Note: Gonzo obviously wrote about this subject as well on Tuesday. Of course I wrote this article right before he published his...what can I say, great minds think alike! We're obviously still working out this whole "multiple Daily Norseman front-page bloggers" thing, so hopefully you won't mind reading another take on it. Besides, I think we can agree that Carter getting snubbed for the Hall of Fame again was so ridiculous that it takes two articles to properly bitch about it.
During the waning seconds of Sunday's thrilling Super Bowl, Santonio Holmes made an amazing catch in the corner of the end zone amongst three Cardinal defenders while somehow getting a fraction of both tiptoes down in bounds. (I'm sure some of our friends at Revenge Of The Birds may dispute that, but for this story's purposes, we'll assume that the referees judged the catch correctly.)
But you already knew that. You're a normal, American human being; therefore, you watched the Super Bowl. You saw the catch in between your commercial critiques and heaping mouthfuls of nacho-cheese-and-sour-cream-dipped, pizza-flavored, jalapeño-popper-style, buffalo-chicken-finger sandwiches.
What you may not know is the catch cost Holmes a small portion of his Super Bowl game check. Not because of his creative "LeBron James" celebration (it should actually be called the "KG" or "MJ", LeBron ripped them off), but because Holmes had to pay royalties.
He had to pay royalties to Cris Carter. Because it's obvious that throughout Carter's career, he patented that kind of catch.
Don't waste your time browsing through the U.S. Patent Web site to disprove my story; hopefully you just understand that Cris Carter made those catches commonplace throughout his career. Yet for the second straight year, the legendary Viking receiver was inexplicably denied entry into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. And I still haven't heard a single valid reason why. Neither have you--because there isn't one.
Before I foam at the mouth too much on this, let me state that I agree with the selections that did make it into the 2009 Hall of Fame class. Each inductee dominated and/or changed the game and deserved to get in--albeit not ahead of Carter in some cases. I couldn't be more thrilled to see Randall McDaniel get in. He was the first lineman of my formative fan years talented enough to garner my attention away from the skill position players. When the Pro Bowl rosters were announced each year, you could pencil in #64 at Guard for a dozen straight years. Thomas, Hayes, Smith, and Woodson were also amazing, each in their own right.
But C.C. practically patented amazing. How many times did you see him make his classic sideline/endzone catch? You know, the one where he was sprinting full speed at the ball...but at the very last second, he instantly brought his feet to a halt while somehow applying real-life ragdoll physics to the rest of his body keep his toes in bounds. And even as all that was happening, he caught the ball softly enough that even if it was an egg fired from a shotgun it wouldn't have cracked in his hands.
Yeah, that patented catch. I'm not exaggerating. Go ahead, YouTube it. I'll even give you a starter kit.
The craziest thing about CC's Hall snub is that even if all of his jaw-droppers were replaced with run-of-the-mill grabs, HIS NUMBERS ALONE SHOULD HAVE GOT HIM IN--LAST YEAR! Gonzo already covered this in detail, but when Carter retired, he was second all-time in nearly every receiving category that meant something behind Jerry Rice. While nobody here is challenging Rice for the "best-ever" throne, any logical person would assume that Carter was a first-ballot lock thanks to just his stats.
Now he's going to have to wait for his third ballot, and his odds aren't getting any better. That Rice guy is eligible next year, and so is the Emmitt
"I ran seven yards before being touched most of my carrer" Smith, and you're nuts if you think Carter will get in ahead of those two. And in today's pass-happy NFL, Carter's rank on those all-time receiving lists keeps dropping as today's receivers pass him.
It's an absolute disgrace that it seems as though Carter is going to get the "Art Monk treament" by the Hall. Everyone in the know seems to universally agree that he'll get in eventually, but how does that make any sense? Either you're a Hall of Famer or you aren't. He's a football player, not wine. There are grumblings that he "didn't make enough big plays"--you know, besides those miraculous catches I just talked about. Who cares if some of them were for 10 yards instead of 50? They kept the kicking team off the field just the same! And of course he had his off-the-field problems early in his career, and not everyone appreciated his confident/cocky attitude. But if we allowed only allowed non-cocky, trouble-free professional athletes in our Halls of Fame, they'd look more like Hallways of Fame.
So Santonio, make sure you send Cris that royalty check for your catch. He'll appreciate the recognition he clearly deserves while he's forced to wait at least another year for the recognition he's been wrongfully denied. Carter patented the sideline catch, and I'm starting to wonder whether the Pro Football Hall of Fame patented stupidity.