DALLAS — The announcement for the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s new class is kind of tricky because as we celebrate the current class, we have to talk about those who did not make it.
And you end up feeling like Adam Baldwin’s character in Independence Day who is cheering after they finally defeated the aliens but runs into Russell Case’s kid, and has to console him before then finding a young lady to make out with during your celebration.
So congratulations to the Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2011, but here are some guys who deserve to be enshrined next year –- and with a shallow class of first-time eligible players and coaches next year (Bill Parcells maybe?) many of the guys who just-missed this year could be in line next year.
So here are six guys I would put in the Class of 2012:
6. Sterling Sharpe
Hall of Fame WR James Lofton really sold me on Sharpe this week in Dallas. And he’s right. Sharpe was one of the most dominant players at his position and would have challenged Jerry Rice’s numbers had he stayed healthy. I would put him in much the same vein as Gale Sayers, who was voted in. And I consider him way more worthy than Cris Carter and Tim Brown.
5. Andre Reed
Reed would be in the Hall of Fame if not for Scott Norwood’s miss. But the Bills were dominant and with Jim Kelly and Thurman Thomas already in, having Reed makes a lot of sense.
4. Terrell Davis
Somehow, Davis has fallen through the cracks because of the length of his career. To me, a Hall of Famer should have dominated at his position, even if it was just for a short time. Too many times, writers get enthralled with guys who hung around for a long time and only put up good numbers, not great numbers. Right, Tim Brown?
3. Willie Roaf
It is always hard for the layperson to really judge offensive linemen and what they meant to the game. But when you talk to former players and coaches, they all seem to be very high on Roaf. In fact, I caught up with Dick Vermeil, who talked about Roaf this week and had some very strong words.
2. Charles Haley
Nobody has more rings than Haley, yet he continues to be on the outside looking in. Haley was a major contributor on two dynasties, and not surprisingly, both dynasties declined once he left. What is the deal here?
1. Jim Plunkett
After Plunkett, name one other two-time Super Bowl-winning quarterbacks who is not in the Hall of Fame. Oh wait, you can’t. There aren’t any. I smell a Facebook page coming.