Willie/Will Get A Shot … Saturday Cup O’Super Bowl

From Indianapolis, Indiana

Will we have a Will and Willie Weekend?

At 9 o’clock Saturday morning in the J.W. Marriott Hotel the 44 members of the Board of Selectors will meet to decide on the Class of 2012 for the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

This will be the 16th selection meeting that I’ve been part of the group that votes on the Hall of Fame candidates. Of the previous 15, I don’t think any of those voting sessions turned out the way I anticipated or assumed they would. It’s always an interesting morning and afternoon of discussion that whittles the group from 15, to 10 to five, along with seniors candidates. There’s a maximum of seven and a minimum of four new members each year. In the last six years, there have been a minimum of six new Hall of Famers.

In those 15 meetings where I voted there were a total of 82 men that entered the Hall. That group includes men who had connections with the Chiefs, like Mike Webster (1997), Joe Montana (2000), Marv Levy (2001), Hank Stram (2003), Marcus Allen (2003), Emmitt Thomas (2008) and Derrick Thomas (2009).

This year, two more former Chiefs are in the queue among the 17 names to be discussed – RG Will Shields and LT Willie Roaf.

Let’s get right to the question I know is out there – what are the chances of Shields and/or Roaf being part of the Hall’s class of 2012?

Going into Saturday morning’s meeting, the sense I get from others that will be in the room is that Roaf has a better chance than Shields. I think Roaf has a good chance for induction, while Shields and his opportunity to make the Hall in his first year of eligibility I’d classify as fair.

What I also sense is that both Roaf and Shields will be in the Hall of Fame within a few years; there’s no doubt in the minds of most of the voters that they had careers that were worthy of induction.

It comes down to a math equation. There are 15 modern era finalists and two seniors candidates. The seniors – Jack Butler and Dick Stanfel – are voted on in separate ballots and discussions. One or both could be voted in. A candidate needs 80 percent of the 44 voters to achieve induction – that’s 35 positive votes needed.

Among the 15 other candidates, there’s a maximum of five spots and a minimum of two if both seniors candidates achieve induction. Here are those finalists listed by their position:

  • Offensive line – Dermontti Dawson (center), Willie Roaf (tackle), Will Shields (guard).
  • Defensive line/pass rushers – Chris Doleman (DE), Kevin Greene (OLB), Charles Haley (OLB), Cortez Kennedy (DT).
  • Running backs – Jerome Bettis, Curtis Martin.
  • Wide receivers – Tim Brown, Cris Carter, Andre Reed.
  • Defensive back – Aeneas Williams.
  • Contributor/Coach – Ed DeBartolo, Jr. and Bill Parcells.

There is no automatic election among those 15 names. Shields is the only first-year eligible that made the final group. So that leaves five available slots. There is no formula but consider it this way – one name for each group: one offensive lineman, one defensive player, one running back, one wide receiver and one coach/contributor.

That leaves tough choices. The first vote will take the group of 15 down to 10 and second vote takes it from 10 to five. Those final five are voted on a yes/no basis. Here’s our breakdown and guess on how the way the vote will go. Please, no wagering:

Defensive players – Sounds like they should be ranked in this order – Charles Haley, Cortez Kennedy, Kevin Greene, Chris Doleman and Aeneas Williams. This is the first time Williams has made the finals and I think he’ll not survive the first vote. I don’t think Doleman will either. I think Greene goes out with the vote from 15 to 10 finalists. That leaves Haley and Kennedy. One of them will reach the final five; I say Haley.

Running backs – Bettis and Martin are more than worthy and I think both reach the final 10 and Martin gets to the final five.

Wide receivers – The toughest position to judge production because of the huge numbers in the passing game have not yet created a level that is the difference between good and great. I think Carter and Reed will advance to the final 10 and that Carter will move onto the final five.

Offensive linemen – There’s momentum behind Dermontti and I think he’ll advance all the way to the final five. I think Roaf will do the same in a bit of an upset. I think Shields will make the cut from 15 to 10.

Contributor/coaches – I don’t think either Parcells or DeBartolo will go far in this vote, although I think they will generate a lot of discussion, I sense a real split on the committee. I think the strength of the players among the finalists will overwhelm DeBartolo’s candidacy. Parcells will have to wait.

No matter the equation, there are going to be names left off the final list that will cause controversy.


8 Responses to “Willie/Will Get A Shot … Saturday Cup O’Super Bowl”

  • February 4, 2012  - johnfromfairfax says:

    Good luck Will and Willie. Both are deserving and hopefully will be there together soon.

  • February 4, 2012  - Milkman says:

    I agree with Bob about Shields. If Dawson wasn’t in the mix this year, he’d have a better chance. The over-riding factor in Dawson’s favor is his appearances in the post season. This is not Will’s fault, it’s just harder for great players with no championship teams around them to get in. It says a lot about the man though to not have that AND play a non-skill position to go as far as he has in his first year of elgibility. It will be just a matter of time before he slips on that yellow jacket.

  • February 4, 2012  - el cid says:

    Just in MIA fired OC, Daboll, is new Chiefs OC. He was able to get the fish to the 20th best offense and that got him fired. But he was good enough for Pioli. What a stooge!

  • February 4, 2012  - Tim says:

    Dawson is deserving. These guys need to put less emphasis on some of these skill players. Its the guys up front that allow them to get it done. Need much more balance in the Hall.

  • February 4, 2012  - johnfromfairfax says:

    C’mon Cid, your obvious bias caused you to leave out that he led the Browns to 32nd and 29th rankings before raising the Dolphins to 20th. Looks like another inspired New England hire. What it actually shows is that Pioli feels no external pressure to do anything but what he wants and that appears to be handpicking personnel, including the coaches, and surrounding himself with New England guys and others who will answer to him. I guess we’ll all see how it works out but it’s hard to get excited with this hire.

  • February 4, 2012  - Johnfromwichita says:

    Another New England connection. This is becoming tiresome. On top of that, it’s another coach with a beard. Does it feel like we’re not going anywhere? Hell with it, Go Giants.

  • February 4, 2012  - el cid says:

    No worry John. His supports, as in athletic supporters, are already saying what a hire, loved by MIA fans (getting your offense to 20th will do that every time)and MORE IMPORTANTLY he is a young Charlie Weis. Just imagine the real Weis at KU and his younger doppleganger Daboll OC with the Chiefs, take that MU fans.

  • February 5, 2012  - Johnfromwichita says:

    Thank you Eli. Patriots lose. Pftttttt Pioli.

Get the Flash Player to see the slideshow.


Other News