Many a theory has been put forth to explain why Cris Carter was once again snubbed for the Hall of Fame. These include the ever-popular split vote hypothesis, which holds that, with Andre Reed and Tim Brown also on the ballot, voters can’t agree on which receiver to include. Or it could be that receivers are simply not valued as highly as men at other positions.
There is also a more sinister possibility: that Carter is being kept out of the Hall for some personal reason. Many have theorized that Carter’s prickly relationship with the press over the years might be playing a role. That notion gained more credibility today thanks to a tweet from Philadelphia radio host Howard Eskin.
Eskin’s tweet reads, “WR Cris Carter didn’t make the Pro Football HOF I was told b cause female voter has personal problem w CC. Cost 4 votes. Missed by 1.”
The female voter with the CC problem isn’t identified. Only two women are listed as Hall of Fame voters at the present time: Nancy Gay of FoxSports.com and Charean Williams of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. A Google search unearthed nothing that would shed light on why either of those women would have a personal issue with Carter.
Without more information, it’s impossible to know the real nature of this personal issue or even which voter has the gripe with Carter. It’s not fair to jump to the conclusion that Carter did or said something sexist to create this issue either, though Eskin’s tweet might lead some to assume this. At best, the tweet opens a small window on how much politics and (possibly petty) personal grudges play into the HOF selection process.
The conclusion? If a personal issue can keep a deserving candidate out of the Hall of Fame, then the process needs to change. Cris Carter may be a bit of a jerk but that doesn’t alter the fact that he is top 5 in history at his position. And if there’s a voter who has some issue with Carter that casts his character in a negative light? They should have the guts to come out and say so. Why the entire thing is so shrouded in secrecy to begin with is beyond me. It’s Hall of Fame voting, not a secret ballot to pick the new emperor of the galaxy. The media can be so self-important sometimes.