Football was life for Cris Carter. Upon reaching the highest honor the game has to give, however, Carter spoke very little about playing it.
He didn’t talk catches or toe taps. He didn’t reflect on individual touchdowns. He had no championships to reflect on. Instead, he passionately outlined the path it took for him to achieve greatness, which wasn’t as simple as a workout routine or practice regimen. It was navigating life, real life, that made Carter’s journey to the Hall of Fame so intriguing and improbable.
Carter actively chose to honor those along the way that helped him. Those, like his brother Butch, that taught him how to man up and take care of those he cared about. His wife that put her dreams on hold because she believed in his. His coaches in college and in the pros, including Buddy Ryan who had to cut Carter after a troublesome beginning to his professional career in Philadelphia. He thanked a member of the Vikings ownership for putting him in touch with a friend that was able to get him sober, and keep him sober, from the moment he landed in Minnesota. He thanked all of you, and said he is in debt to Vikings Nation, for making him feel comfortable and wanted in his time here. He thanked Reggie White for being the first man ever, when Carter was 22 years old, to tell him he was loved.
The speech was incredible. It was emotional and passionate.
In fact, the only thing wrong with it is that it was given about five years later than it should have been.
Thank you, Cris. And well done, sir.