Will Or Willie? How About Both?

Willie Roaf just missed out on his ticket to the Pro Football Hall of Fame this weekend, making it past the first cut down from 15 to 10 finalists, but failing to make it the next step to five modern-era finalists.  Randy Covitz points out that things aren’t getting any easier next year for Roaf with another solid batch of players eligible, including another former Kansas City lineman.

Roaf will be competing next year with former Chiefs guard Will Shields, a 12-time Pro Bowler who will be in his first season of eligibility.

So who should get the nod, Roaf, an 11-time Pro Bowler with the Saints and Chiefs, or Shields, not only the finest guard of his era but a winner of the prestigous Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award?

Generally, in the case of ties like this, the advantage goes to the left tackle.  It’s a premium position, to protect the blind side of the passer, and it will be hard for Shields to get in before Roaf does.

Wouldn’t it be cool if they were voted in at the same time?

As we saw this year, it will be hard to get Roaf in ahead of the “sexy” stat positions, meaning the Curtis Martin’s and Chris Carter’s of the NFL have an immediate advantage.

I’ll agree with Covitz that is would be cool if both get in, but my questions is why can’t it happen?  Both were All-Timers at their position and while some big-time names are still around, there might not be as many sure-things though that can change as behind-the-scenes campaigning goes on throughout the season.  Everyone knew Deion Sanders and Marshall Faulk were getting in, while the campaigning came in handy for Ed Sabol.

As disappointing as this weekend was, there is potential for a huge celebration next season with both Will and Willie getting the call.

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