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Photo Review: Hall Of Fame Weekend Underway

Posted by Mike Wobschall on August 3, 2012 – 10:55 pm

We had a busy day in Canton, Ohio as the Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2012 is now only hours away from their enshrinement. I’ll take you through a busy first 24 hours in Canton, with the help of photos, and then quickly explain what’s ahead for the next day.

– A late-arriving flight into Cleveland left about an 80-minute drive into Canton. Upon our arrival at the McKinley Grant Hotel, we were treated to the presence of none other than John Randle. It was only two summers ago when we were in Canton to watch Randle go into the Hall of Fame as a member of the Class of 2010. It was great seeing John. He’s a very outgoing individual, and this type of weekend has a tremendous amount of sociability to it so he feels very comfortable in the environment.

– This morning the goal was to corral as many Vikings-relevant personalities as possible inside the hotel so we could interview them for internal TV purposes. We spoke with several individuals, including current Hall of Famer Paul Krause as well as former Vikings coach and current personnel consultant Paul Wiggin (Doleman’s position coach in Minnesota) and both Doleman’s father and son. Below is a photo of Krause getting mic’d up for his interview.

 

 

– We also had a chance to chat with the man himself for a few minutes.

– Everyone who’s inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame receives a gold jacket. There was a room inside the hotel that contained jackets belonging to current Hall of Famers who had their jackets re-sized. We found our way into the room, and the representatives from Haggar were kind enough to allow us to snap a photo of former Vikings OL Gary Zimmerman’s jacket.

 

– Speaking of the gold jackets, this year’s class of Hall of Famer’s received their gold jackets tonight at what they call the Enshrinees’ Gold Jacket Dinner, which was held at Canton Memorial Civic Center. There was a cocktail hour followed by a dinner and then the ceremony at which the Class of 2012 received their jackets.

– To open the ceremony, the Cleveland Recruiting Battalion Color Guard (representing the United States Army) presented the colors and a three-person band called New Hollow performed the National Anthem. New Hollow did a great job with the National Anthem; here’s a photo just before they began the performance:

– The ceremony was an impressive celebration of the sport of professional football. The event was emceed gracefully by ESPN’s Trey Wingo, and other featured speakers during the program included: Canton Mayor William J. Healy II; Candy Wallace (2012 General Chairman, Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Festival Canton Regional Chamber of Commerce Committees); Stephen A. Perry (President/Executive Director, Pro Football Hall of Fame); and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.

The Class of 2012 was introduced, and they stood on stage together as a group. Then, current Hall of Famers who are in town for tomorrow’s enshrinement were introduced, providing an incredible spectacle as the game’s immortals marched on stage to shake hands with each member of the Class of 2012. It was a surreal moment to sit there and witness that interaction.

– Former NFL Director of Officiating Art McNally was presented with the Daniel F. Reeves Pioneer Award.

– The late Tom “Killer” Kowalski was honored with the Dick McCann Memorial Award.

– Len Dawson of the Chiefs Radio Network and of KMBC/NBC TV/HBO Sports was presented with the Pete Rozelle Radio-Television Award.

– Finally, at the end of the ceremony, the Class of 2012 was re-introduced to the stage along with their presenters and they received their gold jackets. It’s the highlight of the ceremony and a fitting end to a wonderful celebration of the game of pro football.

 

 


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Canton Calling: Doleman Goes Into Hall Of Fame This Weekend

Posted by Mike Wobschall on August 2, 2012 – 1:16 pm

Former Vikings DE Chris Doleman will be enshrined into the Pro Football Hall of Fame this weekend in Canton, Ohio, and vikings.com will be along for the ride to share the details with you.

A contingent of Vikings representatives, including yours truly, will depart Minneapolis this evening and head for Ohio to take part in the festivities that celebrate and remember the greatest to ever play pro football. It will be a jam-packed weekend in Canton, so be sure to check back here for details, photos, etc.

Don’t worry, vikings.com will still be your place for great training camp coverage. The video interviews and highlights will keep coming, I have some blog entries scheduled to be posted, and of course there’s the evening practice on Saturday. We’ll have it all covered for you over the next several days.


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Chris Doleman Answers Fan-Submitted Questions From Facebook and Twitter

Posted by Ryan Cardinal on February 9, 2012 – 5:01 pm

In this post, Ann Carroll recaps the questions fan submitted for newly named Pro Football Hall of Famer Chris Doleman via Facebook and Twitter for a video that you can watch by clicking here.

Pro Football Hall of Famer Chris Doleman came into town from Atlanta Thursday afternoon to spend time with the Twin Cities media  here at Winter Park.  His first stop, the Sports Authorities studios here at the team facility.   We asked fans via Facebook and Twiter to send us questions for Doleman. We then  selected a handful of them for the Hall of Famer. Here are those questions with Doleman’s answers

Twitter Questions

@mnviksfan4life:   What was going through your head when they say you would be in the 2012 Class of the Hall of Fame?

Doleman:   I was really  numb, later on that day I got a sense of what was happening. You get a call from the hall when they announce your name to make sure you know that you are in. You go down to the hotel and they start the process. It’s a big process.

@chappynewcanaan :   Is Joey Browner a Hall of Famer?

Doleman:   I don’t know, I don’t pick. I believe Joey Browner…well, he is definitely the greatest Safety I have ever played with and that includes Ronnie Lott in Probowls and Dennis Smith out of Denver.  Joey is definitely one of those premier guys.  I would love to see him in the Ring of Honor  along with Henry Thomas and some of the  other guys I played with because they are great players

@jgarrettbaker  What was your favorite move to rush the QB?

Doleman:  My favorite most was probably a post move where that I just plant my left arm in the offensive lineman’s chest. Soon as he reaches out to balance, I would knock down his outside arm and take the corner. It worked a lot

Facebook Questions:

Jacob Schneider:   What is the best defensive end in the league today?

Doleman:       I would say Jared, Mario Williams, and Peppers in Chicago

Sahib Dambam-   Who was the toughest QB you ever sacked?

Doleman: John Elway, toughest. John is a fighter, he is a big guy, he can take a hit.  By far, John Elway

Chrisitian K:  What did you think about Jared Allen breaking your Vikings sack record?

Doleman:  You want your team to win. You want Jared to be successful.  Anything I can do to   help Jared or anyone else on the Vikings be successful I am going to do it.  Records are made to be broken .  He still has the Ring of Honor and he still has the Hall of Fame that he has to accomplish

Jeff Cagle: What was your intial reaction when Cris Carter was not included in this years Hall of Fame class?

Doleman:  I felt sorry.  I felt sorry for Cris. I felt sorry for all the guys.  These writers and selectors  spend a lot of time, I hear 7hours and 37 min picking 5 guys. So I think they got it right.  I would have said they got it wrong if they didn’t pick me you know that right??  They do things are their own pace, they have their plan.

Does Carter belong in the Hall of Fame? He defntiely belongs in the Hall of Fame. They are in the same postion they are in next year. Who is going to go in? Cris, Andre? Cris might be out two more years.  Cris went to finals list right away, but now he has been sitting there. But I do know anybody that has been on the finalist list has a 97% chance of getting into the hall. That’s a stat that they tell you. I don’t think he is in that 3%.   I think it is going to happen, he has to just be patient.  Hate to say that but what else can  you do?

Mike Schmitz  What Vikings team that you played on do you feel was the best or had the best chance to win the Super bowl

Doleman:   1989 team, no question

Jeff Go Vikings Vine   Who was your inspiration as a young athlete and why?

Doleman: Hollywood Henderson, the orginial #56

Vinny Hagen: What QB did you love sacking the most?

Doleman: Any QB that played for Green Bay!!

Thanks for all the questions fans!  If you see your name or your twitter handle, you are the winner of a Chris Doleman autographed Game Day Program from his Ring of Honor Induction!  Send your name and address to @vikingsweekly via Twitter  or to my facebook page : http://www.facebook.com/pages/Ann-Carroll/68990992177?ref=tn_tnmn


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Zygi Wilf, John Randle React To Doleman’s Election To Pro Football HOF

Posted by Mike Wobschall on February 5, 2012 – 9:11 am

It was announced on Saturday that former Vikings DE Chris Doleman was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame, and two prominent members of the Vikings family have weighed in to give their reaction.

“Having watched Chris enter the Vikings Ring of Honor this past season, we’re very excited that he has now been chosen as a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2012,” Vikings Owner/Chairman Zygi Wilf said. “Chris was a very important part of the organization’s success for ten years and his accomplishments on the field speak for themselves. He has earned this honor and we look forward to celebrating his enshrinement in Canton in August.”

A fellow Vikings Ring of Honor inductee and now a fellow Hall of Famer, John Randle has a special appreciation for Doleman because the two were both defensive linemen, were both outstanding pass rushers, and were teammates with the Vikings in the 1990s.

“I’m so, so happy for big Dole,” Randle said. “I never thought I would have a guy who was like a big brother on the football field, but Chris was that guy for me. I looked up to him and studied the way he worked. I’m so happy that he will be up on that stage in Canton this summer where he belongs. It’s really a testament to that defensive line we had with the Vikings during those days and the work of some great coaches. Chris deserves this so much and I’m probably more excited for him than he is for himself.”


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Carter, Doleman Named Finalists For The Pro Football Hall of Fame

Posted by Ryan Cardinal on January 7, 2012 – 1:29 pm

The NFL has announed that former Vikings Cris Carter and Chris Doleman are finalists for the Pro Football Hall of Fame, class of 2012, which will be announced on Saturday, Feb. 4, the day before Super Bowl XLVI.

Carter and Doleman, who were teammates in Minnesota from 1990-93, were both finalists a year ago as well.

Carter led the club in receiving 10 consecutive seasons (1991-2000), started more games than any other WR in team history and holds the Vikings record with 40 100-yard receiving games.  He’s an 8-time Pro Bowler and 4-time All-Pro was inducted into Vikings Ring of Honor in 2003.

Doleman was the Vikings single-season sack king after registering 21.0 sacks in 1989, but of course had that record bested by Jared Allen this past season.  In 10 seasons as a Viking, had 96.5 sacks and tallied 150.5 career sacks, good for 4th all-time.

This past fall, the Hall of Fame’s Selection Committee chose the 26 semifinalists from the previously announced list of 105 preliminary nominees. The list of 26 semifinalists was reduced by mail ballot to 15 modern-era finalists which were announced today.

The final step comes on Feb. 4, when the 44-member Selection Committee meets in person to discuss and evaluate the merits of each of the 15 modern-era and the two senior candidates. An independent accounting firm tallies the voting that day to determine the new class of enshrinees.

Although there is no set number of Enshrinees for any Hall of Fame Class, the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s current ground rules do stipulate that between four and seven new members will be selected each year. No more than 5 modern-era nominees can be elected in a given year.


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Cris Carter, Chris Doleman Named Semifinalists For HOF Class Of 2012

Posted by Mike Wobschall on November 25, 2011 – 10:23 am

Two former Vikings teammates are among the 26 semifinalists being considered for the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s Class of 2012. Cris Carter and Chris Doleman, teammates in Minnesota from 1990-93, ’99, are among a deep class of semifinalists for inclusion in next year’s class. Both Carter and Doleman were also semifinalists and finalists a year ago.

To view a list of the semifinalists, click here.

The Hall of Fame’s Selection Committee chose the 26 semifinalists from the previously announced list of 105 preliminary nominees. The list of 26 semifinalists will be reduced by mail ballot to 15 modern-era finalists (plus 2 nominees from the Seniors Committee), with an announcement of the finalists to come in early January 2012.

The final step comes on February 4, 2012, when the 44-member Selection Committee meets in person to discuss and evaluate the merits of each of the 15 modern-era and the two senior candidates. An independent accounting firm tallies the voting that day to determine the new class of enshrinees.

Although there is no set number of Enshrinees for any Hall of Fame Class, the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s current ground rules do stipulate that between four and seven new members will be selected each year. No more than 5 modern-era nominees can be elected in a given year.


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Vikings Lead 17-13, Doleman Inducted Into Ring Of Honor At Halftime

Posted by Mike Wobschall on October 23, 2011 – 3:51 pm

It was Christian Ponder’s first career NFL start, but it didn’t take him long to get right into this Vikings-Packers rivalry. Playing for the 101st time in series history, the Vikings jumped out to a quick 7-0 lead behind a pair of Ponder completions right out of the gate.

On the game’s first offensive play, Ponder used a play-action fake and rollout to find a wide open Michael Jenkins down the left sideline for what was originally a 73-yard TD that caused the Mall of America Field crowd to burst into a frenzy. Officials took the TD away via replay, but just two plays later Ponder found TE Visanthe Shiancoe for a 2-yard TD and an early 7-0 lead.

Green Bay retaliated immediately, driving 91 yards in 9 plays to tie the game at 7.

Ponder guided another TD drive in the 2nd quarter that culminated in an Adrian Peterson TD, and a 14-7 lead. The Vikings and Packers exchanged FGs after that, which led to a 17-10 Vikings lead at halftime.

Credit goes to DE Jared Allen, who already has 2.0 sacks of Green Bay QB Aaron Rodgers. Allen’s first sack of the game set a new franchise record for consecutive games with at least a .5 sack, as Allen is now at 9. The previous record of 8 was set by Jim Marshall and Carl Eller.

Speaking of sacks by a DE, the man who ranks 4th all-time on the NFL sacks list is Chris Doleman, a former Vikings great. He was honored at halftime and was inducted into the Vikings Ring of Honor, becoming just the 19th individual to join this elite class of Vikings.


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Vikings-Packers Set To Renew Rivalry

Posted by Mike Wobschall on October 23, 2011 – 11:51 am

The Vikings and Packers will renew their rivalry today at Mall of America Field, meeting for the 101st time in their series history and for the first time in 2011. While Green Bay enters with a superior record this season, the Vikings-Packers series has been remarkably even. Green Bay (51-48-1) has a slight edge in the series, but the Vikings are 25-24 against Green Bay at home.

Sunday will also mark Leslie Frazier’s first game as head coach against the Packers. Speaking of firsts, the Vikings will start Christian Ponder at QB, marking the rookie’s first NFL start.

At halftime of the game, Chris Doleman will be inducted into the Vikings Ring of Honor. Doleman will be the 19th member of the organization to receive the honor.

Kickoff is slated for 3:15 p.m. CT and you can catch the game on the Vikings Radio Network, where Paul Allen will be on the mic for play-by-play duties, Pete Bercich will be the game analyst and Greg Coleman will report from the sidelines. The game will be televised by FOX, who has assigned their #1 crew for the game. Thom Brennaman will fill in for Joe Buck (World Series) with play-by-play responsibilities, Troy Aikman will be the game analyst, and Pam Oliver will report from the sidelines.


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Doleman Goes Into Ring Of Honor On Sunday

Posted by Mike Wobschall on October 21, 2011 – 10:41 am

Football is a game that celebrates teamwork more than statistics, but if there is a statistic that captures the mind of football fans, it’s sacks. And there weren’t many players in Vikings history or NFL history who accumulated more sacks than Chris Doleman.

It is for that reason, among others, that Doleman will become just the 19th individual in franchise history to be inducted into the Vikings Ring of Honor. Induction into this elite class of Vikings is the highest honor the organization can bestow upon an individual, and Doleman’s dominance along the defensive line makes him a qualified member of this group.

Doleman will be inducted into the Ring of Honor at halftime of Sunday’s game against Green Bay at Mall of America Field.

Doleman began and concluded his career with the Vikings, but also spent time with the Atlanta Falcons and San Francisco 49ers. His breakthrough season came in 1987 when he tallied 11.0 sacks and six forced fumbles for the Vikings. Doleman’s best season came two years later in 1989, when he recorded a franchise single-season record 21.0 sacks. During his first stint with the Vikings (1985-1993), Doleman earned six Pro Bowl berths and three First-Team All-Pro honors.

Doleman played for the Falcons from 1994-1995 and then for the 49ers from 1996-1998, accumulating a total of 54.0 sacks in five seasons and also earning a Pro Bowl berth with each franchise. Doleman then finished his career with the Vikings during the 1999 season, registering 8.0 sacks and helping the Vikings advance to the Divisional round of the NFC playoffs. In 10 total seasons with the Vikings, Doleman registered 96.5 sacks, 31 forced fumbles and 16 fumble recoveries, making him one of the best defensive linemen in the history of a franchise with several Hall of Fame linemen.

In total for his career, Doleman accumulated eight Pro Bowl selections, three First-Team All-Pro honors and he was also named to the NFL 1990s All-Decade Second-Team.

Doleman’s production and dominating presence over 15 seasons has placed him in an elite fraternity with the Vikings Ring of Honor and it should also result in induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.


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Vikings Legends Reflect On Doleman’s Career

Posted by Mike Wobschall on September 28, 2011 – 6:37 am

It was announced earlier this morning that Chris Doleman will become the 19th player in franchise history to join the Vikings Ring of Honor. Doleman, a Vikings DE for 10 seasons (1985-93, 99), will be inducted into the Ring of Honor during a halftime ceremony on Sunday, October 23, when the Vikings host the Green Bay Packers.

Doleman’s place in Vikings history is significant, as he registered 96.5 sacks as a Viking (he had 150.5 career sacks), 31 forced fumbles and 16 fumble recoveries, making him one of the best defensive linemen in the history of a franchise with several Hall of Fame linemen. Confirming Doleman’s significant status among Vikings greats is the way in which fellow Vikings speak of him.

Here’s what fellow Vikings Ring of Honor members John Randle and Scott Studwell, as well as Pro Football Hall of Famer and former Vikings QB Warren Moon, had to say about Doleman.

“Chris Doleman had the ability to deliver the big play when you needed it. Teams had to keep an eye on him because they knew it was coming, be it in the beginning, middle or end of the game. He was capable of making that big play. As a young guy learning the NFL game from him, he did so much for me. He taught me how to be a pro on and off the field. He was quiet on the field, a leader without speaking. It was his presence that influenced games. The way he studied the game and showed his teammates the way to prepare and be a mature player made a big impact on me.” — Randle

“Chris was a phenomenal player and a guy who could have excelled in any decade. His size, speed, balance and skill level were ahead of their time. He changed how teams could play against us. Chris was a good friend and teammate and earned the respect of the locker room.” — Studwell

“Doleman is one of those rare guys, maybe one of four or five that I played against during my career right there with Reggie White, Bruce Smith, Derrick Thomas, that you had to know where they were and set your protection accordingly. You had to know if you were going to help the tackle out with a tight end or running back to chip on those guys. Doleman was someone you always had to worry about because you knew he could get to the quarterback. The amount of time and attention that went to preparing for Chris Doleman benefitted the others guys on those defensive lines. He was one of
those guys that you had to make sure could be blocked in one way or another.” — Moon


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