Cris Carter and others have been kept waiting for their call to Canton because of the value in a "First Ballot Hall of Famer."
The NFL unveiled their 2012 Hall of Fame inductees on Saturday night prior to Super Bowl XLVI. The inductees were all deserving, as Cortez Kennedy, Curtis Martin, Chris Doleman, Willie Roaf, Dermonte Dawson and senior selection Jack Butler were selected.
However, there was one notable omission from that list, and the truth is that he should have gotten in years ago. That would be former Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Cris Carter.
It blows my mind to have a guy like Carter sit and wait for five years to get into Canton. Seriously, all he did was catch touchdowns, and you're not going to put him in the Hall of Fame?
When Carter retired, he ranked second in NFL history in almost every receiving category behind Jerry Rice. His stats are only slightly lower now that the NFL has evolved into a passing game that has spawned the legends of Terrell Owens and Randy Moss.
Upon further review, it seems like the Hall of Fame has turned into a glitzy party that only few can attend. Not only that, but they have to attend at the right time.
For example, if Carter is still eligible for HOF consideration when Jerry Rice is eligible, he'll have to wait another year. Why is this? Because the selection committee has decided to put value in the term "first-ballot Hall of Famer." (They also don't want any receivers to steal the spotlight from Rice.)
It's a problem that occurs in other sports too such as baseball. Bert Blyleven was inducted into the Hall of Fame after 13 years of eligibility in 2011. Despite finishing toward the top of almost every pitching category, voters repeatedly denied him entering the Hall.
When Blyleven was finally inducted, he deadpanned that he didn't know how he became better over the 13 years of the induction process.
It's why the NFL Hall of Fame is becoming a complete joke. It should be a straight yes or no question whether a player deserves the honor of being inducted. It shouldn't be about whether they have the glitz and glamor of a first-ballot Hall of Famer
None of this will change in the near future, and it's a shame, because plenty of receivers should be in whether they are waiting for Jerry Rice to become eligible or not. But it just leads to what has become a very bizarre situation in sports.
The man who only caught touchdowns is apparently not good enough for the Hall of Fame. That is simply a laughable statement and something the NFL should be embarrassed about.