Tonight at 6:00 PM Central time, the NFL will announce its newest Hall of Fame class, the Class of 2011. Two members with their names etched in Vikings' history are among the 17 finalists to make it into Canton this year. I've laid out their stats over at SB Nation Minnesota, and I would like to think that the chances that we see at least one member of the Beloved Purple find their way into Canton for the third year in a row (following Randall McDaniel in 2009 and John Randle last year) is a good one.
Then again, most of us have thought that the guy depicted on the left over there has had a pretty good chance to get in for the last three years, haven't we?
Yes, despite retiring with more receptions, receiving yards, and receiving touchdowns than any wide receiver named Jerry Rice (and still being firmly in the top ten in each of those categories nearly a decade after hanging up the pads), Cris Carter is still waiting for the call to football immortality. As we've detailed in the past. . .here, here, here, and here. . .about the only reason that anyone can come up with for Carter not being in the Hall of Fame at this point is, "Ummmm, well. . .because he's not, that's why." Hopefully that will change today. . .but, as I said, we've been disappointed by this before.
The other Viking with a chance to make the Hall today is defensive end Chris Doleman. Doleman, one of the league's all-time great sack masters, retired from the NFL in second place on the all-time career sack list with 150.5, and still sits in fourth place on that list despite not having stepped on an NFL field for over a decade. I think that Doleman will eventually get in, but I don't think his chances of getting in this year are as good as Cris Carter's. Of course, I'm pretty sure I said the same thing about John Randle last year, and we know how that turned out.
Is this the year that Cris Carter finally makes it in? Will Chris Doleman prove me wrong and end up getting the call instead? Or will. . .lord help us. . .both Vikings make it into Canton? (Or, lord help us even more, neither of them get in.) The official announcement comes at 6:00 PM, although there will surely be leaks before then. Keep it tuned right here for the latest.