Vikings represent on Hall of Fame list

The Vikings have several strong candidates on a list of Hall of Fame semifinalists narrowed to 25 on Tuesday. That gets trimmed to 15 in mid-January, with a final announcement made on during Super Bowl week.

Those players, coaches and fans that don't like preseason games may be in for a long summer in 2009, with a need to watch the Hall of Fame game a week before the full NFL preseason schedule kicks in. No fewer than five players with Vikings ties have been named semifinalists for the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Cris Carter and Randall McDaniel, who many believed could have and should have been inducted last year, are among the 25 semifinalists. John Randle is one of four first-time semifinalists – along with WR Andre Reed, TE Shannon Sharpe and DE Bruce Smith. Former Viking Chris Doleman also made the cut, as did RB Roger Craig, who was most famous for his years with the 49ers but spent time late in his career with the Vikings.

The other semifinalists include RB Terrell Davis, C Dermontti Dawson, DE Richard Dent, DE/LB Kevin Greene, G Russ Grimm, P Ray Guy, DE Charles Haley, CB Lester Hayes, DT Cortez Kennedy, G Bob Kuechenberg, QB Ken Stabler, former Commissioner Paul Tagliabue, special teamer Steve Tasker, LB Derrick Thomas, Bills owner Ralph Wilson and CB Rod Woodson.

The list of 25 semifinalists will be reduced to 15 in mid-January, with the inclusion of two candidates from the Hall of Fame Seniors Committee, which could include former Viking great Jim Marshall. The Class of 2009 will be announced during festivities prior to the Super Bowl.

In the past, if an organization has had more than one inductee, that team has typically played in the Hall of Fame Game to start the preseason. Considering the number of Vikings that have a good chance of making the list of finalists for potential induction, the Vikes may be one of two teams with five preseason games next year.

WEDNESDAY NOTES

  • This month's issue of the VU magazine includes a story on trash talking. There could have been a recent inclusion of Maurice Jones-Drew to that list Sunday. After getting hit with a high-low tackle by Ben Leber and Chad Greenway, MJD took exception to Greenway, calling him "the worst first-round draft pick ever." Greenway, appearing on KFAN Radio Tuesday, said that he was shocked because "that would include Ryan Leaf." It also seemed ironic that Jones-Drew would call someone else a first-round bust when the Jaguars have had so many themselves and he is currently a teammate of Troy Williamson. Somewhere Dimitrius Underwood feels better about himself.

  • Adrian Peterson is currently second in the league in rushing yards, but he is averaging more than 22 carries a game. His 242 rushing attempts trail only Michael Turner (251) and Clinton Portis (244).

  • Maurice Hicks no longer shows up on the depth chart of Vikings kickoff and punt returners.

  • The Vikings signed Rutgers cornerback Derrick Roberson to the practice squad Tuesday. He went to camp with the Texans, but was released and signed by the Ravens to their practice squad before being released earlier this month.

  • The running joke that is the Pro Bowl balloting has Peterson as the No. 2 RB with 396,295 votes – more than 160,000 votes behind Portis. Washington Redskins fans have flooded the fan balloting portion, which, if it were to stand, would have 20 Pro Bowl starters from the Redskins. Fan balloting only accounts for one-third of the vote, with coaches and players making up the other two-thirds.

  • Football fans in New York, Boston and Los Angeles will get a chance to be guinea pigs for what could be the next big thing in NFL broadcasting. The NFL is going to show the Dec. 4 Thursday night game between the Raiders and Chargers on selected theatre screens in those cities in 3-D, which could change the way fans eventually watch the NFL.

  • Word out of New Orleans is that a ruling on the appeal of the suspensions for several players, including Pat and Kevin Williams will be delayed until next week at the earliest. A New Orleans newspaper stated that with game-planning beginning today, unless a ruling comes down this morning, action (if any) likely won't be taken until next week.

  • The Rams signed former Vikings offensive lineman Cory Withrow Tuesday.

  • Center Tim Mattran, who spent the preseason with the Vikings, was signed by Jacksonville Tuesday.

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