In somewhat of a stunning turn of events, former Vikings defensive end Chris Doleman has been elected to the pro football Hall of Fame. Doleman joins Curtis Martin, Cortez Kennedy, Dermontti Dawson, Willie Roaf and Jack Butler in the class of 2012. For the fifth straight year, one-time Viking great Cris Carter was snubbed. Why? That’s anyone’s guess.
Let’s forget about Carter’s snubbing and focus on Doleman. The newly-minted Hall of Famer was an 8-time Pro Bowler, a 3-time All-Pro and a member of the NFL’s official all-decade team. He finished with 150 1/2 career sacks, good for fourth all-time (keeping in mind that sacks didn’t become an official stat until 1982). His greatest year was 1989 when he recorded 21 sacks, the Vikings all-time record until 2011 when Jared Allen broke it. In all, Doleman topped the double-digit mark in sacks 8 times. Interesting fact: Doleman’s second-best season sack-wise came not as a member of the Vikings but the 49ers. But most will remember him from his time with the Vikings, when he led a fearsome defensive line that also included Keith Millard, Henry Thomas and Al Noga.
The Vikings of the 1990s are now represented in the Hall of Fame by three men: Doleman, John Randle and Randall McDaniel. One day Cris Carter will join them. Hopefully.