AFC East: Ralph Wilson Jr.
Posted by ESPN.com's Bill Williamson
The Buffalo Bills may be remembered as Super Bowl failures but the honors for key members of those teams continue to come in.
Saturday, the Bills' AFC dynasty teams were further honored by the election of defensive end Bruce Smith and owner Ralph Wilson Jr. into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Smith, one of the best pass-rushers of all time, was elected in his first year on the ballot. Wilson was more of a surprise election since he has been eligible in years past.
The election of both Smith and Wilson continues a Buffalo parade route to the Canton, Ohio, museum. In fact, the Bills will play in the Hall of Fame game against Tennessee during the weekend in which the latest two Bills will be inducted.
Smith and Wilson's election follows the selection of Bills Super Bowl coach Marv Levy (he was elected in 2001); star Buffalo quarterback Jim Kelly (2002) and running back Thurman Thomas (2007) who have been elected into the Hall this decade. The team still hopes to get receiver Andre Reed and special-teams ace Steve Tasker inducted soon.
The Bills went to the Super Bowl four straight years in the 1990s, losing all four times.
While the Hall of Fame elections don't thaw the pain of the lost Super Bowls, Buffalo winters have to be a bit more comfortable with the continued run of respect the Bills get from the Hall of Fame voting committee.
Eric Allen and Qadry Ismail analyze the Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2009.