The Hall Of Fame Class of 2011 was announced yesterday and there was plenty of joy across America. Stars of the NFL like CB Deion Sanders and RB Marshall Faulk made it in on their 1st try. I can still see Deion high-stepping into the endzone right now in my mind. I can still see Marshall Faulk as one of the leaders of The Greatest Show on Turf in St. Louis. But, someone was missing from this Hall of Fame class.
Chris Carter was a very productive member of the National Football League. He began his career in 1987 after being ruled ineligible for his senior year at Ohio State for signing with an agent. Who would have known that a 4th round pick in the supplemental draft by the Philadelphia Eagles would turn into a star? Carter amassed 1,101 receptions and 130 TDs in his 16 year career with the Eagles, Vikings and Dolphins, which left him 2nd to only the great Jerry Rice in receiving numbers at the time of his retirement. He made the Pro Bowl 8 times and was named 1st team All-Pro 2 times in his career.
With these numbers, how did Carter not make the Hall of Fame? He should have been a 1st ballot Hall of Famer without question. I know some people are wondering who I would take out to put him in. Well, it wouldn’t be Ed Sabol. Sabol revolutionized the NFL because he went beyond just the normal coverage of an NFL player. He created a personality for players and allowed fans to get to know a player for more than just his actions on the field. My choice to take out of the Hall of Fame for Carter would be former Redskins LB/K Chris Hansburger. I mean, he did play in a rougher time in the NFL and was known as a feared clothesline tackler, but does 3 fumble recoveries for TDs and All-Pro Selections 4 years in a 5 year span really make you a Hall of Famer?
The Hall of Fame is about career success and career achievements. It’s designed to reward players for career excellence above the norm. However, with Hansburger’s selection to the Hall of Fame over Chris Carter, the Hall of Fame is starting to look like the Hall of Very Good and not the Hall of Great like its supposed to be.