NFL: Ex-Buckeye Carter elected to Hall of Fame
Parcells, Ogden, Sapp, Allen named, but not Modell
NEW ORLEANS — Cris Carter finally reached the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s end zone on an emotional, tear-filled evening.
After a 16-year career defined by so many scores that former Philadelphia Eagles coach Buddy Ryan once proclaimed, “All he does is catch touchdowns,” Carter was selected last night as a member of the Hall of Fame’s Class of 2013. He’ll be enshrined in Canton on Aug. 3.
“This is the happiest day of my life,” said Carter, a former Ohio State player.
Carter is joined in this year’s seven-member class by former coach Bill Parcells, defensive tackle Warren Sapp, offensive tackle Jonathan Ogden, guard Larry Allen and Seniors Committee picks Curley Culp, a nose tackle, and Dave Robinson, a linebacker.
Almost as noteworthy were the finalists who didn’t get in, including running back Jerome Bettis and owners Art Modell and Edward DeBartolo Jr. Modell, the late Baltimore Ravens owner, has been a divisive candidate in part because he moved the Cleveland Browns to Baltimore after the 1995 season.
Carter played with Philadelphia, Minnesota and Miami, becoming only the second player in NFL history to reach 1,000 receptions in a career. He caught at least 70 passes in 10 seasons and totaled 130 touchdown receptions.
Carter thanked former Vikings coach Denny Green and the team’s eight-member ownership group that was in place in 1990. Without them and his family, he said, he never would have beaten his drug addiction and fulfilled his potential.
“It was a lot of hard work, but there were a lot of people helping me, not on the football field, but just getting my life together,” Carter said. “They really cared about me. I owe everything to the Vikings. What they invested in me was more than money. What they taught me was how to live the rest of my life. I didn’t have to be a prisoner to the things that held me back before. That I could finally, finally tap into my athletic ability. That was the first time that I really feel like the car was running 100 percent.”
Carter said his son, Duron, 21, will present him at the Hall of Fame enshrinement ceremonies. Duron, also a receiver, entered this year’s NFL draft after college stints at Ohio State, Coffeyville (Kan.) Community College and Florida Atlantic.
“He’s had very, very similar struggles as myself,” Carter said. “And he wants is to play in the NFL. I think he would be a perfect presenter.”
In addition to Bettis, four other players failed to get in on the final vote: Charles Haley, Andre Reed, Michael Strahan and Aeneas Williams. Earlier in the day, the selection committee eliminated DeBartolo and Modell, as well as former players Tim Brown, Kevin Greene and Will Shields.
Parcells reversed the fortunes of four teams — the New York Giants, New England, New York Jets and Dallas — during 19 years as a head coach. He finished with a record of 172-130-1, leading the Giants to Super Bowl titles in 1987 and 1991. Sapp got in on his first year of eligibility after playing 13 seasons with Tampa Bay and Oakland.
Allen played 203 games over 14 seasons, spending the bulk of his career with Dallas..
Ogden spent a dozen seasons with the Ravens. He was a six-time All-Pro and was voted to 11 Pro Bowls.
Allen and Ogden were also first-year selections.
Culp was a defensive stalwart for Kansas City in the 1960s and ’70s and also played for the Houston Oilers and Detroit.
Robinson played on the great Green Bay teams of the 1960s and was a starter in victories in the first two Super Bowls. He closed his 12-year career with Washington.
Hall of Fame inductees
OL Larry Allen (Cowboys)
WR Cris Carter (Vikings)
OT Jonathan Ogden (Ravens)
DT Warren Sapp (Buccaneers)
Coach Bill Parcells
DT Curly Culp* (Chiefs)
LB Dave Robinson* (Packers)
2012 AP awards
MVP: RB Adrian Peterson
Coach of the year: Bruce Arians (Colts)
Offensive player of the year: Peterson (Vikings)
Defensive player of the year: DE J.J. Watt (Texans)
Offensive rookie of the year: QB Robert Griffin III (Redskins)
Defensive rookie of the year: LB Luke Kuechly (Panthers)
Comeback player of the year: QB Peyton Manning (Broncos)