The Michigan Daily - Sports Monday - October 26, 1992 - Page 3
The three-time Michigan all-American discusses
his career in college and the pros
From 1979-1982, wide receiver
' Anthony Carter graced the sidelines
for the Michigan Wolverines.
During that time, "AC" built a
reputation as one of the greatest
players in the history of college
football. A three-time all-American,
Carter still holds Michigan career
records for most receptions (161),
receiving yards (3076), touchdown
receptions (37), touchdowns (40),
punt return yardage (904), and
kickoff return yardage (1606). In
1983, Carter began a two-year stint
with the USFL's Michigan Panthers.
For the past eight seasons, he has
been a member of the Minnesota
Vikings. During that span, he has
played in the Pro Bowl and been an
All-Pro. This year he has led the
Vikings to first place in the NFC
Central. Daily Sports Writer
Michael Rosenberg spoke to Carter
after a Vikings' practice last week.
Daily: Are you surprised by the
Vikings' success this year?
Carter: Definitely. When you
bring in a new coach no one knows
how things are going to happen, or
how to respond to his philosophy. I
think the guys responded real well. I
think one reason for that is because
of his coaching background, being
en assistant in the NFL. I think that's
had a lot to do with it.
D: The media has given Coach
Dennis Green a lot of the credit for
the turnaround. How much of it was
due to Green's influence and how
much is due to getting rid of the old
C: I think that it's a combination
of a lot of things. I think that with
(ex-Vikings GM) Mike Lynn going
... a lot of guys had personal vendet-
tas against him, because of the way
he treated them in negotiations. I
think guys really didn't want to play
for him.. I think that's one of the
biggest reasons that no one's really
been talking about around here -
because of him.
D: Do you think that because
Green is black and Lynn had a repu-
tation for being racist with the play-
ers in negotiations, that that has
something to do with Green being so
C: I didn't feel that way because
(Lynn) negotiated my last contract,
which was a pretty good contract. I
just think it was a lot of things he
did to a lot of ballplayers who
deserved a lot of money and didn't
receive it. With the new
management and (new
president/CEO) Roger Headrick and
the people that are working under
him, I think a lot of people are really
happy about the situation.
D: During your career you've
had the opportunity - some would
say misfortune - of playing for a
number of coaches. Who influenced
you the most, both positively and
C: Well, I really haven't had one
as far as negatively, but I've had a
whole bunch of positives. I had the
opportunity to play for Coach (Bo)
Schembechler, who is going to go
down as one of the greatest coaches
in the history of college football. I
played for Coach Jim Stanley for the
Michigan Panthers, which gave me
the opportunity to stay in the state of
Michigan, which I thought was real
I could go on and on about the
positives, but I haven't really had
any negatives. As far as offensive
coordinators, and people talking
about me receiving the ball the
amount I have been ... I haven't re-
ally been used up to my ability, but I
guess that all comes with being a
D: The media are always talking
about how you are under used, but
you have never really complained
about it. Privately, what goes
through your mind? Do you think,
'Why aren't they using me?' Did
you ever think the coaches didn't re-
spect your abilities?
C: It's definitely frustrating,
there's no doubt about that. There
were times I really blacked out about
it. But all (complaining) is going to
do is cause distractions among the
ballplayers, so I really didn't want to
say too much about it.
It's kind of happened in the first
five weeks of this year, too, but
we're winning ballgames and you
really don't need any distractions.
So I try to go out and just get the
opportunity to get back in the
playoffs, and see what happens from
there and hopefully get in the Super
D: For a long time, you and Jerry
Rice were regarded as the two best
receivers in the league, and everyone
was regarded as a cut below the two
ing. How would you compare Coach
Green's style to Schembechler's?
C: I think it's up tempo here with
Coach Green. We're putting the ball
downfield, we're attacking teams,
we're throwing the ball deep. With
Coach Schembechler, it was always
it was always a slow-paced ballgame
- taking what the defense gives
you, and that type of stuff. It didn't
make the game real exciting, but you
always won. The most important
thing is winning ballgames. I think
that one is a coach that likes to
throw the ball deep, and the other
one likes to run.
D: You were an all-American at
age 19. Did the pressure ever get to
C: I never really had a chance to
think about it. Those four years went
by real fast. We were always in the
bowl games or spring practice and
all that stuff, so I never really got a
chance to think about it.
D: For a long time, Michigan
was regarded as a running team.
Since you left, Greg McMurtry,
Desmond Howard and now a great
group of receivers led by Derrick
Alexander have all played wideout
for the Wolverines. Do you feel like
you started a tradition?
C: Well, I think so, because go-
ing to a school with a running-ori-
ented-type offense, it definitely
opened up for receivers who wanted
to go to Michigan - who were fas-
cinated with Michigan for going to
the bowl games, for being on na-
A lot of guys turn away from a
school like that, because they don't
throw the ball. Fortunately, I think I
did open up some doors for receivers
there. Now, with Coach Moeller
being the head coach, and the
offense he had at Illinois, throwing
the ball, it definitely helps.
D: You wore number one.
McMurtry wore number one.
Alexander wears number one. It's
considered a great honor at Mich-
igan to wear your number. How
does that make you feel that your
number is considered so important
C: I think I brought that number
out. I wouldn't say it's just my num-
ber. It is a great number. I think that
a lot of kids grew up wanting to be
like Anthony Carter or hoping to
play for Michigan. Unfortunately,
Coach Schembechler didn't retire
the number. It's a good deal for the
University because it's a great re-
D: A lot of people feel the num-
ber should have been retired. Do you
think it's more of an honor with the
number not retired because people
see receivers wearing number one
and they think of you?
C: Like I say, it's a recruiting
tool. They'd be crazy to retire the
number because of one individual.
They make millions of dollars be-
cause of the athletic department.
They'd be fools to retire the number.
D: You talked about kids grow-
ing up wanting to be like Anthony
Carter. When you were growing up,
who were your heroes? Was there
anyone whose style you tried to
copy as a youngster?
C: I grew up in the '70s as a
Dolphin fan. I liked Paul Warfield's
style. I also liked Fred Biletnikoff.
D: Do you have any goals left?
C: Not really. Hopefully when
my career's over, I can come back
and finish my thirty credit hours.
That's all I really have left to
Itisourmascot, unfortunately. Averystupidmascot.
The 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, a chance for our nation to
bask in the limelight, loom on the horizon. People from more than 150
countries from around the world will converge on the city, enjoying the
hospitality of the South and pumping millions into the local economy.
Atlanta citizens were dancing in the streets in autumn of 1990 when
the International Olympic Committee made the announcement that they
were the lucky winners. Our chance to shine, right? Wrong.
The geniuses in the Atlanta organizing committee, nice Southern
gentleman, I'm sure, went to work, trying to come up with something
new and improved. What they came up with, basically, is pork rinds.
Those same giddy Atlanta folks came in from the streets and plopped
down on their collective sofa to watch the closing ceremonies of the
Barcelona Olympics this past August. The new mascot, the mascot for
their grand gala was unveiled.
That's our mascot?
Tens of thousands of viewers
turned to each other in unison and
x1 4asked why on Earth their city
-representing their blessed
country, no less - had selected a
giant sperm to be its mascot.
Or at least that's what it looked
like to me. Somebody said it looked
like a glob of toothpaste, like the
neat tri-colored one in the
Aquafresh commercials. Somebody
said it was an amoeba.
But most said it didn't look like
Smuchof anything. And sadly,
they're probably right.
Now. Mascots, in general, look
goofy. Take your Philly Phanatic,
or your San Diego Chicken, or that
mascot the Montreal Expos have,
whatever it is.
Big, goofy, fuzzy things that
walk around and act stupid and
scare little kids to death. That's
W hatizit your basic definition of the word
We here at Michigan have been largely successful in avoiding the
problem. 'No!' we have screamed countless times. 'We don't want any
damn mascot.' We have a good nickname, cool uniforms and a huge
stadium. We have a good thing going here. Let's not blow it.
But they tried, mind you. Some enterprising students tried. Very hard.
They had the thing, Willy the Wolverine they called it, walking around
outside the stadium on Saturdays. Shaking hands, scaring kids. Doing all
the things a good mascot must do.
Yet it looked nothing like a wolverine. Wolverines are ferocious and
mean. This thing was just plain weak. And so we politely said, 'No.' Pass
me a winged helmet.
We have no choice with this Whatizit mascot. It is ours to have and to
hold, to love and to cherish.
It was, apparently, the best thing we could come up with. I would hate
to see what finished behind it. Probably Ted Turner. Or Jane Fonda.
There are plenty of questions left unanswered.
"Whatizit?" "It's Whatizit."
Real cute, folks. Nice gimmick. Good for a few laughs. But seriously,
cut the Abbot and Costello crap. What iz its name going to be?
It's hard to say which is more embarassing. The mascot itself, or the
fact that nobody even bothered to give it a name.
Here's an idea, though.
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Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Anthony Carter made many catches like
this one against Purdue in his career at Michigan.
of you. But Rice always received
more recognition, partly because of
Joe Montana and partly because of
the quality of his team. Did that ever
C: No, not really. In San
Francisco, there's a lot of media
hype. It's different from Minnea-
polis. Of course, when you're
winning, you're always going to get
that media hype. Back in '88, when
we beat those guys, I started to get a
lot of recognition, but we started
falling off, and so I didn't get that
(hype). But I can't worry about that.
I just have to try and do the best
Anthony Carter can do.
D: Do you ever wonder how
good you could have been if you had
a Joe Montana, a Dan Marino or a
John Elway as your quarterback?'
C: Yeah, I definitely have
thought about it, but I learned a long
time ago that those things you have
no control over you can't worry
about. So, I can't think about that so
D: Let's turn back to the coach-
D: Although Bo was, as you say,
basically a three-yards-and-a-cloud-
of-dust type of coach, you were still
a three-time all-American under
C: Well, with my ability, I guess
I made him throw the ball more than
what he wanted to. He didn't have
any choice when he had a receiver
with my ability. I always thought
that if I had the opportunity to play
under Coach Moeller, the way he
made Desmond Howard the Heis-
man Trophy winner, by throwing the
ball, then maybe I would have won
it ... but you can't worry about
things you have no control over.
D: Do you or did you ever feel
that you should have won the
C: Well, the highest I finished
was fourth (in the voting). We didn't
push the Heisman then, so it's
something I didn't really think
about. As I look back on it, it's a
very prestigious award, and I wish I
had been (more highly considered),
but that's all said and done now.
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