It is a good day to be a Vikings fan, and it's also a bit perplexing, with a dash of kick to the junkiness stil lingering in the background, like a hangover that you just can't shake. We all know where the latter comes from; those gory details don't need to be re-hashed. The
good great news is that John Randle, the crazy-ass eccentric, wild eyed, over achieving defensive tackle who was the heart and soul of the Minnesota Vikings defense for over a decade, now gets the privilege to wear the ugliest yellow blazer in the world once a year.
WOOOOO! Big Dog's in the HAAAALLLL!!
Randle is certainly deserving. He made seven pro bowls, was named first team all-pro six times, and is the all-time sack leader among interior linemen, and sixth overall. Oh, and he was an undrafted free agent. John Randle invented the term 'relentless motor', and was just flat out intimidating, from his eye black that made him look like a beefed up Gene SImmons and a mouth that spit more fire, for 60 minutes, every Sunday. Welcome to the club, John Randle. You deserve it, and heartfelt congratulations from VIking fans world wide.
But Cris Carter misses out, again, for the third year in a row. And this year, Rickey Jackson beat him out. Rickey Jackson. Really? I mean, wasn't he the bass player for Marlon, Tito, and Michael? Maybe he wasn't, but when comparing his record to Cris Carter's, he might as well have. Rickey Jackson is a good, even a great player, and I'm not saying he doesn't deserve to be in the Hall. My irritation is that Cris Carter is a no-brainer for the Hall of Fame, yet he still waits. I think there are a few things working against CC right now, among them:
1) Randall McDaniel, Gary Zimmerman, and...John Randle. I'm not advocating that there is an anti-Viking bias, because with three Vikings (Zimmerman won a Super Bowl with Denver, but he played half of his dominating career as a VIking) going in three years in a row I think the voting members don't try and 'overdo' it with too many players from one team. That said, Dallas (2006) and Washington (2008) had multiple inductees. Prior to that, 2000 was the last time there were multiple inductees from one team.
2) His perceived inevitability of induction. When he retired, he was the greatest wide receiver not named Jerry Rice to ever play the game, and two other WR's have gone in ahead of him, MIchael Irvin and Art Monk. Like teammates, voters are also disinclined to vote players of multiple positions in the same class. So the thinking goes, Carter's a shoo-in, but Irvin's a given because he played on the Dallas dynasty of the 90's,, and Monk deserves it after waiting for so long.
3) The electability of others when compared to CC. This ties in to CC's perceived inevitability. If everyone agrees he's going in someday, let's get other guys in while their window of opportunity is open, because it won't stay open as long as it will for a guy like Cris Carter. Hence, Derrick Thomas, Andre Tippett, and now Rickey Jackson are in and Cris Carter isn't. Again, my beef isn't with those who have been elected, it's with the mindset and the methodology of how voters determine who goes in and when.
Why is there a limit of five modern era and two veteran selections? If a guy is Hall of Fame worthy, and there are nine guys that deserve it, let nine guys in.
Why is there an unwritten rule about X amount of players on one team, or X amount of players at the same position that can go in at one time? Again, you're either Hall worthy or not. If a class is WR heavy, it's WR heavy, so be it.
Why do people who never played the game at the professional level decide who goes in? I have all the respect in the world for some writers, but c'mon, Sid Hartman, Howard Balzer, and Alex Marvez each gets a vote? I think there needs to be a healthy mix of former players that are also Hall of Fame members. Shouldn't they have a voice to who joins their exclusive club?
Even though the system is flawed, it is more fair than unfair. Cris Carter will get in, but ironically, it's his greatness that might be keeping him out, at least for the time being.