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Brett Favre vs. Chris Carter: Which NFL Player Will Make Hall of Fame First?

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Brett Favre vs. Chris Carter: Which NFL Player Will Make Hall of Fame First?
Jeff Gross/Getty Images
Brett Favre

Who was selected to the NFL 1990’s All-Decade Team and remains a professional football force in 2010?  The answer may surprise you.

The voting for the 1990’s NFL team was completed by Pro Football Hall of Fame voters. Officially known as the Board of Selectors, the voting panel consists of 44 members—mostly NFL beat writers. Most of the appointments to the Board are terminated only by death, retirement, or resignation.

To be eligible for enshrinement in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, a player must have been retired for at least five years. Players may be nominated by fans via letter or email.

The Selection Committee gets polled three times per year: once in March, once in September, and once in November when the 15 finalists are picked. Meeting the day before each Super Bowl, the Selection Committee picks the next class of enshrinees to the Hall. 

The Pro Football Hall of Fame opened in 1963 in Canton, Ohio where it remains in good hands. 

With the best pair of professional football pass-catching hands ever, and the best pass catching hand for that matter, it was like wide receiver Cris Carter was catching the football with a fisherman’s net.

Both he and Brett Favre netted selections to the 1990’s All-Decade Team and both men are NFL forces in 2010.

Favre is a 40-year-old quarterback with the Minnesota Vikings, and Carter is a solid television, internet analyst, and mentor to this year’s NFL draftee class.

Carter collected Hall of Fame numbers as a Minnesota Viking where he teamed with Hall of Fame QB Warren Moon and other pass throwers. On NFL Sundays, it was like Carter played the game on a trampoline surface while his defenders where playing on artificial turf.

The beauty of some of his most spectacular catches, and there are many to recount going back to his college years, could bring tears of pride to those who appreciate the art of catching a football.

In receptions, receiving yards, Pro Bowls, and All-Pro selections, he leads all non-Hall of Fame wide receivers who have played since 1978. He was second to Hall of Famer Jerry Rice in receptions during the 1990’s. Cris is the only player to record 120 receptions, or more, in a season twice (1994 and 1995).

NFL Network's NFL's Top 10 placed Carter atop the list of wide receivers with the best hands.

He was one of 15 finalists for the Pro Football Hall of Fame class of 2008, but he was not elected in a surprise to more than a few analysts and journalists. Carter was once again excluded in 2009, and again in 2010.

He holds the most touchdown receptions from African-American QBs (73), catching them from Warren Moon, Randall Cunningham, and Daunte Culpepper.

 

It is worth taking a look at why Carter has yet to be voted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Ironically, Carter is a native of Troy, Ohio.  The cities of Troy and Canton are as far apart within Ohio as Brett Favre and Chris Carter’s style of dress are.

Carter prefers razor-sharp clothing, while Favre prefers the redneck look. Favre has Mississippi backwoods wrangler hands, while Carter’s hands sport such a meticulous manicure that they appear to be plastered in soft platinum.

“All he does is catch touchdowns,” said Buddy Ryan, his Philadelphia Eagles head coach.

A former Master Sergeant in the US Army during the Korean Conflict, Buddy is the father of current New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan. Rex’s twin brother, Rob, is the defensive coordinator for the Cleveland Browns.  The Ryan brothers use the fearsome 46 style defensive made famous by their colorful father.

Rex will lead the New York Jets against the visiting Minnesota Vikings and Brett Favre on Monday Night Football (October 11). Carter will be a lead analyst on ESPN during the show before the broadcast of the game.

Carter later admitted that Buddy Ryan released him because of alcohol and drug abuse, and he credits Buddy with aiding his turnaround. The substance abuse issues may be the primary reason why Chris Carter has not yet been enshrined into the pristine Pro Hall of Fame.

 

But Favre has battled addictions to pain killers and to alcohol, yet he is considered a lock for enshrinement by many analysts. 

In fairness, quarterbacks do get inducted a lot more than wide receivers.

Favre may be the best quarterback in NFL history, by the numbers.  He is the all-time leader in yards passing, TD passes, and interceptions. He is a Super Bowl champion, and that is an accomplishment that Carter cannot claim.

Some commentators assume that Carter will be voted in, eventually, to the Pro Football Hall of Fame, but it is not a given.

All factors being equal, Chris Carter may deserve to be enshrined more than any player who has not yet been inducted.

If he does not get voted into the Hall of Fame before Brett Favre does, then the Hall of Shame would be a better name.

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