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Terrell Owens, one of the greatest receivers in NFL history, was scheduled to be honored at the Hall of Fame (HOF) ceremony this weekend. He would have been honored with the likes of Ray Lewis, Randy Moss, and Brian Urlacher. Unfortunately, T.O. won’t be attending for the pettiest of reasons.
Last year, Owens was eligible for the second time to be inducted into Hall of Fame. He didn’t make the cut and there was a huge reaction from former players. Damien Woody, a former offensive lineman went to Twitter to express his feelings.
Owens was upset to say to least after not being voted in. He spoke to Buffalo news writer Tim Graham about his frustration. “Obviously, what I did, the Hall of Fame, that should validate it. But now it’s something else.”
He continued. “Now they’re adding to the bylaws. they’re adding extra things to the criteria to be inducted. That is when I lost all respect for the process.”
Terrell made a good point. There is no doubt that his numbers speak for itself. Only Jerry Rice had more receiving yards than him. Not to mention being third all-time in touchdown receptions.
Vic Carucci, one of the writers who voted against T.O., explained why he did so. “His statistics are undeniably great. However, his inability to stick with San Francisco 49ers, Dallas Cowboys, and Philadelphia Eagles was significant.” People were saying he was a bad teammate.
The reasoning behind voting against Owens is bogus. He wasn’t the best teammate in the world but certainly not the worst. He did rub some people the wrong way. However, that shouldn’t be the reason he doesn’t get inducted.
In February, under the second year of eligibility, was voted into the HOF and invited to join the ceremony. A few months later, he declined the invitation. He released a statement by his publicist. “While I am incredibly appreciative of this opportunity, I have made the decision to publicly decline my invitation to attend the induction ceremony in Canton.”
David Baker, Pro Football Hall of Fame President and CEO, tried to talk Terrell out of his decision but failed. “We basically told him that what he is doing is unprecedented. We were looking forward to honoring him.”
Baker was asked why Terrell backed out. “His rationale was that he felt disrespected because he's not a first ballot Hall of Fame.”
T.O.’s frustration is understandable. He deserved to be on the first ballot and the voting was disgraceful. However, skipping the ceremony altogether is a little overboard and petty. Shannon Sharpe and Eric Dickerson discussed the topic further.
Great players get snubbed every year. No matter if a player is selected in their first year or the tenth, they are hall of famers regardless. “Once you are in, you are in.”
The one positive thing that came from Owens skipping is that it shed like the voting process. Maybe the induction list will increase, or the voters selected will be different. Either way, Owens has shown his cards. He is the same diva today as he was during his entire football career.