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: Jan 8, 2011
Posted on: February 6, 2011 12:21 am

2011 NFL Hall of Fame class: Who got snubbed?

Of the worthy players that were snubbed this year, not one mention of 8 time Pro Bowl player Cortez Kennedy. His problem is that he played  for the Seattle Seahawks. They are not one of the 'Glamour' franchises. He was voted Defensive Player of the year in 1992. This was the year the Seahawks went 2-14. I guess only one defensive lineman per year, no disrespect to Richard Dent. Well, I guess there's always next year.

Since: Dec 1, 2010
Posted on: February 6, 2011 12:19 am

2011 NFL Hall of Fame class: Who got snubbed?

VikingBob...Curtis Martin will unfortunately have "Art Monk Syndrome." Since he wasn't a flashy talkative dude with these weasels that vote...he will suffer.

Since: Feb 26, 2007
Posted on: February 6, 2011 12:11 am

2011 NFL Hall of Fame class: Who got snubbed?

Sorry about the previous post ------

laddin - just want to correct one thing --- Faulk was the 2ND player to get 1000 rushing & receiving - it was originally done in those ancient or prehistoric NFL times you young 'uns call the '80's - before Corporate boxes , PSL's & ESPN becoming the NFLs' assclown but I digress --- Roger Craig did it in 1985 - a full 14 years & seasons before Faulk - altough I do agree with the rest of your premise

Since: Jul 22, 2010
Posted on: February 6, 2011 12:10 am

2011 NFL Hall of Fame class: Who got snubbed?

Chris Carter will make it in, no worries.  He is probably paying the price for his early drug years, and some like to see people wait for this.  I'm not sure about the bus, but Curtis Martin is interesting.  He has achieved HOF stats, with many of us unaware, like nobody I have ever seen!  It's like you hear his name, than see what he did, and think " I had no idea he did that good"!  He just didn't play for good teams like the Bus did. 

Since: Jan 15, 2008
Posted on: February 6, 2011 12:04 am

2011 NFL Hall of Fame class: Who got snubbed?

The snubs will get in next year...

Since: Feb 26, 2007
Posted on: February 5, 2011 11:58 pm

2011 NFL Hall of Fame class: Who got snubbed?

Since: Sep 10, 2008
Posted on: February 5, 2011 11:55 pm
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator

Since: Nov 13, 2006
Posted on: February 5, 2011 11:51 pm

2011 NFL Hall of Fame class: Who got snubbed?

I believe John Riggins has 3.9 YPA in his career and is a HOFer.  He is also probably a good comparison to Bettis in terms of power back style.  

As far as Curtis Martin v. Bettis, they have incredibly comparable stats and may both be deserving.  I am not sure it has to be one or the other, but you can't penalize Bettis for playing two more seasons.  In fact, that usually works in your favor or your selection--maintaining some degree of longevity.

One final thought was how many runs did Bettis have for a 1st down in his career?  I would think it fairly high, but couldn't find the stats anywhere.  It would be interesting to see.  To me, 4th and 5th all-time leading rushers says all I need to know.

Since: Dec 7, 2010
Posted on: February 5, 2011 11:30 pm

2011 NFL Hall of Fame class: Who got snubbed?

Cmon ,   enough with the snub talk... it was a very good class, and someone had to get left off... Hell its about time Dent made it...
Those guys will probaly make it next year....  dont freak ut about it..

Since: Dec 1, 2010
Posted on: February 5, 2011 11:24 pm

2011 NFL Hall of Fame class: Who got snubbed?

Couldn't of said it better myself. As a Jets fan I may be biased but Martin was dominant from 1995 to 2004 as the featured back. Bettis had a shorter shelf life as a featured back and Bettis's case would be way smaller if it wasn't for Big Ben tackling Harper in that Indy game.

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