Wednesday, January 30, 2008

You've Come a Long Way, Cris Carter

Photo: www.tothenextlevel.org

Last night I caught pieces of the interview Fat "Uuuuhh" Mike and Chris had with Cris Carter on WFAN. He continues to prove himself one of the most competent and knowledgeable former pros who now makes a living both in front of the camera and online.

As an Eagles fan, I never begrudged Carter for the success he went on to achieve with the Vikings. When he admitted the reason for his release from the Birds had more to do with his substance issues rather than Buddy Ryan's claim that all he did was "catch touchdowns," part of me was relieved he was finally able to recognize and overcome his demons.

I speak from personal experience.

When I was younger, my youth football league's banquets would often feature local teams' players. Notably, the late Andre Waters had made appearances several years in a row, often bringing younger teammates with him. One year, that younger teammate was a blinged-out Cris Carter sporting a nice full length fur (maybe chinchilla).

As kids lined up for autographs, shortly into the night it became apparent that Carter was in no condition to be around kids, and was asked to leave.

Now fast forward some 20-some years.

On Saturday, Carter deserves to join the ranks of the immortal in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, as do fellow wide receivers Art Monk and Andre Reed.

Carter not only went on to clean up his act and put up Hall-worthy numbers, but has proven himself as an ambassador of the game and a humanitarian with knowledge, contributions, and most admirably, his humility.

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