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.)

[More Super Bowl coverage]

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.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed.

Since: Aug 14, 2008
Posted on: February 5, 2011 11:23 pm

2011 NFL Hall of Fame class: Who got snubbed?

Besides Cris Carter not making it again, which I think is ridiculous. How isn't Kevin Greene in yet?

Makes no sense to me how the guy who ranks 3rd all time in sacks sits out every year.

Since: Nov 21, 2006
Posted on: February 5, 2011 11:16 pm

2011 NFL Hall of Fame class: Who got snubbed?

No running back in the Hall of Fame averaged LESS THAN 4.0 yards per carry during his career.
Jerome Bettis would be the first.

He was a good running back, but JEROME BETTIS IS NOT A HALL OF FAME player.

If he does get in, it will be because he is a nice guy, who smiles a lot, and was good to the sports writers.

Not because he was a hall of fame caliber running back...

Since: Jun 22, 2007
Posted on: February 5, 2011 11:01 pm

2011 NFL Hall of Fame class: Who got snubbed?

There were simply too many deserving candidates this year.

Since: Aug 16, 2006
Posted on: February 5, 2011 10:58 pm

2011 NFL Hall of Fame class: Who got snubbed?

I meant to say offensive coordinator. I think Doleman should have gotten in over Dent but Dent deserves to be in does Charles Haley, Reed and Roaf. Bettis and Martin were not great to me. I think they both were good running backs but HOF...not to me. 

Since: Mar 12, 2007
Posted on: February 5, 2011 10:55 pm

2011 NFL Hall of Fame class: Who got snubbed?

Didnt my comparison just show how much better martin is then Bettis?

Since: Sep 22, 2006
Posted on: February 5, 2011 10:50 pm

2011 NFL Hall of Fame class: Who got snubbed?

Forget first ballot, is Jerome Bettis a hall of famer at all?  At a glance you say of course he is, but there have been 6 running backs who have started their careers after 1980 that have made it to the hall of fame.  Eric Dickerson, Emmitt Smith, Marcus Allen, Barry Sanders, Thurman Thomas, & Marshall Faulk.  All of those people listed spent at least a couple years recognized as the best running back in the league title.  Dickerson & Sanders have 2,000 yard seasons.  Faulk was the first player to average 2,000 yards from scrimmage four straight years and is the only person to have 1,000 rushing and receiving in the same season.  Thurman Thomas led the NFL from scrimmage four consecutive years.  Emmitt Smith passed Walter Payton and people knock him for it because it was more about longevity than anything else.  Marcus Allen was the first back that ran for 10,000 yards and received for 5,000 yards.  What did Jerome Bettis do to set himself as great instead of very good on the scale that the others did?

Since: Aug 16, 2006
Posted on: February 5, 2011 10:48 pm

2011 NFL Hall of Fame class: Who got snubbed?

You're joking right!!! Deion is in the top 5 of best db's of all time. Ask any qb or defensive coordinator who played against him.

Since: Oct 2, 2006
Posted on: February 5, 2011 10:47 pm

2011 NFL Hall of Fame class: Who got snubbed?

Leaving out Martin is absolutely egregious--Bettis is also obviously deserving.  The problem is allowing non-players to take space on this ballot: get them a separate ballot, and make way for the dudes who actually played the game.  Can't believe Martin won't make it, but the wait he--and others (Dent, e.g.) are forced to endure is a needless injustice. 

Since: Mar 12, 2007
Posted on: February 5, 2011 10:30 pm

2011 NFL Hall of Fame class: Who got snubbed?

Martin should be inducted before Bettis. Here's why.


Martin played 2 less years then Bettis and has almost 500 more yards. MARTIN

Martin averaged 83 ypg in his career. Bettis 71 ypg. MARTIN

Martin averaged 4 ypc. Bettis averaged 3.9. Bettis was alot bigger then Martin, should have more. MARTIN

Martin has a total of 100 TDs. Bettis has 94 and played 2 more years. MARTIN

Martin had 4 years with 10 TD's or more. Bettis 2 years with 10 TD's or more. MARTIN

Martin had 10 straight 1000 yd season. Bettis only had 8 1000 yd seasons. MARTIN 


Martin in 10 games averaged 4.3 ypc. Bettis in 14 games averaged 3.3. MARTIN

Martin averaged 79.5 ypg. Bettis 48 ypg. MARTIN

Bettis is not a first ballot HOFer they need to make a area for Hall of Very Good. He never lead the league in anything and the only thing he has going for him was longevity. He NEVER lead the league in rushing. Curtis won a rushing title Bettis never did and Martin deserves to be in the HOF before Bettis.

Before Steeler homers cry about the SB ring. He had nothing to do with that SB ring. In 4 playoff games that SB year he averaged 45 ypg and 3.2 ypc. Steelers won in spite of him not because of him.

 Bettis is OVERRATED for the HOF. MARTIN is better in every category.

Since: Sep 5, 2006
Posted on: February 5, 2011 10:27 pm

2011 NFL Hall of Fame class: Who got snubbed?

Is Deion really a 1st ballot HOF'r?? If Carter, Bettis and Roaf aren't first timers there is now way Deion is a first ballot man. 

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or