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Canton Calling: Who’s Next For Vikings?

Posted by Mike Wobschall on February 6, 2013 – 7:23 am

Cris Carter will get plenty of attention in this space over the next several months as he prepares to enter the Pro Football Hall of Fame as a member of the Class of 2013. In the meantime, Carter’s election into the Hall of Fame leads to this question: Who’s next for the Vikings?

The Hall of Fame and the selection committee should be commended for their stewardship of football immortality. But any time they elect or enshrine a class, an opportunity occurs to reflect on those who are not yet in the Hall of Fame but who have the credentials that could one day place them among the game’s immortals.

I think the Vikings have 2 such players. Here’s a look at each of them…

C Mick Tingelhoff
Tingelhoff came to the Vikings as a rookie free agent in 1962 and stepped into the starting lineup by the team’s second preseason game. He didn’t turn over the job until his retirement after the 1978 season, never missing a game over a 17-season span that included an incredible 240 consecutive regular season starts.

“Mick was a catalyst for our team and one of the most respected players on those teams,” legendary Vikings Head Coach and Hall of Famer Bud Grant said. “Mick’s intangibles were the thing that made him so great. He was a captain the whole time I coached him and guys looked at him as an example of how to do things.”

Over Tingelhoff’s 17-year career, he started in all four Vikings Super Bowl appearances, snapped to Hall of Famer Fran Tarkenton, blocked for 4 RBs who earned 13 trips to the Pro Bowl, was named to 7 consecutive All-Pro teams, paved the way for a 100-yard rusher 40 times and played in 19 postseason contests. In Tingelhoff’s final 11 seasons, the Vikings did not have a losing record and they won a division title in 10 of those campaigns. The Vikings posted a regular season record of 112-42-2 and won 10+ games 7 times in that 11-year span.

The Vikings offense thrived during Tingelhoff’s career, ranking in the top 10 of the NFL in rushing offense 10 times and in the top 10 in total offense 8 times. Tingelhoff is 1 of 6 Vikings that have had their jersey number retired, and he was inducted into the Vikings Ring of Honor in 2001.

DE Jim Marshall
There are few Minnesota sports identities more revered than the Purple People Eaters. Marshall, a Vikings defensive end for 19 years (1961-79), was an integral part of the group and would be a fitting addition to the group of immortal NFL players in Canton, Ohio. He and fellow linemen Carl Eller, Gary Larsen, Alan Page and Doug Sutherland formed the vaunted group and led the team to a period of dominance that included 10 division titles and 4 appearances in the Super Bowl.

Originally a 4th-round pick of the Cleveland Browns in 1960, Marshall held the NFL record for consecutive games played with 282 (270 with the Vikings) until Brett Favre broke the mark. He ranks 2nd in Vikings lore with 127.0 sacks and led or tied for the team lead in sacks in each of the Vikings first 6 seasons. Marshall also ranks 9th in franchise history with 988 career tackles, behind only fellow Purple People Eater Page among defensive linemen.

Aside from accumulating sacks and tackles during his career, Marshall also recovered 29 fumbles, a team and NFL record. Marshall started at defensive end in 4 Super Bowls and was a 2-time Pro Bowler.

Marshall was inducted into the Vikings Ring of Honor on November 28, 1999.


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Fellow Hall Of Famers, Peers Respond To Carter’s HOF Induction

Posted by Mike Wobschall on February 2, 2013 – 5:16 pm

Professional athletes will tell you there’s no greater honor than to earn the respect of your peers. Vikings legend Cris Carter officially became an NFL legend on Saturday when he was named a part of the Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2013, and it’s apparent based on the reaction of his fellow Hall of Famers that Carter did indeed earn the respect of his peers.

Here’s a sampling of what some of Carter’s fellow Hall of Famers and other peers have stated in reaction to Carter being inducted as part of the Class of 2013.

“Scouts can’t measure instinct. All the great players have great instinct, and Cris Carter had as great of receiver instincts as any to ever play the game. He was an exceptional football player that knew how to adjust to the ball from the instant the ball left the quarterback’s hand. Cris had some of the greatest hands in the history of the NFL, and I personally never remember him dropping a ball.” — Bud Grant, Pro Football Hall of Fame 1994

“I played with a lot of prominent receivers but Cris Carter was by far the most talented and competitive. Having Cris was like having another quarterback on the field. He was such a great student of the game and knew defenses and routes better than anyone I played with. He was able to take advantage of opponents because of how much work he put in during the week. He wanted the ball in clutch situations and made big plays when they counted most.” — Warren Moon, Pro Football Hall of Fame 2006

“Cris Carter was as productive as any receiver in the mid-90s and his numbers prove that. He played the slot position as well as anyone. In terms of purely catching the football, I haven’t seen anybody in my time better than Cris Carter.” — Tony Dungy, former Tampa Bay and Indianapolis Head Coach and Vikings Defensive Coordinator

“When you needed a clutch catch to keep the drive alive, there was no one better than Cris Carter. And when the game was on the line, you wanted the play called to #80. As they said, all he did was catch touchdowns.” — Randall McDaniel, Pro Football Hall of Fame 2009

“Cris is one of the best receivers to ever play our game. His hands, route running and big play ability separated him from others at his position. It was always a challenge physically and mentally to play against him.” — Deion Sanders, Pro Football Hall of Fame 2011

“I’ve been around the NFL a long time, and know an elite receiver when I see one. Cris certainly fits that mold and deserves a place in Canton.” — Dan Marino, Pro Football Hall of Fame 2005


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He’s In! Cris Carter Elected To Hall Of Fame

Posted by Mike Wobschall on February 2, 2013 – 5:07 pm

The wait is over for Cris Carter. The greatest wide receiver in Vikings history and one of the most productive receivers in NFL history was elected into the Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2013 on Saturday in New Orleans.

By many measures, Carter authored a Hall of Fame-worthy career. He retired in 2002 after 16 seasons (12 with the Vikings) and at the time ranked second in NFL history with 130 receiving touchdowns and 1,101 receptions; those numbers still rank fourth all-time, and he added 13,899 receiving yards, as well.

And now, by the most important measure – votes cast by the Hall of Fame selection committee – Carter’s career goes from being described as “Hall of Fame-worthy” to “Hall of Fame.”

Carter spent 12 seasons (1990-2001) with the Vikings and crafted a brilliant career that has placed him among the NFL’s other greats in Canton, Ohio. Carter was a part of Vikings teams that suffered losing seasons only twice in 12 seasons, made the playoffs 8 times in his final 10 Vikings seasons, and his teams were 76-29 (including playoffs) in games in which he caught a touchdown.

Although the team’s results fluctuated during Carter’s tenure with the Vikings, his production remained consistent. Carter played in 188 games as a Viking, starting 177 of them, and he played in all 16 games of a season 11 times in 12 seasons with the Vikings. He was named to the NFL 1990s All-Decade Team, earned 8 straight Pro Bowls from 1993-2000 and was selected as an All-Pro 4 times. Carter also helped 3 quarterbacks earn Pro Bowl berths – Randall Cunningham, Warren Moon and Daunte Culpepper – and he made the playoffs 8 times with 7 different passers in Minnesota.

“I played with a lot of prominent receivers, but Cris Carter was by far the most talented and competitive,” Moon, also a Pro Football Hall of Famer, said. “Having Cris was like having another quarterback on the field. He was such a great student of the game and knew defenses and routes better than anyone I played with. He was able to take advantage of opponents because of how much work he put in during the week. He wanted the ball in clutch situations and made big plays when they counted most.”

Carter’s unmatched skills, durability and tireless work ethic allowed him to re-write the Vikings record book and establish marks that won’t be challenged for years to come. He is the franchise leader in receptions (1,004), receiving yards (12,383) and receiving touchdowns (110), and he set a franchise record with a reception in 111 consecutive games. Carter caught 122 passes in consecutive 7 (1994 and 1995) and holds the Vikings record for career 100-yard receiving games with 40. He was inducted into the Vikings Ring of Honor and had his #80 jersey retired on September 14, 2003.


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Cris Carter Named Finalist For HOF Class Of 2013

Posted by Mike Wobschall on January 11, 2013 – 9:56 am

The greatest wide receiver in Vikings history has been named a finalist for consideration to be placed among the greatest players in NFL history. The Pro Football Hall of Fame announced its list of 15 modern-era finalists who will be considered for election as part of the Class of 2013, and Cris Carter once again made the cut.

The 15 modern-era finalists were determined by a vote of the Hall’s Selection Committee from a list of 127 nominees that earlier was reduced to a list of 27 semifinalists, during the multi-step, year-long selection process. To be elected, a finalist must receive a minimum positive vote of 80 percent.

The Selection Committee will meet in New Orleans, La. on Saturday, February 2, 2013, to elect the Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2013. The election results will be announced at 4:30 p.m. CT during a one-hour NFL Network special, live from the Super Bowl Media Center.

At the 2013 selection meeting, the selectors will thoroughly discuss the careers of each finalist. Although there is no set number for any class of enshrinees, the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s current ground rules stipulate that between four and seven new members will be selected each year. No more than five modern-era nominees can be elected in a given year and a class of six or seven can only be achieved if one or both senior nominees are elected.

Cris Carter dazzled NFL fans for 16 seasons (1987-2002) with sensational one-handed grabs, clutch first-down receptions and breath-taking touchdown catches. His ability to consistently perform at a high level allowed him to accumulate legendary statistics, and should some day place him among the NFL’s immortals.

For his career, Carter totaled 1,101 receptions for 13,899 yards and 130 TDs. His receptions and touchdown totals still rank him fourth all-time and his eight total Pro Bowl selections are tied for second-most all-time. No one had more receptions (779) or touchdowns (90) from 1993-2000 than Carter and only Tim Brown had more receiving yards than his 9,456 during the same time period.

Known for his durability, Carter played full 16-game seasons in 13 of his 16 years in the NFL, had 10 or more touchdowns in a season six times and led the NFL in receiving touchdowns three times (1995, 1997, and 1999). He recorded 70 or more catches in a season 10 times and had 100-yard receiving games 42 times during his career.

Carter spent 12 seasons (1990-2001) with the Vikings and crafted a brilliant career in Minnesota. He was a part of teams that suffered losing seasons only twice in 12 seasons, made the playoffs eight times in 10 Vikings seasons, and his teams were 76-29 (including playoffs) in games in which he caught a touchdown.


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Carter Among Semifinalists For 2013 Hall Of Fame Honors

Posted by Mike Wobschall on December 3, 2012 – 3:35 pm

The greatest wide receiver in Vikings history is set to once again be considered for the greatest individual honor one can earn in the NFL. Cris Carter is among the 27 semifinalists being considered for the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s Class of 2013.

The Hall of Fame’s Selection Committee chose the 27 semifinalists from the previously announced list of 127 preliminary nominees. The list of 27 semifinalists will be reduced by mail ballot to 15 modern-era finalists.  That list increases to 17 finalist nominees with the inclusion of the two recommended candidates of the Hall of Fame’s Seniors Committee.

The results of the modern-era reduction vote to 15 finalists will be announced in early January, 2013. The Class of 2013 will be determined at the Selection Committee’s annual meeting on Saturday, Feb. 2, in New Orleans, La. the day before Super Bowl XLVII.

Cris Carter dazzled NFL fans for 16 seasons (1987-2002) with sensational one-handed grabs, clutch first-down receptions and breath-taking touchdown catches. His ability to consistently perform at a high level allowed him to accumulate legendary statistics, and should some day place him among the NFL’s immortals.

For his career, Carter totaled 1,101 receptions for 13,899 yards and 130 TDs. His receptions and touchdown totals still rank him fourth all-time and his eight total Pro Bowl selections are tied for second-most all-time. No one had more receptions (779) or touchdowns (90) from 1993-2000 than Carter and only Tim Brown had more receiving yards than his 9,456 during the same time period.

Known for his durability, Carter played full 16-game seasons in 13 of his 16 years in the NFL, had 10 or more touchdowns in a season six times and led the NFL in receiving touchdowns three times (1995, 1997, and 1999). He recorded 70 or more catches in a season 10 times and had 100-yard receiving games 42 times during his career.

Carter spent 12 seasons (1990-2001) with the Vikings and crafted a brilliant career in Minnesota. He was a part of teams that suffered losing seasons only twice in 12 seasons, made the playoffs eight times in 10 Vikings seasons, and his teams were 76-29 (including playoffs) in games in which he caught a touchdown.


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Cris Carter: “I’m Excited For The Purple”

Posted by Mike Wobschall on October 1, 2012 – 6:13 am

It had been a while since the Vikings won a game in the NFC North – September 26, 2010 – and it had been a while since the Vikings won a road game in the NFC North – November 1, 2009. But the Vikings checked both of those items off their to-do list on Sunday, topping the Detroit Lions 20-13 at Ford Field.

And now the Vikings are doing something else they haven’t done in a while – they’re a part of the football conversation on a national level, to some extent anyway. While entering into the national conversation is not the goal of this Vikings team, it will be a side effect to success. It began early Monday morning, with one of the franchise’s all-time best players paying compliments to his former team.

“Leslie Frazier has these kids playing with a lot of belief in the system,” Cris Carter said on ESPN’s Mike and Mike in the Morning. “We know what they have in Adrian Peterson, and the story with him coming back. We thought that would be the only story in Minnesota. But they control the football, Christian Ponder has done a great job from Year One to Year Two as far as not turning the ball over, Percy Harvin is their most explosive player offensively and they use him everywhere. And when you get special teams help, which they’re doing with two returns for a touchdown (against Detroit), the Vikings are very, very solid after a quarter of a season.

“I love the Vikings, but I would say I’m surprised they’re 3-1.”

A lot of NFL analysts will say they’re surprised the Vikings began the season with three wins in their first four games. But if you talk to Frazier, any other Vikings coach or any Vikings player, you’ll discover that no one within the locker room is surprised the team is playing to this level. The key for the Vikings now is to handle the success well.

Frazier acknowledged that his team did not prepare well for Indianapolis after their season-opening win in Jacksonville. The result was a loss to the Colts. The following week’s preparation for the San Francisco 49ers was better, Frazier explained, and that’s why the Vikings head coach thought it was so important for his team to practice well in the week leading up to the Detroit game following an emotional win over the 49ers. So now, you can be sure Frazier will emphasize to his mostly-young team that preparing well for the Tennessee Titans – next Sunday’s opponent – should be priority #1 this week.

If Frazier can continue to get his players to put a laser focus on each upcoming opponent, the Vikings may be able to continue their winning ways. That’s something Carter, the franchise’s all-time leader in receptions, receiving yards and total TDs, is excited to see.

“As you go through these quarters of the season, the first quarter with four games, they have to make sure that they don’t get flipped in one of the other quarters and end up being 1-3,” Carter explained. “These next two (quarters of the season), if they can go 2-2 and get one more quarter at 3-1, you’re looking like you might be able to win double-digits. I’m excited for the Purple.”


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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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A Couple Things To Watch Over The Weekend

Posted by Mike Wobschall on February 3, 2011 – 8:02 am

The Vikings aren’t playing in the Super Bowl on Sunday but that doesn’t mean Minnesota football fans are left with nothing to anticipate. One current Viking and two former Vikings are up for important awards/honors over the weekend.

Former Vikings WR Cris Carter and DE Chris Doleman are two of 17 finalists for induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. The Pro Football Hall of Fame’s Class of 2011 will be announced live on NFL Network on Saturday, February 5. The unveiling of the class will be made during a 90-minute special, Road to Canton: Hall of Fame Announcement Show: Class of 2011 presented by Van Heusen/JC Penney. The program airs live starting at 7 p.m. ET (6 p.m. CT)

S Madieu Williams joins Oakland Raiders CB Nnamdi Asomugha and Bears DE Israel Idonije as finalists for the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award. The winner of the award will be announced live on FOX before Super Bowl XLV.

Be sure to tune into the coverage of both announcements to see if these Vikings will be recognized for achievements they certainly deserve.


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Former Vikings Carter, Doleman Among 15 HOF Finalists

Posted by Mike Wobschall on January 10, 2011 – 10:50 am

Congratulations go out to former Vikings Cris Carter and Chris Doleman for being named among the 15 modern-era players named as finalists for induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. The 15 finalists, plus senior nominees Chris Hanburger and Les Richter, will be considered for induction February 5, the day before the Super Bowl. The enshrinement is in August.

Do you think Carter and/or Doleman are worthy of selection into the Pro Football Hall of Fame? Let us know by voting on the fan poll, which is located on the home page of vikings.com. You can also utilize the comments section below this entry to let your voice be heard.

Both Carter and Doleman are deserving of entry into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in my eyes because both players were dominant players at their respective positions for a long time. I actually think both players will get into the HOF, it’s just a matter of when. Carter has been a finalist previously and this is Doleman’s first year as a finalist.

To be elected, a finalist must receive a minimum positive vote of 80 percent of the 44 voters.

Carter, in my estimation, had the best pair of hands in NFL history and was the identity of the Vikings offense from 1990-2001. He holds Vikings career records for receptions, receiving yards and TDs and at the time of his retirement he ranked 2nd in career receptions and receiving TDs. Carter had 130 career TD catches and also recorded back-to-back 122-reception seasons. He was known for acrobatic, sideline-grabs and also for his knack of picking up 1st downs when his team needed it most. Carter also played for the Philadelphia Eagles (1987-89) and the Miami Dolphins (2002).

Doleman won 6 sack titles with the Vikings and tallied 150.5 in his career, which was 4th-best at the time of his retirement. His finest season came in 1989, when he led NFL with 21.0 sacks, 1.0 shy of the NFL single-season record at the time. In 1992, Doleman was named the NFC’s Defensive Player of the Year when he recorded 14.5 sacks. He played for the Vikings from (1985-93, 1999) and also spent time with the Atlanta Falcons (1994-95) and San Francisco 49ers (1996-98).

To learn more about Carter, Doleman and the entire group of finalists, go to the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s website.

The full group of finalists: Jerome Bettis, Tim Brown, Carter, Dermontti Dawson, Richard Dent, Doleman, Marshall Faulk, Charles Haley, Chris Hanburger, Cortez Kennedy, Curtis Martin, Andre Reed, Les Richter, Willie Roaf, Ed Sabol, Deion Sanders and Shannon Sharpe.


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