It’s rare to sit down and write an article you don’t want to write. I didn’t want to write this article about Terrell Owens snubbing the Pro Football Hall of Fame because it only feeds his problematic (maybe clinical) need for attention. But not going to the HOF induction is unprecedented, and fans, the Hall and even Owen’s supporters deserve better.
Upon being notified by Owens, the Hall took the high road.
“We are disappointed but will respect Terrell’s decision not to participate in the Enshrinement,” Hall-of-Fame president and CEO David Baker said in a prepared statement. “While unprecedented, the Pro Football Hall of Fame, the nearly 5,000 volunteers and the entire community are committed to celebrating the excellence of the Class of 2018 that will kick off the NFL’s 100th season.”
No real reason was given by Owens as to why he’s not going to his own induction. He didn’t show up with the rest of the Class of 2018 at the Super Bowl this year, so you figured something was up. He was vocal about the process of selection, calling it “a joke” when he wasn’t selected in his first or second year of eligibility.
For some context, you know the names, John Mackey, Mike Ditka, Carl Eller, Jack Youngblood, Jerry Kramer and Kevin Greene? All are Hall of Famers, all waited at least 12 years before they were selected and inducted into the Hall.
From a statistical standpoint, Owens is number two in almost every receiving category and made enough great plays to merit consideration and eventually selection to the Hall. But as I’ve said many times, if we call football “the ultimate team game” doesn’t what kind of teammate you are count?
But here’s the thing: He’s in the Hall.
Once that announcement is made on the Saturday night before the Super Bowl, that process is over. As selectors, we don’t find out who gets in the Hall in each class until everybody else does. When the announcement is made, that’s when we find out.
There’s a big push these days for players to be “first ballot” selectees. That might be a thing in baseball with many more ballots and a very different process. Nobody ever asks guys in the Hall of Fame if you were a “first-ballot” or second or third or whatever.
You’re a Hall of Famer. Period.
And once that year’s class is named, I can tell you as a member of the Selection Committee, it’s over. The Committee moves on. The process is very serious and very difficult. One thing it is not is “a joke.”
So I’m not sure what Terrell Owens is trying to accomplish by not attending the ceremony in Canton. If he thinks it’s a snub that will somehow “show up’ the Hall and the selectors for not honoring him sooner he’s sorely mistaken.
We don’t care.
Hopefully my friends who have been Owens apologists over the years will stop telling me what a great guy he is.
He’s not. It’s that simple. Not anybody I want to be associated with anyway.
He says he’ll have his own celebration somewhere else at a different time.
Don’t invite me.