He was a sore loser. An arrogant winner. A player in need of the spotlight.
These are the traits most people saw in 15-year wide receiver, Terrell Owens both on and off the field. Sure, they’re not wrong when they say that, but voters for the NFL Hall of Fame got it wrong this past weekend.
Yes he was flamboyant when scoring touchdowns, and one of the biggest smack talkers the league had ever seen. However, if that is the basis that the voters took on voting him into the Hall of Fame, they’re certainly blind about letting one of the best not be inducted in his first year of eligibility.
There are worse people enshrined in the walls of Canton. Lawrence Taylor was known for his drug abuse, and was suspended twice by the league. Despite that he was enshrined in the Hall of Fame on his first ballot. That’s just a light example of what dirt some players have on them. Taylor is referred to as one of the best linebackers in history, but Owens is in that same discussion at wide receiver.
Owens is second all-time in receiving yards (15,943), third in touchdowns (153) and sixth in receptions (1078). The only person better numbers than Owens in all three categories is the GOAT, Jerry Rice. To have only Rice, a former teammate and mentor to Owens in San Francisco rank higher than him should be enough to sway the voting in favor of Owens.
Depending on the person, most argue between Owens and Randy Moss being the second greatest receiver the game has had, but far too often Moss also had made questionable decisions himself, but the edge should go to Owens who was cannot be accused of not giving it his all, unlike Moss.
A clear cut example of that is when Owens came back from an ankle injury for the Philadelphia Eagles in Super Bowl XXXIX, and despite all his efforts in helping the Eagles cause, they fell short by a field goal to the New England Patriots in the midst of its dynasty.
Another argument made is to that of his numbers compared to that of newly inducted receiver Marvin Harrison.
Harrison does have 24 more catches than Owens, but it can be argued Owens made his receptions count for more, posting 29 more touchdowns and 1,254 more receiving yards than Harrison, all while not having one of the greatest quarterbacks the game has ever seen, Peyton Manning, throwing to him for a majority of his career, unlike Harrison.
At the end of the day, the voters got the decision on Owens wrong, and they missed out on an opportunity to say one of the greatest wide receivers of all-time was not inducted on his first ballot. It’ll be interesting to see what the voters have to say about Randy Moss when he becomes eligible for the Hall of Fame in 2018.