snub tr.v. | 1. To ignore or behave coldly toward; Slight. | 2. To dismiss, turn down, or frustrate the expectations of.
There are currently twenty-one former NFL, modern-era wide receivers who have been inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio, eight of which played in the 1980's and 1990's. Former Ohio State Buckeye and 16-year pro Cris Carter is not one of them. His career numbers would tell you he belongs. The HoF voters have repeatedly said otherwise. 2012 has ben no different.
During yesterday's Super Bowl Eve the 2012 HoF class was announced, including running back Curtis Martin and four linemen - Chris Doleman, Cortez Kennedy, Willie Roaf and Dermontti Dawson. For the second straight year, after all-time great Jerry Rice was inducted in 2010, there were no wide receivers to receive the honor even though Carter, Tim Brown, and Andre Reed continue to wait their turn.
This marks the fifth year that Carter has been eligible and not been elected. Each year we inevitably talk about who was snubbed, and each year Carter heads the list.
Ultimately it's a popularity contest. How else can you explain Carter's absence when he retired second only to Jerry Rice, the greatest WR of all time, in receptions and receiving yards? He's since moved down historical lists as others have come along, which speaks as much to the fact that he's waited too long for a HoF call more than it speaks to diminish what C.C. was able to accomplish with the Eagles, Vikings, and Dolphins in his sixteen year career.
Al Carter did was set a single-season record 122 receptions in 1994. That record has been broken multiple times since, but for a while it looked like Carter was going to be a lock for the NFL Hall of Fame. He played sixteen seasons, catching 1,101 receptions (4th all time) for 13,889 yards (8th) and 130 touchdowns (8th). When he retired in 2002, Carter ranked second in NFL history in receptions and touchdown receptions. He made eight straight Pro Bowls from 1993-2000. Paired up with newcomer Randy Moss he was part of the most prolific offense in league history with the 1998 Minnesota VIkings.
He's been eligible for Hall of Fame induction since 2008, but continues to get the snub.
In 2010 we all knew Jerry Rice would be a first-ballot Hall of Famer and likely go in as the only wide receiver of that class. The thought was that Cris Carter would then follow in the 2011 class, but that didn't happen. Instead C.C. watched the ceremony from afar as big names such as Deion Sanders, Marshall Faulk and Shannon Sharpe, as well as the legendary Ed Sabol, got their moment in the sun.
Fortunately for Carter 2012 was to be different. The potential class was significantly less talent-laden and he would surely have his name called as an all-tieme great and now the proud owner of a spot in Canton. Except it didn't happen. Again.
So what's the hold up? Are Carter, Tim Brown, and Andre Reed splitting votes and all falling short because of one another, as some voters have claimed?
He is without question one of the great wide receivers in NFL history. He was arguably one of the three best players at his position every year for the better part of a decade and has all-time-great career stats. And he did all this despite the Vikings changing quarterbacks more than Urban Meyer changes recruits' commitments.
Some make the, “he was consistent but not necessarily great” argument with Carter but it doesn’t stick. Those of us who watched him week-after-week know he was great. He could do things with his hands and feet that non-Hall of Famers just Can. Not. Do.
So why is he still a non-Hall of Famer? Good question. Here are a few more career highlights that should have C.C. in Canton:
- One of two players to record 120+ receptions in a season twice, 1994 and 1995. (Wes Welker)
- Most 12+ reception games in a single season (4) in 1995
- One of 3 players (Clarke Gaines and Jerry Rice) to record 12+ receptions in back to back games
- Most consecutive games with at least 3 receptions (58)
- Most touchdown receptions 2 yards or less in NFL history (16) - tied with Jerry Rice
- Most touchdown receptions 4 yards or less in NFL history (28)
- Most touchdown receptions 5 yards or less in NFL history (36) - tied with Jerry Rice
- Most touchdown receptions 6 yards or less in NFL history (44)
- Most touchdown receptions 7 yards or less in NFL history (48)
- Most consecutive games with 2 touchdown receptions (4) - tied with Calvin Johnson
- Most consecutive seasons with 5+ touchdowns (11) - Terrell Owens, Jerry Rice, Marvin Harrison, Don Hutson, Cris Carter, Tim Brown
- Most consecutive seasons with 5+ touchdown receptions (11) - Terrell Owens, Jerry Rice, Marvin Harrison, Don Hutson, Cris Carter, Tim Brown
- First player to record a 150 yard receiving game in 3 different decades (Jerry Rice is the only other player to do so)
Cris grew up in Middletown, Ohio before starring at Ohio State and then moving on to the NFL. It was a short three-hour drive from Canton, OH where the Pro Football Hall of Fame resides. We can only hope the HoF voters get it right one of these days and welcome Cris home. Unfortunately, regardless of when that day finally comes, they're already late.
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