The legacy of Terrell Owens will forever be stained because of his ability like no other to divide a locker room. He also had the ability like no other when it came to producing game breaking plays.
Many writers on the Hall of Fame selection committee have made an adamant case against the “player” simply known as T.O. They will tell you three teams let him go in the prime of his career and that he dropped too many passes. According to the T.O. detractors his childlike behavior and a drop here or there negate the fact that he is statistically a top 3 receiver in NFL history. It probably doesn’t help that Owens himself has gone out of his way to say publicly that Hall of Fame voting was a “flawed process”.
I was on the fence about Owens until I asked myself what about Randy Moss? You have to have Randy Moss (who is eligible next year) in Canton and therefore Mr. Owens should join him as well. Moss had off the field issues that Owens didn’t, he took plays off, knocked balls down to avoid hits, was accused of quitting on his team and bounced around from franchise to franchise due to his behavior. While Owens tantrums may have caused him to lose focus on the field occasionally, there was never any doubt that the original 81 gave it his all on every play.
The Pro Football Hall of Fame has a decision to make. Do they want to make it about play on the field or do they want to factor in things didn’t happen between the lines? The Baseball Hall of Fame has received criticism for keeping guys out like Pete Rose, the sport’s all-time hits leader because he bet on baseball as a player and manager. And what about the great steroid era debate? Talk about a real flawed process.
Pro Football Hall of Fame it is time to take a long look in the mirror to decide who you want to be. Look at baseball and their “get off my lawn” boomer fan base. Their commissioner looked the other way while guys were juicing and cranking them deep helping the Major Leagues recover from their strike in the mid nineties only to have a bunch of old white-haired bureaucrats on Capitol Hill do an investigation all so they could “protect” their precious records from their childhood with an asterisk. And yet Rose, whose record you can’t attach an asterisk to, still can’t make his way into Cooperstown over three decades removed from his last at bat. Pro Football Hall of Fame this could be your future if you are going to lower yourself to Owens’ level by not giving him his bust out of spite.
The NFL’s Hall had set the gold standard in a lot of people’s eyes when it came to how a Hall of Fame selection should operate. Now it’s flirting with idea of changing the rules in the middle of the game. You know who does that? The WWE Hall of Fame. Yes Pro Wrestling’s shrine to squared circle greatness that erased Hulk Hogan, basically the most iconic figure ever to lace up his boots and throw on a pair of those speedo-like trunks, from their Hall of Fame webpage because there was allegedly some audio out there of him making racist comments. And this is where you Pro Football Hall of Fame need to remind yourself that you did not remove O.J. Simpson, even though he was convicted in civil court for butchering two human beings, because it had nothing to do with his playing career in the 1970s which got him his gold jacket in the first place.
So Pro Football Hall of Fame save face while you can and give that crybaby T.O. his bronze bust and gold jacket he deserves. Don’t be Cooperstown and please, please don’t be the WWE. Vote Owens in sooner rather than later. There will be more controversy not inducting him or voting him in posthumously than it would be to knock on his hotel door next year. And if you want an example of an after death induction as a result of animosity look no further than pro wrestling legend Macho Man Randy Savage, one of the more beloved personalities in the industry, yet denied the right to receive his final accolades until after his existence had concluded.
Canton please do the right thing so that you can continue to be a real Hall of Fame. The fact that you drew comparison to fake one should be wake up call.