Protecting history


Class of 2012 enshrinee Willie Roaf recently donated numerous pieces of memorabilia from his playing days with the New Orleans Saints. Roaf along with Jack Butler, Dermontti Dawson, Chris Doleman, Cortez Kennedy, and Curtis Martin were elected the Pro Football Hall of Fame early last month. The six-man group will be formally enshrined into the Hall of Fame on Saturday, Aug. 4.

Fresh out of the box: Our followers on Twitter and Instagram were the first to learn about Willie Roaf’s donation to us just moments after our curator opened the shipment.

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Roaf was chosen as the eighth player overall and the first offensive lineman in the 1993 NFL Draft by New Orleans. He instantly earned a role with the Saints and started all 16 games at right tackle during his rookie season. The trophy he received as the team’s offensive MVP that year was among the artifacts that Roaf sent to the Hall of Fame. He also gave the Hall of Fame his well-worn Saints helmet that he donned for much of his stellar career that included nine seasons with the Saints and four with the Kansas City Chiefs.

Other mementos in the donation included his jersey from the 1998 Pro Bowl which was the fourth of 11 invites he received to the NFL’s all-star game. Roaf also donated a pair of pants worn in the Pro Bowl and the watch he received as a participant in the 2000 Pro Bowl. Other items now part of the Hall of Fame’s permanent collection and soon to be placed on display were gloves he wore during the middle of his career as well as a framed program and multiple football cards.

Roaf is just the second long-time Saints player to earn election to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.  Linebacker Rickey Jackson was inducted in 2010 and the team’s one-time general manager Jim Finks was enshrined posthumously in 1995. Four other Hall of Fame members spent a minor portion of their careers with the Saints. They include defensive end Doug Atkins, running backs Earl Campbell and Jim Taylor as well as coach Hank Stram.

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  History: 1993 NFL Draft
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