Cris Carter, the man who became a Viking for the paltry sum of a $100 NFL waiver claim in 1990, finally reached the Pro Football Hall of Fame's end zone on an emotional, tear-filled Saturday evening at the New Orleans Convention Center.

After a 16-year career defined by so many scores -- 130 in all -- that former Eagles coach Buddy Ryan once proclaimed, "All he does is catch touchdowns," Carter was selected Saturday as a member of the Hall of Fame's Class of 2013. He will be enshrined in Canton, Ohio, his native state, on Aug. 3.

"This," said Carter, "is the happiest day of my life."

Later, when the bright lights of the NFL Network's show had clicked off, Carter stood in a corner and talked about that waiver claim. It took him several seconds to compose himself as he remembered how the Vikings reached out to him at a point in his life when chemical dependency had cost him his job with the Eagles and threatened to wreck his pro career after just three seasons.

"Man, [the Vikings] invested so much time in me," said Carter, breaking down again. "They got me to see the right people. Man, when I got there, I needed a lot of help. Oh my goodness."

Carter's voiced trailed off. He looked down. He dabbed at his swollen eyes with a Kleenex that had lost its usefulness much earlier in the night.