As former Kansas City Chiefs lineman Willie Roaf made his way into the hallowed halls of the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio this weekend, his acceptance speech found him mentioning a number of former teammates and players during his 10 minute presentation. After being introduced by his father, Clifton Roaf, Willie took to the podium to make his own acceptance speech along with five others being inducted.
Roaf was a member of one of the best offensive lines of a generation alongside notables like Will Shields, Casey Wiegmann and Brian Waters for the Chiefs, and he mentioned several of those names on Saturday.
"When I was notified I was elected into the Hall of Fame, I was so happy," said Roaf. "I felt a strong sense of pride, proud of have earned such an honor, proud to be a part of the legends of the game. But at the same time, I felt an overwhelming sense of humility realizing that being elected to the Hall of Fame wasn't something I did alone."
When discussing his career, Roaf specifically noted the Chiefs as the only organization who would take a chance on him after his knee surgery in 2001 made the New Orleans Saints want to move their blindside tackle.
"The Kansas City Chiefs organization gave me another chance to play football after suffering a serious knee injury," he said. "They were the only team that would really give me another chance to play, and I want to thank the Hunt family for bringing me to Kansas City, especially Lamar Hunt and Carl Peterson. I played on one of the best offensive lines in the league while I was in Kansas City, and we set the tone for the team every week."
Ever the consummate professional and team player, Roaf continued such a stance and rhetoric when describing his Hall of Fame entrance.
"I know I worked hard and believed in myself and always strived to be the best, but I never dreamed that one day I would be in the Hall of Fame. I was just thankful every day that I was able to play the sport I love. To know that my bronze bust will be in the Hall of Fame forever is just unbelievable. To my fellow Hall of Famers, just as I strived to be a good teammate in high school, college and the pros, I promise you this: I will always be a Hall of Fame teammate you can be proud of. Thanks for welcoming me to this new team."
Roaf made a total of 11 Pro Bowls in his career for both the Saints and Chiefs.