Cris Carter is going into the Hall of Fame this weekend, but former teammate Qadry Ismail did not exactly have high praise for the former Minnesota receiver and current television analyst. Appearing on Sirius XM, Ismail had this to say:
“Shannon was that kind of a guy that you just knew that he was in your corner. You couldn’t say the same thing for Cris Carter,” Ismail said. “You couldn’t say the same thing as far as his attitude towards his teammates. You couldn’t say the same thing as far as his attitude as far as the coaching staff. You knew that he had a selfishness to him that was an extreme selfishness.”
A wide receiver who had a selfish streak? Why I never. Ismail takes it beyond that, though, and says that Carter is a reason they did not win a Super Bowl, unlike Shannon Sharpe or Jerry Rice, who elevated teammates. Ismail did play with Carter from 1993 to 1996 in Minnesota, his first four years in the league. While there may be legitimate hurt feelings here, and Ismail may have been shunned by Carter, we aren’t told that. Instead, it appears that this is just after the fact character gobbledy-gook, where the champions were the champions because they had the character to make others better; others lack those traits. Ismail, of course, is a winner, managing to lead the 2000 Ravens, along with Sharpe, to the title.
All receivers are selfish, and want to be the best. Do they help teammates to achieve those goals? Some do. But if you think Jerry Rice wanted Terrell Owens to be better than him or get more balls thrown his way, or that he ran hills so that J.J. Stokes would improve, well, that’s silly. Extreme selfishness for a wide receiver must be a whole other level, and maybe Cris Carter is there. Color me unconvinced based on the rings argument alone. Maybe, though, Gary Anderson was thinking about Cris Carter not sharing a peanut butter sandwich when he stepped up to that kick against the Falcons.
Carter responded to Ismail’s accusations by basically saying he was selfish. He had to be to be successful.
“They have to be. You depend on so many other people and your job is stat-driven. You have to be. The reason we didn’t win Super Bowls isn’t because I was selfish. When (Ismail) was playing on my team, do you know what my stats were? I broke the NFL record, scored 17 touchdowns,” Carter said. “It is what it is. I tried to teach him as much as I could. Let me tell you this: It’s not a personal thing so it’s not a (Qadry) issue. I expect you if you’re in pro football to catch the freakin’ ball. So I’m not going to be happy with you if they throw it to you and you have a tendency to drop it. Or if you have a tendency to make excuses. Or if you’re not that dang-gone tough. So, did we have problems? Those were the problems. Besides that, I was a great teammate.”
Whatever you think of Carter, I think he wins this round, calling out Ismail’s unselfish hands for dropping the ball.
[photo via USA Today Sports Images]