The Hall of Fame 2011 class was announced on Saturday night and while it includes seven players, former Kansas City Chiefs tackle Willie Roaf is not one of them.
Roaf made the first cut for the 15 modern-era finalists, making it to the final 10. However, when that list was cut down to five, Roaf was left on the outside looking in. Somehow, being a top five player all-time at his position was not enough to get Roaf to the final five modern-era finalists, who all ended up being elected to the Hall of Fame.
The five modern-era players in the class of 2011 are DE Richard Dent, RB Marshall Faulk, NFL Films founder Ed Sabol, CB Deion Sanders and TE Shannon Sharpe. Two senior nominees also made the final cut, LBs Chris Hanburger and Les Richter.
Coming as a surprise to no one, Roaf has been saying all of the right things about how being a finalist in his first year of eligibility is accomplishment enough. But the fact is that Roaf should have been one of those no-brainer selections his first time out the same way Anthony Munoz was in 1998.
The election committee debated the 2011 class for seven and a half hours and yet there was a report that Roaf was only discussed for 11 minutes. According to that same report, the time spent on Roaf was the fourth shortest of all eligible candidates.
For a group of voters that boast about taking their responsibility so seriously, it’s a joke that they spent so little time on a player that is an all-time great at his position, not just great for his era.
There is no doubt in my mind that Roaf will eventually be elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame, it’s just a shame he has to wait on the sidelines like he’s just another questionable candidate that isn’t elite enough to be enshrined as soon as possible.