Marvin Harrison and Terrell Owens caused severe sleep deprivation for defensive coordinators during the 2000s. The two wide receivers dominated the league in diametrically opposed ways: Owens with a rare combination of strength and speed; Harrison with incredible agility and route running. Both receivers were up for Hall of Fame consideration this year, but Harrison got the nod while T.O. has to spend another year in his driveway doing crunches without a gold jacket.
“The person who was supposed to get in got in. And that was me,” Harrison said Wednesday. “If he didn’t get in, that’s his problem. He can talk all that other bullshit like he’s been doing. That’s on him. But I’m in. My jacket is gold. I will look in the rear view for nobody.
“So he can get his ass in whenever he gets in … if he gets in. If he doesn’t get in, too bad. The hell with him.”
Marvin clearly has strong feelings about the matter, but a closer look at the numbers reveals that Owens has a point. Looking at the major statistical categories—catches, yards, touchdowns—for their career, Harrison only has an edge in catches. Owens is second all-time in yards and third all-time in touchdowns. That’s a first ballot Hall of Famer.
Of course, Owens had his repeated run-ins with teams and the media, but that doesn’t change the fact that he was absurdly good at football. Marvin was privileged with the passing acumen of Peyton Manning for the majority of his career. On the other hand, Owens enjoyed late-age Steve Young, Jeff Garcia, Donovan McNabb and a young Tony Romo. Harrison may have received his gold jacket first, but T.O. won’t be far behind.