T.O. sure knows how to rile up attention, doesn’t he? Five years removed from the league, Owens is back in the spotlight for his words, again. This time he’s commenting on fellow receiver and Hall of Famer Cris Carter.
On Wednesday, Owens went on Mike and Mike and claimed Carter had to “beg” his way into the Hall. Carter, who has taken quite a few swipes at Owens through the years, was finally selected to the Hall of Fame in 2013 after six years of very vocally pleading his case and complaining about not getting inducted.
Owens is not in the Hall of Fame. This was his first year of eligibility, and Owens was curiously passed over for Brett Favre, Kenny Stabler, Orlando Pace, Tony Dungy, Eddie DeBartolo Jr, Marvin Harrison, Kevin Greene, and Dick Stanfel. The name that stands out the most there is probably Marvin Harrison, another wide receiver. Harrison making it over T.O. is interesting because Owens has similar and often better numbers than Harrison. Owens is second all time in career yards and third all time in touchdowns. Owens has a Hall of Fame resume whether you like him as a person or not.
But numbers alone don’t get you in the Hall of Fame, as much as the voters are supposed to be objective and only look at football production. The voters are people, and the people can be biased and swayed. There are a lot of politics in the Hall of Fame, more than the average fan would likely expect, especially for players on the bubble. Players who are possible candidates frequently seem to end up in media-related roles so they can schmooze with the voters. Cris Carter has been on ESPN for a long time now, and he had a great spot to plead his case to voters concerned with the current wide receiver logjam.
Owens has never been one to cozy up or play by the rules of others. He pissed off a lot of people when he was playing. Owens doesn’t care about pleasing people, and he likely never will. But if Peter King was willing to make an argument for Darren Sharper going into the hall based purely on his football prowess, then surely T.O. deserves it twice as much. At least T.O. never raped anyone, he just did flamboyant dances and annoyed people.
There are of course, a few other reasons why T.O. might have been left out besides pissing people off. He doesn’t have a ring, and as described by an actual voter (Clark Judge), he was constantly kicked off of teams. From the mouth of Judge himself:
No surprise here. With Terrell Owens on the ballot, you’re not only asked to bring your popcorn; you’re told to bring your flak jacket, too. There were bound to be grenades lobbed by both sides, and there were. His supporters argue that Owens has Hall-of-Fame numbers, and they’re right. But there’s another number they don’t mention, and it’s one that must have swayed voters. It’s zero. That’s the number of teams that wanted to keep this guy at the top of his career. Yeah, I know, he showed remarkable courage … not to mention ability … with his Super Bowl XXXIX performance for Philadelphia. But by the middle of the following season he’d become so intolerable that the Eagles kicked him to the curb … and what’s new? Over his last six-and-a-half seasons, he played with four teams. “The Hall of Fame ought to be for people who make their teams better,” Polian said on the Talk of Fame Network, “not for those who disrupt them and make them worse.” The board agreed.
Owens belongs in the Hall of Fame, but he’ll have to wait for it a little while longer. At least we know he won’t beg for it.
(Via The Big Lead)