Matt Vensel is in his first year at the Star Tribune after covering the Ravens for the Baltimore Sun for six years. He is a Pittsburgh native and a Penn State grad. Follow him at @mattvensel.


Mark Craig has covered the NFL for 23 years, and the Vikings since 2003 for the Star Tribune. He is one of 44 Pro Football Hall of Fame selectors. Follow him at @markcraignfl.


Master Tesfatsion is the Star Tribune’s digital Vikings writer. He is a 2013 graduate of Arizona State and worked for mlb.com before arriving in Minneapolis. Follow him at @masterstrib.


For new Hall of Famer Chris Doleman, now comes the chaos

Posted by: under Vikings, Super Bowl Updated: February 9, 2012 - 3:41 PM

By the time Chris Doleman had made it to Winter Park to address the local media this afternoon, he had forgotten what day it was. Recounting the last week has become quite a challenge for the former Vikings star. Check that -- make that the Vikings' newest Pro Football Hall of Famer.

Doleman still hasn't had a chance to let his newest and grandest honor fully sink in. Voted to the Hall of Fame last weekend by a 44-person selection committee, Doleman can speak in generalities about the rush he's felt and the appreciation he's had for joining such an elite fraternity. But he's also been dizzied by the frantic schedule and obligations of being a newly chosen Hall of Famer.

On Sunday, there was all sorts of fanfare to partake in at Super Bowl XLVI, including the pregame coin toss that he and the rest of the Class of 2012 -- Willie Roaf, Curtis Martin, Dermontti Dawson and Cortez Kennedy -- oversaw.

On Monday and Tuesday, there were meetings to attend. This Hall of Fame business is more complicated than it may seem.

On Wednesday, Doleman finally left Indianapolis and returned to Atlanta. For 14 hours.

Then it was back on a plane to Minneapolis to enjoy the spotlight in the city in which he spent 10 of his 15 NFL seasons. On top of that, it seems that every sports talk radio show in the country has called to chat.

"I've been talking so much to the point that I've lost my voice," Doleman said.

You'd think getting elected to the Hall would require little more than a blazer measurement and perhaps 10-15 minutes of posing for the honorary Canton bust.

Nope. Those "Welcome to the Club" orientation meetings on Monday and Tuesday in Indy took up about 10 hours in total.

"It's like planning a wedding," Doleman said. "You're looking at invitations, guest list, parties, food. The whole shootin' match. Speech. I mean the whole shootin' match. It takes a long time to go through it. They give you a book about an inch-and-a-half thick and they go through it page by page by page. How do you coordinate who's coming from where. It's a mess. I'll be honest with you."

Doleman also recounted the outpouring of congratulations he received Saturday evening when the announcement became official.

"You get a couple calls," Doleman said. "Then your phone just literally goes into some kind of convulsion. You've got phone calls, you've got texts and you've got e-mails all coming in at the same time. When you'd click on the text button, it was coming in in pages. Not one at a time. It was coming in pages. Literally. I've never seen that before in my life. It would clock 150 [texts]. And so you'd turn it off, you'd turn it back on and it would clock another 100. I mean it was unbelievable. So at that point in time, I knew that something big had happened. Because everybody I had ever met in my life was sending me some kind of communication."

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