Wednesday, 02 February 2011 17:42

Ex-Saints, Chiefs Willie Roaf Waits For Hall Of Fame Pick

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Willie Roaf said he would be watching sports on television at his home in California when the names of the new inductees to the Pro Football of Fame are announced on Saturday.

"If I get selected, I will take the next flight to Dallas to take part in the Super Bowl events," said the former Saints/Chiefs All-Pro offensive tackle. "It Ed Statonwould be an exciting trip to be able to fly there."

The Hall of Fame Selection Committee will meet in North Texas on Saturday to elect the Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2011. The election results will be announced at 6 p.m. during a one-hour NFL Network special, live program from the Super Bowl Media Center.

Roaf said he's been thinking about the Hall Fame selections all week.

"Now that it's getting close, there is a lot of anticipation," said Roaf. "I have been thinking about it a lot because it would be such a prestigious accomplishment. Just to be on the final list during my first time is an honor itself.

"I am grouped with some of the best players to ever play. I have worked out with Jerome Bettis and have played against most of the guys that are up for it or I have some kind of connection to them."

Roaf said getting voted in in his first year of eligibility would be very special to him.

"To be selected to the Hall of Fame during my first time on the ballot would be something very special because a lot of guys aren't even a finalist their first year. I worked hard at my job and played at a high level for most of my career. It would be something that I would be very proud of."

Roaf is picking the Packers to win the Super Bowl. "I'm predicting a Green Bay win," said Roaf. "I grew up rooting for the Steelers, but I cheer for the Saints and Chiefs now.

"Growing up, I didn't have a favorite player, but my favorite team was the Steelers. My brother was a big Cowboys fan and a lot of people in Arkansas (Roaf's home state) were Cowboys fans because we didn't have a pro football team in Arkansas,

"I really liked the Steelers. Louisiana Tech (Roaf's alma mater) Terry Bradshaw, Franco Harris, Mean Joe Green and all those guys. I always watched the Steelers play."

Roaf's favorite moments from his 13-year NFL career?

"The 2000 season, when we won the first playoff game in Saints history against the Rams," said Roaf. "That was a very, very big moment. Also, the 2003 season with the Chiefs when we started 9-0 and finished 13-3. That was a real fun season."

Roaf was among the best ever at what he did. He was durable and dominant and that means he's deserving of a spot in the Hall of Fame.

Last year, Rickey Jackson became the first Saints player elected to the Hall of Fame on the day before the Super Bowl. There should be a repeat on Saturday and the Saints would have their second Hall of Famer.

by Ed Staton

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Ed Staton

Ed Staton is a former sports writer for the Times Picayune and New Orleans States Item.  He also served as the New Orleans Saints Information Director.  He has won 43 media awards in writing, design and photography. | This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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