In a few short hours, former Kansas City Chiefs tackle Willie Roaf will find out if he will get into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in his first year eligible. Roaf told The Star that he wouldn’t have ever had a chance to make it this far in the voting if not for the Chiefs and that he’s excited to make it this far already.
“The only offer I had was from Kansas City,” he said. “Carl Peterson and Denny Thum talked to me every day, and for them to bring me in there and give me another chance to play football … my going to Kansas City will be the reason that I would have a chance to get in (the Hall of Fame) on the first ballot.”
“To get to the final vote the first year is a big accomplishment, because for a lot of guys, it takes a while. I have a lot of feelings toward both the Chiefs and Saints, and what I accomplished for both teams is real special to me.”
With possibly no more than four or five players getting the call — and big-time names like Marshall Faulk, Deion Sanders and Jerome Bettis also on the ballot for the first time — there’s a chance that Roaf is going to get overlooked today.
Offensive linemen never get the attention they deserve, but Roaf doesn’t seem to be getting the love that past all-time tackles received. If that leads to Roaf not getting the call this year, it would be a huge mistake that shouldn’t get overlooked just because it will still be a strong class as a whole.
Here’s to hoping the voters get it right by getting Roaf his jacket as soon as possible.