Skip to content

T.O. externalizes blame, again

Unknown Getty Images

For the past few years, receiver Terrell Owens has attributed negative stories and attitude about him to a bias against him in the media. When confronted with concrete examples of misbehavior that helped shape his reputation, Owens always has an excuse unrelated to the notion that he engaged in misbehavior.

That attitude has been on display during a Wednesday ESPN car wash with fellow former receiver Chad Johnson. The appearance comes days after Owens was snubbed by the Hall of Fame, with signs pointing to Owens being overlooked due to his interpersonal skills, or lack thereof.

Before going any farther, I firmly believe that Owens should have made it in on the first ballot, and that he deserved the spot over Marvin Harrison. I also believe that, for a guy who claims to not care about not getting in, he seems to be a lot more bothered about the situation than someone who couldn’t care less should be.

Referring to the voters as “pencil pushers,” Owens expressed disdain for a process that eventually will get him in the Hall of Fame after knocking on the door once or twice or three times. (If he keeps openly complaining about the process and the voters, bet the over.)

Regardless, he should have gotten in. Yes, he was a pain in the butt. Yes, there was an element at times of malice and chronic discontent. But, yes, he belongs in the Hall of Fame. Rice, Owens, Moss or Rice, Moss, Owens are the top three wideouts in NFL history.

Whatever the stated reason for letting Harrison get in before Owens, the notion of disruption becomes a convenient excuse for the de facto waiting list. And whatever Owens says about whatever it is that he did or didn’t do, it’s clear that he’s getting in — it’s just a question of when.

Meanwhile, both Owens and Johnson repeatedly lamented the absence of social media during their careers, explaining that if they had access to Twitter while playing they could have shaped the narrative and explained themselves without the filter of the media.

But here’s the thing. Owens and Johnson presume that they would have used social media in a way that would have resulted in the fans automatically seeing their side of things and in turn viewing them more favorably. The truth more likely is that they would have used social media in a way that would have made a pair of polarizing players even more polarizing, simultaneously preaching to the choir while further alienating their enemies.

Despite Owens’ effort (intentionally or not) to alienate the voters, Owens eventually will get in to the Hall of Fame. And despite his incessant, tiring “it’s not me, it’s you” routine, I still think he already should be on track for a bronze bust, a gold jacket, and a Ring of Excellence.

Permalink 56 Comments Feed for comments Latest Stories in: Cincinnati Bengals, Dallas Cowboys, Home, Philadelphia Eagles, Rumor Mill, San Francisco 49ers
56 Responses to “T.O. externalizes blame, again”
  1. kh221 says: Feb 10, 2016 12:51 PM

    Didn’t Marvin Harrison supposedly shoot people?

  2. silvernblacksabbath says: Feb 10, 2016 12:52 PM

    Just like Cam…

  3. PokeSalad says: Feb 10, 2016 12:54 PM

    Didn’t Marvin Harrison supposedly shoot people?

    Yeah, but he was a good teammate.

  4. realtruthteller100 says: Feb 10, 2016 12:54 PM

    what a LOSER!! give me a guy like jordny nelson or reilly cooper over this premadonna crybaby any day!

  5. edelmanfanclub says: Feb 10, 2016 1:01 PM

    Imagine if Owens had Manning and not Garcia, Romo, and McNabb throwing to him. All good quarterbacks but not on the level of Manning. His numbers would be closer to Rice than Harrison.

  6. RegisHawk says: Feb 10, 2016 1:02 PM

    explaining that if they had access to Twitter while playing they could have shaped the narrative and explained themselves without the filter of the media

    The fans don’t vote on who gets in to the HOF.

  7. youbelievethat says: Feb 10, 2016 1:03 PM

    Wow!! Your headline totally turned me off, and I almost didn’t read the whole article. I do not like TO, but I do believe that he is one of the most accomplished receivers to ever play the game. He did not benefit from offenses with world class QB’s. He was a pain in the butt, but was stellar at his job. He should get into the hall, as should Moss. The Voters ought to get off of their high horses…

  8. livelikeurdying says: Feb 10, 2016 1:04 PM

    Owens and Johnson. Two dang buffoons!!

  9. cajunaise says: Feb 10, 2016 1:05 PM

    HOF: “We could put T.O. in…”

    Voters: “Ok.”

    HOF: “…but then he’ll get to do an acceptance speech.”

    Voters: “Oh yeah. Let’s wait.”

  10. jag1959 says: Feb 10, 2016 1:05 PM

    T.O. and Ocho in their ‘primes’ with today’s social media…(shudders at the thought)

  11. idpfantasyfootball says: Feb 10, 2016 1:07 PM

    T.O. is deserving. However, I would not be surprised if the selection ‘grudge’ committee waited until the dude was dead before giving him a bust…. the same as they did to Stabler.

  12. Square Peg, Round Hole says: Feb 10, 2016 1:09 PM

    kh221
    Feb 10, 2016, 12:51 PM EST

    Didn’t Marvin Harrison supposedly shoot people?
    ——————————————————-

    Not a good idea to bring up that name?

  13. kicksave1980 says: Feb 10, 2016 1:10 PM

    He should be in, but I’d put Torry Holt over him OR Harrison.

  14. purplekoolaid1 says: Feb 10, 2016 1:10 PM

    He deserves to be in the HOF. Point blank, period.

    We as a society need to get off our high horses and PC nonsense. The guy was stellar at his job and had work ethic that rivaled Rice. Let him in for goodness sake.

  15. pittsburghdamned says: Feb 10, 2016 1:11 PM

    Loser.

    Great photo. Owens will be forever known as a Cincinnati Bungle

  16. scrappler says: Feb 10, 2016 1:12 PM

    wow. my initial reaction to reading this was that in no way could you rank TO ahead of randy moss.

    looking at their career numbers though, TO had a better overall career than i thought.

    net-net, i still don’t think he was as impactful a player as randy, but i can see someone making the argument. especially once you factor in blocking i suppose.

    randy was taller, faster, had better hands.

  17. johnstofa says: Feb 10, 2016 1:12 PM

    Look…I get that TO was an incredible talent at the position, but not only did he make some of his teams better, he made some of his teams worse. That’s why people have a problem with him. You saw him tear teams apart.

    He may get in, but that ain’t being a Hall of Famer….unless I missed the new mindset that we’re electing on how they stack up on Madden.

  18. thethurmanator says: Feb 10, 2016 1:13 PM

    TO deserved to go in first ballot, he’s at the top of the list for every statistical category for a WR. Whether or not he’s a jerk shouldn’t matter, because some of the mainstream fans biggest heroes are closet jerks and you don’t even know it. What’s the worst this guy ever did, crunches in his front lawn, or his whining on the sidelines? Big deal!! Like the other guy said, Harrison was involved in a shooting, but because he had Manning as his QB and was soft spoken for a black man, he gets in because he’s “classier”?

  19. beefturkey says: Feb 10, 2016 1:18 PM

    The notion that Owens should have gotten in on the first ballot is ridiculous. This guy piled up a lot of stats, but he never won anything. Never made his teams better. Arguably made his teams worse with his incessant me-first attitude. There are plenty of guys in the HOF because they were championship-type players on championship-type teams, which is the true mark of greatness (see Pittsburgh Steelers, circa 1970’s). Just racking up a bunch of receptions doesn’t make you a shoo-in, especially when your bad attitude and antics at least partially detract from your personal accomplishments on the field. Owens will have to wait, and he deserves to wait a good long time if he gets in at all.

  20. cafetero1075 says: Feb 10, 2016 1:18 PM

    Chad Johnson is NO HOF player EVER.

  21. jimmysee says: Feb 10, 2016 1:19 PM

    Please!

    Top wideouts in NFL history —

    Don Hutson
    Jerry Rice
    everyone else.

  22. doe22us says: Feb 10, 2016 1:22 PM

    Lawrence Taylor was a grade A u know the rest but he is in the Hall, Marvin went buck wild at his car wash, yeah i know it was never proven, but we all know he did it. T.O should have been in, and Tony Dungy, come on.

  23. twinsfan1963 says: Feb 10, 2016 1:23 PM

    Cris Carter was twice the WR. Owens was.

  24. gotitan says: Feb 10, 2016 1:23 PM

    I failed to realize that TO mentored Cam Newton. Thanks for the information!

  25. jrob23 says: Feb 10, 2016 1:28 PM

    It sickens me that the media gets to decide who gets in. The media who has most likely never played football past high school (if at all) gets to decide the HOF based on petty disagreements and butthurt feelings in their dealings with certain playes.

    I watched the whole T.O. Skip interview. Skip went straight down the line and T.O. had a plausible explanation for each instance. Despite that, Skip would have none of it. These media types made up their mind about T.O. years ago.

    T.O. is top 3 WR in history. He’ll get in eventually but the fact he has to wait is plain foolishness. The media sucks. Ted Williams once won the Triple Crown in baseball but lost the MVP to Dimaggio because of the media.

  26. gacoltfan says: Feb 10, 2016 1:29 PM

    Harrison should have gotten in last year over Tim Brown and Andre Reed the year before, but for whatever reason the voters aren’t pitting one guy against another, just looking at who’s turn it is.

    TO may have had great numbers, but there is no doubt he hurt his teams on several occasions. That did and should be looked at when deciding where he ranks. Marvin always, 100% of the time, made his team better. Can we say the same about TO?

  27. thethurmanator says: Feb 10, 2016 1:31 PM

    TO did play in a Super Bowl, in which he was undoubtedly the best player on the field that day & he was injured. So if it goes by championships I guess Emmanuel Sanders should go in, & Brandon LaFell, & Doug Baldwin, & Torrey Smith, etc

  28. greenmtnboy31 says: Feb 10, 2016 1:34 PM

    Moss, Rice, Owens, in that order. There I fixed that for you.

    The media doing what the media does best; make up stories where there are none. It’s a slow week after the Super Bowl

  29. genericcommenter says: Feb 10, 2016 1:35 PM

    A little off-topic, since Johnson isn’t close to a HOFer, but I know a lot of people who’ve met him and have had great stories about his personality and generosity.

  30. thethurmanator says: Feb 10, 2016 1:35 PM

    and some think piling up stats shouldn’t matter? We’re talking about the NFL here, you end up at the top of ALL TIME LISTS, you were doing something right! Marvin Harrison is a shining example of a guy who just piled up stats cuz his QB was Peyton Manning, when did that guy every single handedly take over a game, he’s whole career was based on timing created by his QB

  31. savior72 says: Feb 10, 2016 1:38 PM

    I can only imagine what T.O.+ Social media would look like.

  32. nflgtcfl says: Feb 10, 2016 1:38 PM

    Should have got in on first ballot.

    TO is right there was always someone there to bring him down and damage his reputation. If he wants to look them in the eye and tell them off all he has to do is find a mirror and some clarity.

  33. bleedingfacemask says: Feb 10, 2016 1:41 PM

    “Meanwhile, both Owens and Johnson repeatedly lamented the absence of social media during their careers, explaining that if they had access to Twitter while playing they could have shaped the narrative and explained themselves without the filter of the media.”

    Yet another example of people who do not understand that nothing good happens at 2AM on Twitter.

  34. digitalsasquatch says: Feb 10, 2016 1:42 PM

    It’s the Hall of FAME…and what is TO most famous for? “I love me some ME!”

  35. dilbio50 says: Feb 10, 2016 1:44 PM

    PokeSalad says:
    Feb 10, 2016 12:54 PM

    Didn’t Marvin Harrison supposedly shoot people?

    Yeah, but he was a good teammate.

    No he wasn’t…he sat waaay off in the corner away from any player…and he’s a murderer.

    OK, so TO did some sit-ups in his driveway…so what? should have been 1st ballot.

  36. wallabear says: Feb 10, 2016 1:51 PM

    Hall of Fame is not a popular contest regarding who is most-liked as a teammate etc. It is about production on the field. No second-guessing that OchoUno (T.O.) should have made this year’s enshrinement, above Marvin Harrison. OchoUno is Top 3 in TDs and in Yards. Facts are facts. To deny him entry just because he stirred the locker room makes Hall of Fame consideration more like a Beauty Pageant than a place to honor the very best skill position players. Those Hall of Fame voters who denied OchoUno need to go suck on a lemon — and then an egg.

  37. fahqnfl says: Feb 10, 2016 1:51 PM

    I always had T.O. on my madden franchises!

    T.O. > [insert name here]

  38. nhpats says: Feb 10, 2016 1:56 PM

    beefturkey says:
    Feb 10, 2016 1:18 PM
    The notion that Owens should have gotten in on the first ballot is ridiculous. This guy piled up a lot of stats, but he never won anything. Never made his teams better. Arguably made his teams worse with his incessant me-first attitude. There are plenty of guys in the HOF because they were championship-type players on championship-type teams, which is the true mark of greatness (see Pittsburgh Steelers, circa 1970’s). Just racking up a bunch of receptions doesn’t make you a shoo-in, especially when your bad attitude and antics at least partially detract from your personal accomplishments on the field. Owens will have to wait, and he deserves to wait a good long time if he gets in at all.

    —————-

    What a load of crap. Owens was the best player on the team the year the Pats beat the Eagles in the SB. He played his heart out. If it were not for Donovan McNabb puking in the huddle instead of running the offense, the Eagles may even have won the game.

  39. dolphindad says: Feb 10, 2016 1:59 PM

    of the 46 members of the selection committee, 32 are current media members of a geographic area with an NFL franchise. by denying TO they are sending a message to current NFL players to play nice with them or else there could be repercussions down the road. That is what this is about. its a carrot on a stick to current NFL players.

  40. NYCTourGuy (Bucs fan) says: Feb 10, 2016 2:01 PM

    T. O. should pick McNabb to be his presenter.

  41. highdimension2015 says: Feb 10, 2016 2:04 PM

    Meanwhile, both Owens and Johnson repeatedly lamented the absence of social media during their careers, explaining that if they had access to Twitter while playing they could have shaped the narrative and explained themselves without the filter of the media.
    Say what?
    JT the Brick and Tom Looney frequently commented on their overnight radio show on Fox on Ocho Cinco’s Twitter activity. He’s actually notable for being among the first to do that, and on a regular basis.

  42. actlikeyouvebeenthere says: Feb 10, 2016 2:11 PM

    “edelmanfanclub says:
    Feb 10, 2016 1:01 PM

    Imagine if Owens had Manning and not Garcia, Romo, and McNabb throwing to him. All good quarterbacks but not on the level of Manning. His numbers would be closer to Rice than Harrison.”

    You conveniently left out Steve Young

  43. granadafan says: Feb 10, 2016 2:24 PM

    Meanwhile, both Owens and Johnson repeatedly lamented the absence of social media during their careers, explaining that if they had access to Twitter while playing they could have shaped the narrative and explained themselves without the filter of the media.

    LOL, there’s a reason why lawyers and PR teams write those “apologies” for their incoherent clients. It’s to prevent them from making things worse ala Cam Newton.

  44. lambeauheap says: Feb 10, 2016 2:41 PM

    TO did play in a Super Bowl, in which he was undoubtedly the best player on the field that day

    Hmm I think a certain 3 time SB MVP would beg to differ. Best on the Eagles? For sure, and that injury definitely hampered him. But, let’s not pretend there weren’t 4-5 Hall of Famers better than Me-O on that 2004 Patriots team.

  45. zwhateverz says: Feb 10, 2016 2:43 PM

    I’m sorry – Ring of Excellence? Which team did he play for where he wasn’t virtually thrown out the back door?

  46. edgarpoe3 says: Feb 10, 2016 2:46 PM

    If players who make their team worse after their arrival are HOF material, Owens definitely fits that bjll.

  47. zinnsand21 says: Feb 10, 2016 3:03 PM

    His football numbers speak for themselves but there is no denying that his behavior effected the teams he played for and was very distracting. To the best of my knowledge there is no guidelines saying that behavior is not a disqualifying factor when a member makes his/her vote…

  48. scrappler says: Feb 10, 2016 3:16 PM

    surprised by the lack of love for marvin harrison. seems like everyone is assuming that he was a product of peyton manning.

    charles woodson (who i think is the best all around corner i’ve seen) and who i saw shut down TO and many other top receivers one on one, thinks marvin harrison is the best receiver he ever played against.

    i’d take his word for it.

  49. rsj2 says: Feb 10, 2016 4:47 PM

    If T.O. made teams worse, an absurdity since stats are based on exactly those things done on the field which helps a team win, then which of these teams got better after he left with the exception of Cincy when he was well up in age.? Certainly not San Francisco, certainly not Philly, certainly not Dallas. And how many of the quarterbacks he played under made the Pro Bowl when he was not on their team? Young might be the exception. Neither Garcia, Donovan, or Romo were consistent Pro Bowlers except when T.O. was on their team.

  50. tientzu1 says: Feb 10, 2016 4:50 PM

    This article is BS. I listened to First Take on the way to work and heard the entire conversation. Skip Bayless tried (feebily) to do a point by point assessment of TO’s issues. He used unnamed sources or no sources at all for each one. For each one TO provided the untold backstory and named specific names and quotes that supported nearly everything he said. Once again, the media trying to get people to believe their version because most people are too lazy to go get the information for themselves….

  51. lx2016 says: Feb 10, 2016 7:19 PM

    He’s a top three???
    This must be a typo.

  52. randomguy9999 says: Feb 10, 2016 8:30 PM

    a locker room cancer is nowhere near the value of someone like Harrison

    Harrison definitely deserves it over TO

  53. string888 says: Feb 10, 2016 8:48 PM

    The fact is that T.O. has no market to vote for him and he has no one to blame but himself. He played the hired gun, which is fine if you endear yourself to the fans, but he always left with the fans and the market saying good riddance. Voters and teams are going to push for “their guys” to get in. T.O. is no ones guy. He was just some diva they they dated to get some attention and cut bait when the maintenance was to high. Truth is for all of T.O.s talent no one in the NFL respects him cause he never showed respect for teams he played for.

  54. bleedingfacemask says: Feb 10, 2016 9:24 PM

    NYCTourGuy (Bucs fan) says:
    Feb 10, 2016 2:01 PM
    T. O. should pick McNabb to be his presenter.
    ——————————
    And then as the presentations begin, have a surprise guest Jeff Garcia lightly push McNabb aside, waddle up to the microphone and say “Quack”.

  55. joeknowsnada says: Feb 11, 2016 11:04 AM

    First, does anyone realize, I think I am correct, that this is the 3rd year Harrison was eligible? In other words, it took him 3 tries. If so, it’s not like he ran roughshod over T.O. in this election. That’s just the way the process works. Should Owens have been elected to the HOF this year? I think so, but, like Harrison, he can afford to wait.

  56. 4ever19 says: Feb 11, 2016 12:46 PM

    Does T.O. deserve to be in the Hall? Maybe. But ahead of Marvin? Heck no. Why Marvin had to wait is beyond me. His stats and his value to the team and to the development of Peyton Manning all screamed for him to get in right away. To keep him out to let in T.O. (or any other WR or heck any other player) would have been an injustice. Ain’t going to hurt T.O. to wait.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!