Blog Entry

2011 NFL Hall of Fame class: Who got snubbed?

Posted on: February 5, 2011 9:15 pm
Posted by Will Brinson

Invariably, whenever there's a group of people inducted into a professional sports league's Hall of Fame, there's a group of people who got snubbed. And that's the case with the 2011 NFL Hall of Fame class.

That's not to take away from the group of men that got inducted: Deion Sanders, Marshall Faulk, Shannon Sharpe, Ed Sabol, Chris Hanburger and Les Richer comprise a pretty tremendous class.

But there are still some pretty big names who didn't make the cut and probably deserved better. (Quickly: the good news is that next year's Hall class is substantially less qualified than this year, making things easier on nominees.)

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Curtis Martin, RB, NE/NYJ: Martin fell victim to the the positional abundance that Andy mentioned earlier -- he, Jerome Bettis and Marshall Faulk comprise a ridiculous group of running backs for one Hall class, particularly when it comes to first-time nominees.

Martin's the fourth all-time leading rusher in NFL history, ranks 12th in rushing touchdowns, third in total touches, 11th in all-purpose yards, eighth in yards from scrimmage, 19th in total touchdowns, third in rushing attempts, 11th in rushing yards per game, went to five Pro Bowls, was an All-Pro in 2004 and by all accounts is a hell of a nice guy. Maybe even too nice -- it's often believed that Martin's quiet personality cost him some fame as well as cache with non-regional voters. The good news is that he made the cut to the final 10 this year, and appears to be receiving a surprisingly strong groundswell of support from voters.

Willie Roaf, OT, NO/KC: Roaf might have been the biggest snub of the entire year, if only because he didn't make the cut from 15 to 10. It's not like he was an 11-time Pro Bowler, a six-time first-team All Pro, a three-time second-time All Pro and a member of BOTH the 1990's All-Decade Team and the 2000's All-Decade Team or anything. Oh, and that was in only 13 years, so there's that. Look, it's tough to make a cut from 15 to 10 (and even tougher from 10 to five, of course), and it's really difficult to gauge an offensive lineman's value, especially in this class. But it's just kind of tough to find a reason why Roaf wouldn't make it further.

Cris Carter, WR, MIN: You could probably make a case for including all of Carter, Tim Brown and Andre Reed here. They were all dominant receivers, but that turned out to be problematic, because the three candidates split the vote amongst themselves according to numerous voters.

Carter's rankings are pretty solid though: he ranks fourth in NFL history in receiving touchdowns, third in receptions, eighth in receiving yards, he made eight Pro Bowls and and was a two-time All Pro. But so are Reed's (he ranks 10th in total receptions, 11th in receiving yards and 12th in receiving TDs) and Brown's (fourth in receptions, sixth in receiving TDs, fourth in receiving yards, fifth in punt return yards and fourth in punt return yards). Setting a standard by which we can measure Hall of Fame receivers is only becoming tougher as the NFL becomes more and more tilted towards a passing league. The lack of Hall votes for these guys emphasizes that.

Jerome Bettis, RB, PIT: The Bus also falls into the positional disparity problem, because, well his stats don't lie: fifth all-time in touches, fourth all-time in rushing attempts, fifth all-time in rushing yards, 10th all-time in rushing yards, six Pro Bowls, two All Pro teams and a Super Bowl in his hometown. (Which counts for something, I think.)

But Bettis didn't even make it to the final cut, and that's a shame. Even if he's going to "get in at some point" or if he's "part of a tough RB class," he and Martin are pretty clearly two of the all-time greats when it comes to running backs in NFL history.

They just happened to be entering the Hall of Fame with a guy who was more dominant in Faulk. And even though there's no crime in getting the current class of guys in now, it's still tough to fathom how some of the guys listed above piled up the numbers they did without the recognition.

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Since: Aug 31, 2006
Posted on: February 6, 2011 1:55 am

2011 NFL Hall of Fame class: Who got snubbed?

Maybe it's time to do away with the limit of 7 per year, at least for a while.  There are a ton of deserving guys who didn't make it, because only 7 can get in.  If you have 10 years where 8 guys deserve to get in, you may have an entire extra class just to catch up.  Like the names mentioned in the article above and the posts below....

Cris Carter, Cris Doleman, Curtis Martin, Andre Reed, Cortez Kennedy, William Roaf, and Ray Guy...there's 7.  How about Charles Haley?  Maybe Jay Hilgenberg?  Tim Brown? 

HoF voters are in a tough position, and all I can say is that they at least used all 7 spots and they included 7 guys who all deserved to get in.

Since: Dec 1, 2010
Posted on: February 6, 2011 1:36 am

2011 NFL Hall of Fame class: Who got snubbed?

Great take. I guarantee if Lester Hayes was "Flashy with the media" and Deion had a speech impediment.....Hayes would be in and Deion would be out.

Since: May 11, 2007
Posted on: February 6, 2011 1:33 am

2011 NFL Hall of Fame class: Who got snubbed?

How can they snubb Cris Carter for his drug use, when the kings of the druggies( m.irvin, l.taylor) make it on 1st ballot? Seems like things need to change with voting.

Since: Apr 23, 2009
Posted on: February 6, 2011 1:30 am

2011 NFL Hall of Fame class: Who got snubbed?

Curtis Martin is easily a much more impressive RB than Bettis  ever was, and that's not to knock the BUS,  I mean it's not easy to be that nimble when you're horse that size. But Martin didn't have that size working in his favor and considering the first time he put on a football jersey was his senior year in high school I'll say that's a pretty ridiculous career he churned out.

I think I have more of an issue with Deion Sanders walking in over most of these guys. Yes, he was extremely talented and quick but make sure you credit him for being one of the founders of NFL showboating and being a top 3 worst tackler, if not the worst, to ever even be considered for the HOF.  (Irony = Deion Sanders attempting to call someone a pu***, poor Jay Cutler)

As someone pointed out earlier in this thread, the voters love the flashy guys...... with awful haircuts. And for the DEION supporters that will be upset by this, please tell me how Deion walks in while Cris Carter waits until next year? You can't tell me Carter did any more drugs than Deion did, and unless you live near me in Philadelphia, "all he does is catch touchdowns" is not a valid argument.

Since: Aug 23, 2008
Posted on: February 6, 2011 1:28 am

2011 NFL Hall of Fame class: Who got snubbed?

Willie Rolf was the biggest snub by far. Just because o-line dont put up tangible stats doesn't mean that they arent unebelievably important to their teams. Theres no way Priest Holmes become the good player he was without roaf and we've all seen how Larry Johnson's career has declined after the retirement of roaf not to also mention Trent green being a relevant QB because of him and Will Shields. Roaf was a monster and mainstay at the guard position over a 13 year period. He could arguably be considered the best guard over the last 20 years and should have no doubt been elected this year. He should've been a no brainer 1st ballot HOF especially over the likes of deion and Sharpe.

Since: Mar 30, 2007
Posted on: February 6, 2011 1:21 am

2011 NFL Hall of Fame class: Who got snubbed?

sorry andre reed anyone

Since: Mar 30, 2007
Posted on: February 6, 2011 1:05 am

2011 NFL Hall of Fame class: Who got snubbed?

andre reid anyone

Since: Sep 15, 2007
Posted on: February 6, 2011 12:53 am

2011 NFL Hall of Fame class: Who got snubbed?

How does Richard Dent get in before Charles Haley? How does a player that has 5 Superbowl Rings - more than any player in NFL history (as a player) keep getting passed by. Ill tell you why... the writers didnt like him. The man has Bi-polar deasease and he probably made some writers angry. They need to get over it. He meant more to the Cowboys defense in their 3 Superbowl runs than probably any other player. And add 2 more from the 49'rs befre that. It makes no sense anymore.

Since: Aug 14, 2008
Posted on: February 6, 2011 12:46 am

2011 NFL Hall of Fame class: Who got snubbed?

Ya know I to agree and think Cris Carter was being punished for the drug years. But Michael Irving got in and we're still waiting for his to end.

Since: Feb 19, 2007
Posted on: February 6, 2011 12:38 am

2011 NFL Hall of Fame class: Who got snubbed?

What about Charles Haley?

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