Steve Young: T.O. belongs in the Hall of Fame

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Some Hall of Fame voters who hope to justify the snubbing o Terrell Owens have chosen to toss around false narratives and hollow arguments, opting for a now-familiar “many people are saying” approach without pointing out with specificity those who are actually saying that Owens was a cancer to a football team. Meanwhile, some of the guys who actually played with him are speaking out.

For Owens’ eight years in San Francisco (yes, eight years; not bad given that the 49ers “couldn’t wait to get rid” of him), few voices are more authoritative than quarterback Steve Young’s, since Young was T.O.’s quarterback for three-plus seasons.

“Yeah,” Young told KNBR regarding whether Owens should be enshrined in Canton. “Because I played with him, I felt like I knew him. I knew the abilities he had. There’s no question he’s struggled with a lot of things, but in the end, yes. . . .

“In ’97-’98 he would say, ‘Yes sir.’ I said, ‘Terrell, call me Steve . . . I know I’m old, c’mon.’ But he was very respectful. He worked as hard as Jerry Rice — I’ve never said that about anyone else by the way. He was willing to stand next to Jerry and work, and I’ve never seen that before. So to me, what I saw were his physical abilities were incredible. The work ethic, incredible, and a very respectful guy.”

Young added that, once he and other veteran players left after 1999, Owens “stepped into shoes he clearly wasn’t ready to step into, and you got a sparkler shooting all kinds of ways.” The 49ers nevertheless kept Owens for four more years (i.e., the opposite of “couldn’t wait to get rid” of him).

Hopefully, more voices with direct knowledge of Owens’ abilities and behavior will speak up. Even more hopefully, those voters who oppose T.O.’s candidacy will be willing to take a step back and be fair and objective about the situation, even though they may be tempted to cross their arms and scowl and continue to prove the adage that no power is abused more than hardly any power at all.

41 responses to “Steve Young: T.O. belongs in the Hall of Fame

  1. Mike, would you list everyone with a HOF vote and how many years they have had a vote. It would also help to name the wide receivers in the hall and how many years of voting it took to gain entrance.

    I vote yes for TO. I also vote yes for Stanley Morgan and Jerry Smith.

  2. Yes, Owens belongs in the HOF, but it will be at the time and convenience of the selection committee.

    With numerous other strong candidates who weren’t disruptions and didn’t embarrass themselves available, there’s nothing wrong at all in letting Owens wait.

    The more Owens whines and complains about this matter, the longer it will take-and that’s the way it should be.

  3. “no power is abused more than hardly any power at all”

    Very profound, insightful observation.

  4. “There’s no question he’s struggled with a lot of things, but in the end, yes. . .”

    And in the end does anyone really doubt he will be enshrined? If some old school guys want to deliver a b slap to one of the ‘me’ guys is that such a bad thing as long as he gets in? If letting him twist makes just one diva pause for a minute then it’s not all bad.

  5. I will never forget that catch against Green Bay going across the middle, getting throttled and still holding on to win the game.

    Guy should be first ballot HOF after putting up 100+ on the Pats in the SB and even getting the Iggles to the point where McNabb could throw up on himself.

  6. T.O. put himself in front of his team, too often.Yes, he was a dominant player but as the Patriots keep showing us, football is the ultimate team sport. There he disappointed many fans, including myself.

  7. If he didn’t shoot his way out of dallas he’d own every record there is to own. Romo made all pros out of miles austin and laurent robinson

  8. Young had Owens at the begining of T.O.’s career. T.O. grew more and more contentious and unstable his career progressed.

    If they’re asking former Niner’s QBs about Owens; it’d be far more interesting to hear what Jeff Garcia has to say about Owens and the Hall of Fame.

    No he does not. Football is a team sport. He was a dick teammate

    Yes Football is a team sport. Owens did his job on the field. He made his QB’s better on the field. He was a great teammate on the field. And on the field is what counts. It doesn’t matter if he hurt the feelings of some teammates off of the field. You shouldn’t get into the Hall of Fame because you’re a caring and nurturing person nor denied because you’re an unstable jerkwad off the field.

  9. The NFL Hall of Fame is slowly becoming the so-called Rock-n-Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland. Entities enshrined based on popularity, not talent.

    I don’t like T.O. I don’t like anything about him. Yet, his numbers deserve recognition regardless of his d-bag personality.

  10. Not every HOFer is a first ballot HOFer. If you have to wait a year or two then you have to wait a year or two.

    Tis a lesson you should heed If at first you don’t succeed Try try again.

    Today’s version
    Tis a lesson you should heed If at first you don’t succeed, complain, cry and sue.

  11. Apparently he needs to work for ESPN, NFL Network, or NBC. The good old boy network is alive and well. The sports media sticks together.

  12. Is TO a nut bag? Yes, he probably is.

    Was he an All Time Great during his football career? YES! He put up the career numbers to be considered among the best of the best and for a period he was the most dominant WR in the game. He carried the Eagles as much as he could during the Superbowl with a broken leg!

    To keep him out of the HOF is ridiculous and there is no solid argument to keep him out.

  13. I loved T.O. as a player, mostly because he was immensely talented and really fun to watch. I generally didn’t have a problem with anything he did. He made the game enjoyable in spots that were otherwise forgettable.

    Albeit all of that, it’s called the Pro Football Hall of Fame, and for many high-ranking individuals in football who dealt with him personally, Terrell Owens was not very professional.

    You can be great at your job, arguably one of the best ever, and still be a self-centered jerk at times that won’t get ahead in the industry based on conduct. Sucks, but this is the real world. Act accordingly.

  14. Isn’t OJ in the HOF. TO is a saint. It took Tim Brown and others a while to get in. WRs have to wait these days, cuz it’s a passing league now. Suck it up, buttercup. Know your friggin’ value…

  15. He’ll get in eventually, I dont get the uproar

    He lacked humility in his career, so it seems fitting to make him wait an extra year or two because he still hasnt learned that trait

  16. Of COURSE he belongs in the HOF. There’s no rational debate about it.

    How many other HOF players have questionable public or private lives? Tons of them.

    Owens wasn’t perfect, but neither are any other HOF players. He never beat anyone, robbed anyone, got suspended for drugs or other substances, drove drunk… as far as I know he’s never committed a crime in his life. The judging of him is really disproportionate. He didn’t kowtow or pander – maybe that’s his real crime.

  17. Bennett, Cherry, Greenwood, TO, Watters, Anderson, Marshall, Kramer, and being a 49er homer the rb that had 1000 yards rushing and 1000 yards receiving, Craig aren’t in? The most under rated receiver Dwight Clark whose catch turned a franchise around and made many clutch receptions when the 49ers starting rbs were the likes of Patton and Easley.

  18. Steve Young was the only person I heard defend T.O’s talent and efforts while they played together when he was in the middle of that embarrassing spat with the Eagles and looked like a fool. Young was clearly a great teammate. T.O. clearly never matured beyond 16, though.

  19. It all comes down to a popularity contest. T.O. wasn’t popular among organizations (49ers, Eagles) & a few players each time he left & they voters are using, “Well, I heard…….” as a way of keeping him out instead of his stats. Maybe if he used cocaine, slept w/hookers, or beat women that would make him more popular & Hall Of Fame material.

  20. his numbers aren’t debatable…no question he’s a hall-of-famer…no a first ballot because of his antics but hall of fame talent none the less

  21. Terrell Owens career is a miracle considering how he grew up (which is true of many HOF members). He had deeply rooted emotional issues which were never addressed until after he finished his career. There are many athletes with mental/emotional scars becaue of their family life.
    I had the pleasure of meeting his aunt at her Michigan home a few years ago. There were pictures of him and his cousins talked positively about him. I came away from that wondering how he could act the way he did. Then a few years later, the story of his father emerged..he lived across the street but never told him he was father. Many people are able to overcome or at least function, but it doesn’t mean they aren’t hurting. Put the man in the HOF.

  22. TO definitely belongs in hall. He’s a top 5 receiver all time so anyone that disagrees is just a hater. What needs to change is the selection process. Too many people that hold grudges from playing, coaching and competing against each other are allowed to pick who’s in. There needs to be more objectivity in the selection process.

  23. It’s hard for me to feel sorry for Owens having to wait when I see that for years Cliff Branch has been denied his rightful spot in the HOF despite being one of the best WRs of his era.

  24. The only people who don’t think TO should be in the hall of fame are too young to watch him play, or don’t understand the history or context of the game.

    TO was Dez before Dez, Julio before Julio, and Randy before Randy, with a mix of Rice and Carter for a little spice. He was a true NFL superstar on and off the field, someone reporters could latch onto before the social media explosion.

    He was immature, and handled some things professionally in the wrong way. Yelling at people OMG what a dick. He didn’t know how to get his point across. He cared, he took care of himself, and it showed.

  25. I’d like to see clueless Dan Fouts (who one can argue doesn’t even belong in the HOF) and the rest of the arrogant jerks that won’t vote for T. O…..I’d like to see them walk one day in Owens’ shoes. The conditions this guy grew up in to the place he took his life is truly incredible. And these idiots want to hate on him because he was flamboyant and emotional as a player sometimes. If it were up to me I’d kick Fouts and his ugly beard out of the Hall for keeping deserving players like Ownens out. Owens was twice the player Fouts ever was.

  26. I’m a Niners fan and remember very clearly when he was drafted. He was very respectful to other players and media members. When Rice left, he sort of grew up and not in the good direction.

    That he worked hard was never in doubt. Not even his biggest critics could claim that.

    I’d love to hear what McNabb or Jeff Garcia had to say.

  27. Shut up Steve Young. I love it when punks like Owens get paid back for behaving like nitwits during their careers.

  28. Deserving to get in based on stats alone….no doubt about it.

    Being banned from even visiting the area of Ohio surrounding Canton, based on the stink from his outward persona, and attention-grabbing, stupidity…also no doubt about it.

    We all had to listen to it ad nauseum.

    Steve Young’s word is good enough for me: he is a personal hero and favorite player.

    It will take some more time, but I think TO makes it.

    Hopefully, her has acquired some wisdom and grace over the years which he can use in his acceptance speech, and refrain from any poor winner type comments.

  29. ive yet to see a story saying TO was a bad teammate. was TO really a distraction or did the media make him a distraction?

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