Football Hall of Fame Wide Receiver Cris Carter

He called it the happiest day of his life, and it showed. For someone who is never at a loss for words in his capacity as a studio analyst for ESPN’s NFL coverage, Cris Carter needed time last February to articulate what it meant to learn, after six years of eligibility, that he would be joining the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

The tears flowed at the official press conference announcing the Class of 2013 (Carter is joined by Bill Parcells, Warren Sapp, Jonathan Ogden, Larry Allen, Curley Culp and Dave Robinson), and later during TV and radio interviews. Expect similar emotion Aug. 3, when Carter’s son, Duron, presents his father for induction in Canton, Ohio.

As one of the league’s most prolific wide receivers admits, such sentiment speaks to far more than a Hall pass. Three years into his pro career, Carter showed more signs of becoming a cautionary tale than one of only eight players in NFL history with more than 1,000 receptions. He was battling addiction to alcohol and drugs, and it cost him his job prior to the 1990 season when then-Philadelphia Eagles coach Buddy Ryan bounced Carter from the roster.

Enter the Minnesota Vikings, who took a chance on Carter, claiming him off waivers for a meager $100. The former Ohio State standout would reward the Vikings’ faith by overcoming his dependency and rededicating himself to the sport. By 1993, Carter would make the first of his eight Pro Bowls.

It was about this time that he also discovered Boca Raton through his agent and accountant; Carter has lived here with wife Melanie (the couple also has a daughter) for the better part of 20 years. You’re apt to catch him riding around Mizner Park on his motorcycle, or dining at one of his favorite restaurants (like New York Prime or Max’s Grille).

The Vikings’ all-time leading receiver and a member of the NFL’s All-Decade Team for the 1990s took time to speak with Boca Raton about the Hall of Fame, league headlines and more.

 

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