:30 PM
(18) Ole Miss
Notre Dame 11/29/14 2:30 PM
USC
(10) Michigan State 11/29/14 2:30 PM
Penn State
(22) Minnesota 11/29/14 2:30 PM
(14) Wisconsin
(5) Baylor 11/29/14 2:30 PM
Texas Tech
Florida 11/29/14 2:30 PM
(1) Florida State
Rutgers 11/29/14 2:30 PM
Maryland
San Jose St 11/29/14 2:30 PM
San Diego St
Tennessee 11/29/14 3:00 PM
Vanderbilt
Kansas 11/29/14 3:00 PM
(11) Kansas State
Connecticut 11/29/14 3:00 PM
Memphis
BYU 11/29/14 3:30 PM
California
ULM 11/29/14 5:00 PM
Ga Southern
Middle Tennessee 11/29/14 6:00 PM
Texas-El Paso
Hawaii 11/29/14 6:00 PM
Fresno State
Wake Forest 11/29/14 6:00 PM
Duke
Pittsburgh 11/29/14 6:00 PM
Miami-Florida
(15) Auburn 11/29/14 6:45 PM
(2) Alabama
(3) Oregon 11/29/14 7:00 PM
Oregon State
Utah State 11/29/14 9:15 PM
(25) Boise State
Washington 11/29/14 9:30 PM
Washington St
Nevada 11/29/14 9:30 PM
UNLV
Hamilton 11/30/14 5:00 PM
Calgary
Kennesaw St 11:00 AM
Seton Hall
Northern Ill 12:00 PM
Eastern Illinois
Illinois-Chicago 12:00 PM
Northwestern
UT Martin 12:30 PM
Samford
Niagara 1:00 PM
Binghamton
Radford 1:00 PM
Pittsburgh
East Tenn St 1:00 PM
Indiana
North Dakota 2:00 PM
Nebraska Omaha
LSU 2:30 PM
Texas-El Paso
Marshall 4:00 PM
Cornell
Kansas State 5:00 PM
Santa Clara
Oral Roberts 5:00 PM
Ark-Little Rock
Boise State 5:30 PM
Yale
Evansville 6:00 PM
(22) West Virginia
(4) Tennessee 6:00 PM
Chattanooga
Delaware State 6:00 PM
Mount St Marys
Bradley 6:00 PM
Columbia
Providence 6:00 PM
Dayton
Presbyterian 6:00 PM
Xavier
Albany 6:00 PM
Canisius
VA Commonwealth 6:00 PM
William & Mary
Alabama A&M 6:00 PM
Alabama
Colgate 6:00 PM
(22) Georgia
Memphis 6:05 PM
Southern Ill
Oakland 6:30 PM
(16) Michigan State
Utah Valley U 6:45 PM
UC Davis
Butler 7:00 PM
BYU
TX-Pan American 7:00 PM
(6) Texas
McNeese State 7:00 PM
(7) Texas A&M
Milwaukee 7:00 PM
Marquette
Northern Ariz 7:00 PM
TX-Arlington
Jackson State 7:05 PM
Chicago State
Indiana State 7:05 PM
South Alabama
Long Beach St 8:00 PM
Alaska-Anchorage
Iona 8:00 PM
Kansas
Fresno Pacific 9:00 PM
CS-Bakersfield
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Date/Opponent Time W L Score
2014 preseason     
Aug 8 - vs. Oakland 7 pmX10-6
Aug 16 - vs. Arizona 7:30 pmX30-28
Aug 23 - at Kansas City 7 pmX30-12
Aug 28 - at Tennessee 7 pmX19-3
2014 regular season     
Sep 7 - at St. Louis NoonX34-6
Sep 14 - vs. New England NoonX30-7
Sep 21 - at New Orleans NoonX20-9
Sep 28 - vs. Atlanta 3:25 pmX41-28
Oct 2 - at Green Bay 7:25 pmX42-10
Oct 12 - vs. Detroit NoonX17-3
Oct 19 - at. Buffalo NoonX17-16
Oct 26 - at Tampa Bay NoonX19-13 ot
Nov 2 - vs. Washington NoonX29-26
Nov 9 - Bye
Nov 16 - at Chicago NoonX21-13
Nov. 23 - vs. Green Bay NoonX24-21
Nov. 30 - vs. Carolina Noon
Dec 7 - vs. NY Jets Noon
Dec 14 - at Detroit Noon
Dec 21 - at Miami Noon
Dec 28 - vs. Chicago Noon

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Grade the Vikings offense

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close