The Tribe Has Spoken

With Vikings fans still a bit dismayed how neither Cris Carter nor Randall McDaniel got voted into the Hall of Fame Saturday, the televised ceremony was a little off-putting, letting all 15 of the modern era candidates know where they stood on the "Survivor"-like pecking order.

The bizarre nature of the selection process took a strange turn once again Saturday, as the NFL opted to make Cris Carter and Randall McDaniel wait for another year before getting a whiff of the Hall of Fame.

The ceremony, which was carried live on NFL Network, become something like an episode of "Survivor." All that was missing was Jeff Probst, tiki torches and an urn filled with names on parchment. If it wasn't ghoulish enough to see the camera pan the relics of football journalism that comprised the 44-man voting group – it seems involvement in World War I was a prerequisite to be a voter – the 17 potential inductees got a solid taste of exactly where they stood in the voting process.

The list of modern-era finalists was whittled from 15 to 10 – with the not-so Fab Five identified by name – Randy Gradishar, Ray Guy, Russ Grimm, Andre Reed and former Commissioner Paul Tagliabue. Of the remaining 10, they needed to garner 80 percent positive votes. Half of those did. McDaniel and C.C. didn't make the final cut, along with Richard Dent, Bob Kuechenberg and the late Derrick Thomas.

About the only reason that can be figured as to why they didn't get in was a sentiment that other candidates had been forced to wait too long. Art Monk, for example, was in his eighth year of consideration and, while he was viewed much more as a possession receiver, he got a lot of lobbying (and has a Super Bowl title as part of his resume). Carter posted better numbers in all categories than Monk, but it appeared that this year anyway, C.C. would have to wait.

As shocking as Carter's near-miss to the Hall was, McDaniel's second year of consideration is downright sad. A true Hall of Famer both on and off the field, no player has ever been elected to more Pro Bowls than McDaniel. That's an honor that will eventually get him in, but for now, it was Zimmerman's turn as the offensive lineman to be part of the Hall of Fame.

While congratulations are due to all of the six inductees, Super Tuesday is three days away and it sure looks as though there was plenty of politicking going on during Selection Saturday.

* Of the six Hall of Fame inductees, four were defensive players – the first time since 2000 that more defensive than offensive players were enshrined. In the 10 years from 1998-2007, of the 47 players inducted into the Hall of Fame, 35 came from the offensive side of the ball.
* In an interview with a Twin Cities TV station, Brad Childress said Troy Williamson is still under contract and in the team's off-season plan. If, however, that plan includes signing a veteran wide receiver or drafting one early in the draft, those plans are subject to change.
* Childress has also said that he doesn't see a whole lot of options as it pertains to the quarterback position in free agency. He pointed to the late rally Tarvaris Jackson put the Vikings on in their season finale against the Broncos and said he thinks that is the kind of progress that can continue to be the incremental improvement of his young NFL career.
* Adrian Peterson is going to be honored March 12 as an honoree from the March of Dimes of Oklahoma. The Sports Headliner of the Year Award will be presented to Patriots wide receiver and Oklahoma native Wes Welker. Oklahoma football coach Bob Stoops will receive the Headliner Special Award.
* Former Viking cup of coffee and WWE wrestling champion Brock Lesnar was trying another sport Saturday night, fighting Frank Mir at a pay-per-view event called UFC-81 – a mixed martial arts federation. The Ultimate Fighting crowd booed Lesnar loudly as something of an interloper to their sport, but Lesnar got an early takedown on Mir a minute into the fight and rained down about 20 punches on him. One of the punches hit Mir in the back of the head and the referee stopped the action and deducted a point from Lesnar. Mir, viewed as past his prime for UFC, ended up stopping the fight with 4:20 left in the round by getting hold of Lesnar's left leg and bending it forward in a kneebar, forcing the former WWE champ to tap out.
* Former Viking John Avery was released by the Toronto Argonauts of the CFL Thursday. Avery, who played with the Vikings in 2003 before suffering a serious knee injury, spent the last four years playing in the CFL.

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