Nov 7, 2013; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Hall of Fame wide receiver Cris Carter smiles during a moment honoring him before the game between the Washington Redskins and the Minnesota Vikings at Mall of America Field at H.H.H. Metrodome. The Vikings win 34-27. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

Cris Carter Said What to Michael Irvin’s Wife?

Michael Irvin related a story to Dan LeBatard about Cris Carter that pretty much says everything you need to know about Cris Carter.

Back in the day, Irvin was having some trouble with drugs. Carter decided to put on his drug counselor hat and help out Irvin, because Carter is one of those people who thinks that because he once was a drug addict himself, that makes him qualified to advise anyone else who is having the same issues (because experience automatically gives you wisdom in the eyes of people like Cris Carter).

Irvin told LeBatard about what happened one year at the Pro Bowl when he was in the depths of his addiction and Carter attempted to “help” him get his life together (via The Big Lead).

Even though I love Cris to death … I don’t know what year it was, we were in the Pro Bowl … [Cris] said to my wife – to my wife – you know, Mike would never, he would never come out of this problem until you leave him.


For years I’ve held that. I’ve never shared that with anybody. I was so hurt when Cris … because he was out of line [bleep] then and he’s out of line now.

Irvin’s story about Carter arose during a discussion on Josh Gordon, who is having issues Carter and Irvin both can relate to. Carter recently said in his capacity as an ESPN talking head that he believes Gordon needs to be cut by the Browns so he can bottom out and begin to get his life in order.

Why does Carter think this? Because that’s what helped him when he was having his own struggles.

Irvin’s point – what he thinks Carter is out of line about – is that Carter has no idea what Gordon needs and it’s irresponsible of him to assume that what worked for Cris in his case would work for Gordon. Just as Carter was irresponsible to advise Irvin’s wife to leave him, thinking that would help straighten Irvin out.

And you know what? I 100% agree with Irvin. It’s silly for Carter to think that once having been a drug addict qualifies him to counsel others. There’s a reason people have to go to training before they can become professional counselors. If all it took to be a drug counselor was proof that you once did drugs, then Bobby Brown could make crack money by opening up a practice.

Carter is a legend and an all-time great Viking but he’s also often an asshat. It’s sad that he’s now apparently become one of these ESPN buffoons who think their job is to say controversial stuff and generate ratings and web traffic.

If Cris really cared about Gordon, he’d butt the hell out and let qualified people handle the situation. But Carter is one of those insecure types who can’t admit how little they actually know.

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Tags: Cris Carter Minnesota Vikings

  • Mike Kauther

    No one recovers until they hit rock bottom. Carter is right u don’t know what u have until you lose everything

  • NorseGods72

    Zinski, once again you show your ignorance. I ask Mr. Zinski this, have YOU dealt with addiction in any form? For those who have, ALL OF THEM will tell you that you have to hit rock bottom before you can get back up. When you have an enabler or something to fall back on that pats you on the back while you’re addicted, you tend to not feel the urgency to leave the addiction. But of course, you’re an over opinionated buffoon who thinks you know more than someone like Carter based on second hand information, or just a pure hatred for Carter. That’s obvious by your opening statement to the affect of, “…just what kind of man Carter is

  • Daniel Laxen

    Just like the ex players that comment on the game, Carter feels he has inside info on what should, or shouldn’t happen in this example of a player abusing drugs. Perhaps he does? Was Carter out of bounds with his comments to Irvin’s wife? In my opinion, absolutely! Is he right about Gordon? Who knows? He offers his opinion and the player either relates, or not. He is afforded the platform of ESPN…Not all drug abusers have to hit “Rock Bottom” before they pull their life back together. Many NEVER do. Making poor choices are a fact of life and these players mentioned all have done that. Sooner or later it’s completely up to the individual as to what depths he is capable of dropping to…Then again, maybe OJ could council Hernandez and get him back on the straight and narrow? Either way, when multi millionaires make stupid decisions they ultimately pay a price. That is unless you are Jim Irsay. If you are him you can just pay your way out of anything…Money talks and bullshit walks. Jim Irsay has plenty to say…

    • NorseGods72

      I agree with some of what you said. However, would you not tell your friend an his wife that things are bad? That’s summing it up in a nutshell without getting into what ifs, but essentially, that’s what Cris did. I personally do think he has a right to tell Irvin and his wife whatever he can to help them. In fact, I’m pretty sure that’s what group counseling is. It’s a bunch of other addicts telling the others what they went through and offering their own advice because who knows what could help someone else get back on track. You’re right about the level at which everyone gets help and what rock bottom is to each individual. However, Cris Carter being Irvin’s friend, he had a right and IMO a responsibility to give his opinion. It’s not like he threw on lab coat and was presenting himself as a Doctor. He simply offered his opinion as an addict himself and who knows if that triggered some level of rehab for Irvin. Anything offered can help for an addict but nothing offered never has a chance to help.

      • Bob T.

        You don’t tell a “friends” wife to leave him. The friend then assumes you want to bag her. She already knows he has a problem. Suggest she help him. As a friend you help him too. Know the triggers and redirect, otherwise you don’t get involved. Have seen a lot of really bad things happen when you stick your nose into a marriage. you either shut up and help or you shut up.

        • NorseGods72

          “You don’t tell a “friends” wife to leave him.” – Is that what he said? Or are you assuming that’s what he said. From the article it “sounds” as if he told Mrs. Irvin that he won’t get better until she leaves him. Your assessment that it would appear as if Cris was trying to “bag” her is completely presumptuous and speculative. It sounds as if those are insecurities of your own. I’m pretty sure that Cris and Irvin have, with as good of friends as they say they are, have already put any of those insecurities behind them as adults. However, some people don’t and that’s the first thing that comes to their mind. She already knows he has a problem” – As many enablers do, but enablers are a HUGE part of the problem of an addict. “Suggest she help him” – See the previous answer to the previous ignorant comment of yours. But to expound a little, An enabler might as well be doing the drugs with the addict because they are very little help. Hence, the addictions continue for long periods of time until they get real help, usually from an OUTSIDE resource. Not to mention, anyone who has allowed an addiction to carry on would be seen and resented by the addict as a hypocrite in the recovery process. I would imagine the addict sees the addiction
          as a team addiction, not just his or hers alone. “As a friend you help him too.” – Yes, by getting through to the people around him, ie. His wife. This is what Cris tried to
          do. “Know the triggers and redirect, otherwise you don’t get involved.” – What?!
          Cris never claimed to be a Dr. (only a doctor could diagnose the “triggers” as you suggest. And just to be clear, you suggest Cris NOT get involved just because he doesn’t know of these “triggers” you speak about… Wow! That is the worst advice I have ever heard. Let’s not get involved, honey, because we don’t know the triggers. IMO, absolutely wrong!!!! You get involved even if it means you will never be friends again. I would rather have a friend who hates me alive, than a friend who died loving me for enabling him, or her. “Have seen a lot of really bad things happen when you stick your nose into a marriage. you either shut up and help or you shut up.” – Marriage and addiction are two completely separate things, you know that right? Maybe not for you, but for most people, a marriage (in a nutshell) generally is accomplished through the characters of two individuals. An addiction has nothing to do with their individual character and often brings a third character (the addiction) or personality into the marriage. When people are sane they can speak for themselves, which is why you generally don’t get involved in a normal healthy relationship, but when the relationship turns into a self-licking ice cream cone (a problem that feeds of the two individuals involved), then they need outside help. Generally from people that love them. You have heard of an intervention right? Essentially, that is what Cris did…he intervened and possibly prompted some kind of change. Bob T., IMO you are way off base and I hope no one near you ever has any kind of addiction where they need your support. You sound as if you would just be an enabler type where you close your eyes and hope it goes away. No offense intended. JMHO

          • Bob T.

            No offense taken. IMO If Mr. Carter isn’t going to go all in, with this matter, he may be best suited to stay out of it. I wasn’t there, so this is speculation, but if he “suggest ” that “possibly” the one solid “block” in Mr. Irvan’s life( his wife) leave.This MAY result in a spiral that wasn’t intended. IMO, there are some addicts who indeed do have insecurities, and a touch of paranoia. Wouldn’t it be in the best interest of all involved to keep the wife on the inside, and use the devotion of as many loved ones as possible, to reprogram, if you will, the activities in his life , to exclude the areas that stimulate the unhealthy behavior?
            Suggesting she might be doing him a favor by leaving, just doesn’t appear to me to be the best course of action. It looks like a great way to create more bitterness. Which is POSSIBLY another symptom of addiction .Mr. Furgenson posts a great question. Did she leave? With that I ask, Is Michael clean and serene? No I do not have a P.H.D.and because of that, I choose a strategy that doesn’t include blue tights and a red cape.I stand by my opinion that Mr. Carter should not rush in and suggest . I think it should have been handled better. I did enjoy your post.

  • Turdd Ferguson

    Did Irvin’s wife leave him? I honestly don’t know, and couldn’t care less, the reason I ask is because maybe the thought of her leaving helped straighten him out… Truth hurts.

  • craig franzen

    And if you look at many professional Drug and Substance Abuse Counselors, many, maybe even most, were former addicts themselves. There is a reason programs like AA, NA and their likes work, they are run by former addicts. I am sure you are one of those people who say, if he would just “man up”, he would be fine. Spoken like someone who is has never experienced an addiction. Cris gave advice that he thought would help him. I am sure you have given plenty of advise that you were unqualified to give as well, to a friend that you though you were helping. That is all Cris was doing. The difference, Cris is a highly talented professional athlete, that people want to see and hear about. And when he can have mud smeared on him, people line up to throw it at him. Cris, keep up the good work, and stay strong. from someone with 9 years clean and sober. Goose.