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HOF voter defends decision to reject Terrell Owens

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Amid heavy criticism of the decision to omit receiver Terrell Owens from the Hall of Fame, at least one voter has decided to take his reasoning public. I respect Vic Carucci of the Buffalo News for doing that;  however, I disagree with his assessment.

Carucci posted on Saturday a lengthy column explaining his thought process behind rejecting Owens. I’ve pulled out the quotes that strike to the heart of the matter. They’re presented and analyzed below.

“[Hall of Famer and Hall of Fame voter Dan Fouts] looked at the fact that at the height of Owens’ career, three teams — the San Francisco 49ers, Philadelphia Eagles, and Dallas Cowboys — all were willing to let him go,” Carucci writes. “Owens’ inability to stick with the Niners, Eagles, and Cowboys is significant because it goes to the heart of the problem that numerous people with whom I have spoken about him have: He was a horrible teammate.”

It’s one thing to apply a strong label. It’s quite another to support it with facts. Who are these people who insist Owens was a “horrible teammate”? What did he do — specifically — that made him sufficiently “horrible” to justify ignoring his uncanny skills, abilities, and performance? And how do we distinguish Owens’ activities from those of other Hall of Famers, including one who stabbed a teammate in the neck with scissors?

“He was a divisive force that the people who ran those teams had no problem cutting loose,” Carucci writes. “I’ve heard critics say there were extenuating contractual circumstances behind Owens’ departures, but I don’t buy that for a second. If you want to keep a player, you find a way to keep him. The job security of coaches and G.M.s is far too tenuous to jeopardize by saying goodbye to a great player that can help you win. You don’t make those moves unless there is something else that leads you to believe he is doing more to hurt than help.”

One of the critics to whom Carucci refers most likely is me, and Carucci has dismissed without any apparent fact-gathering or objective analysis my position that the “teams couldn’t wait to get rid” of Owens narrative is deeply flawed.

First, Owens spent eight years in San Francisco. Eight years. Hall of Famer Steve Young publicly has vouched for Owens. And the 49ers would have kept him beyond Season No. 8 if his contact hadn’t voided.

Second, the Eagles had a way of doing business a decade ago that was premised in large part on signing players to cap-friendly contracts and not re-negotiating them. When the Eagles flatly refused to reward Owens for a tremendous 2004 season, capped by a heroic effort to return from a broken ankle to play in the Super Bowl, the countdown toward implosion started. If Owens had been fine with a contract he had outperformed, the Eagles would have been fine with keeping him.

Third, the Cowboys actually gave Owens a new contract with a $12 million signing bonus after only two years with the team. While the 2008 season apparently entailed issues that resulted in owner Jerry Jones (a Hall of Famer who supports Owens’ candidacy) moving on, his first two seasons there were deemed to be good enough to trigger a new contract, not a pink slip.

“The common assessment of Owens was that his greatness was more than offset by the way he consistently pulled apart the fabric of each of those teams,” Carucci writes. “That is where Hall-of-Famers, such as Fouts, have their biggest issues with Owens. That is where the many other Hall-of-Famers with whom I spoke about all the finalists told me, to a man, they did not want Owens on their team. I simply could not ignore that.”

The first line of that quote seems nonchalant, but it’s very significant. Owens’ “greatness” wasn’t borderline; he’s either the No. 2 or No. 3 best receiver in the history of the league. The suggestion that his on-field performance was “more than offset by the way he consistently pulled apart the fabric of teams” is, in the absence of clear facts and not simply a word salad, stunning.

But the clear facts don’t matter, apparently. Carucci’s column unwittingly concedes that it’s ultimately a popularity contest. And if enough of the actual Hall of Famers, who don’t have votes but who apparently have influence (at least when the voters want them to have influence), believe based on media coverage and reputation and overblown narratives that a guy was a “horrible teammate” whom they don’t want on their “team” (they’ll take O.J. Simpson instead), Owens apparently is not getting in no matter how great of a player he was.

“If voting for a Hall-of-Famer is strictly about numbers, then a computer could spit out the results,” Carucci writes. At least a computer would be fully and completely objective. And at least a computer wouldn’t let factors that aren’t reliable or completely vetted to override numbers better than every receiver in NFL history not named Jerry Rice generated.

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144 Responses to “HOF voter defends decision to reject Terrell Owens”
  1. therealtrenches says: Feb 12, 2017 5:45 PM

    “Carucci writes. ‘I’ve heard critics say there were extenuating contractual circumstances behind Owens’ departures, but I don’t buy that for a second.'”

    Is that even a thing that one can or cannot “buy?”

    Apparently, we’re allowed to choose our truths a la carte and retrofit them to our actions rather than admit we were wrong.

  2. cantshutmymouth says: Feb 12, 2017 5:45 PM

    He’s a HOFer, it’s that simple. So if being a bad teammate with amazing stats keeps you out does being a great fella in the locker room enough to get you in? Ridiculous. Not my favorite guy ever but HOFer, no doubt.

  3. paulieorkid says: Feb 12, 2017 5:48 PM

    Why does some idiot like Carucci get anointed with the authority to cast a vote? I don’t recall Carucci ever doing anything other than spout off opinions — like you can find from any drunk in every airport bar across the country.

  4. cobrala2 says: Feb 12, 2017 5:55 PM

    Oh so this is personal to you, Mike.

  5. grantgoodman93 says: Feb 12, 2017 5:56 PM

    Was he one of the greatest players to ever play his position? Yes? Hall of Fame worthy, then. Quit with the bs.

  6. truninerfan49 says: Feb 12, 2017 5:56 PM

    Michael Irvin stabbed a teammate in the neck and he is a HOFer

  7. 55nobodysburfict says: Feb 12, 2017 5:57 PM

    This is almost as bad as baseball’s hall of fame with out Peter Edward Rose in it.
    The man just brought it, anywhere he went.
    T.O.= 100% HOF’er.

  8. tonebones says: Feb 12, 2017 6:00 PM

    If you were around at the time, and watched up close, with your own two eyes what Owens was doing to the teams he played for, you witnessed a guy that was hurting his teams, not helping them. When guys help you win, you tend to keep them around even if they’re a major pain. Owens wasn’t worth keeping. If you weren’t right there with Owens, watching what he was doing, then you might need to ask the opinions of others. You have to try to piece together an opinion based on the opinions of others. That’s what’s going on right here. So if it’s raining outside and Steve Young tells me it’s sunny, I’m going to tell you it’s raining. I’m going with my eyeballs. But if I don’t have a window of my own to look through, I might need to ask Steve Young.

  9. rcali says: Feb 12, 2017 6:01 PM

    Would it been so hard to be a better teammate?

  10. motleytrap says: Feb 12, 2017 6:08 PM

    If PFT is going to keep discussing this, I’d rather see you make an argument for other players not in the Hall that should be.

    Yes, TO was snubbed, but he’s not the only one who was, and I think his case has been covered.

  11. RandyinRoxbury says: Feb 12, 2017 6:10 PM

    T.O. is not hall of fame worthy, period.
    Many of you need to get over it already, he’s not getting in, deal with and accept it.

  12. a1b24312 says: Feb 12, 2017 6:18 PM

    motleytrap says:
    Feb 12, 2017 6:08 PM
    If PFT is going to keep discussing this, I’d rather see you make an argument for other players not in the Hall that should be.

    Yes, TO was snubbed, but he’s not the only one who was, and I think his case has been covered.

    —-

    Don Coryell. Just for starters.

  13. elyasm says: Feb 12, 2017 6:24 PM

    I fully support replacing Hall of Fame voters with a computer. I fairly cheap one will do, I imagine. I think I have a spare TI-83 around here somewhere, that should suffice.

  14. nfl1818 says: Feb 12, 2017 6:29 PM

    Carlucci starts with this qualifier, about how he conducts research, which seems reasonable enough:

    “For me, the numbers do not count an ounce more than the information I glean from discussions I have each year with those who played along side or against the candidates, who coached or coached against them, who were general managers or scouts on the teams for which the candidates played or on opposing clubs.”

    But then he shifts gears when he says this:

    “That is where Hall-of-Famers, such as Fouts, have their biggest issues with Owens. That is where the many other Hall-of-Famers with whom I spoke about all the finalists told me, to a man, they did not want Owens on their team. I simply could not ignore that.”

    First “to a man ” is unanimous. How many did he speak to ? Second, why is the view of “other HOFs” relevant? That’s not the same group as he notes above. Third, his initial group for research suggests he only cares what contemporary teammates and opponents said – but how many of those are in the HOF, how many did he speak with and how many were teammates vs how many were competitors that had simply read the bad press?

    Carucci thinks he had an unbiased process, but he’s too stupid to see its faults

  15. lgw91s says: Feb 12, 2017 6:32 PM

    In baseball, by most accounts I have read, TY Cobb was one SOB. Used to sharpen his spikes.
    What exactly is in the HOF criteria?

  16. randomguy9999 says: Feb 12, 2017 6:33 PM

    Michael Irvin stabbed a teammate in the neck and he is a HOFer

    ——————————————-

    yeah and it’s high time we stopped saying it’s OK for horrible teammates and criminals slide into the HOF

    TO shouldn’t get in and players shouldn’t think that if they are a non-stop pain that they will get in anyway

  17. 52crabcakes says: Feb 12, 2017 6:36 PM

    Shame shame shame on the HOF voters. How you personally feel about someone should have nothing to do with how you vote and if it does, get out! HoF is a joke anymore.

  18. concmike says: Feb 12, 2017 6:38 PM

    Let this be a lesson to all you NFL players who think you are bigger than the game of football. Football is a team sport, the teams that play as a team make the playoffs and compete for the Lombardi trophy. When a team has an outstanding player who becomes a cancer thinking they are greater than the sum of the team….they have to go. The outstanding player becomes a cancer in the locker room instead of becoming the leader he should be…..they have to go. When coaches and general managers feel the outstanding player is not worth the cost/benefit analysis…..they have to go.

    Years later when that me, me, me outstanding player is being looked at for the Hall Of Fame……the cancer you were will come back to haunt you with voters…..right or wrong…..you can always buy a ticket to see where you might have been…..

  19. richardtroch says: Feb 12, 2017 6:39 PM

    Rings? No.

  20. davemishsr says: Feb 12, 2017 6:40 PM

    Carucci should be stripped of his HOF voting privileges. He is way too full of himself. I was lucky enough to see TO play in 2002. He dominated the game. Without him the 49ers would have lost decisively. He scored twice in a 20-17 loss. He was like a man amongst boys. TO being a HOFer is without question. The voters are supposed to consider only their on-field play. Get rid of voters like Carucci.

  21. dwinsgames says: Feb 12, 2017 6:47 PM

    Couldn’t stand TO when he played but absolutely no doubt he is a Hall of Famer. Are they going to keep Moss out too?

  22. smokehouse56 says: Feb 12, 2017 6:52 PM

    richardtroch says:
    Feb 12, 2017 6:39 PM

    Rings? No.
    ————————————————-
    The number of rings is the least significant tool to be used to judge if a player is HOF caliber.

  23. dolphins512 says: Feb 12, 2017 6:55 PM

    TO isn’t the first retired player to not get voted into the HOF in a timely manner and will not be the last. I’m not sure why this is still “news”.

  24. sidepull says: Feb 12, 2017 6:56 PM

    He broke no laws.
    He was a baller.
    There is a murderer in the HOF.
    Gimme a break.
    Joke.
    And I never was a fan of TO the man.
    But he came to play.

  25. jxt2521 says: Feb 12, 2017 7:00 PM

    Doesn’t being a horrible person yet having a massively successful and long career only prove how great he was? Only a HOFer can put up those numbers for that many years on that many teams while being a turdy, diva.

  26. carloswlassiter says: Feb 12, 2017 7:03 PM

    paulieorkid says:
    Feb 12, 2017 5:48 PM

    Why does some idiot like Carucci get anointed with the authority to cast a vote? I don’t recall Carucci ever doing anything other than spout off opinions — like you can find from any drunk in every airport bar across the country.
    ————————————————————-
    Hey, I resent that. Sure, I had a couple of drinks, but in fairness my flight was delayed and the only other option was Dunkin’ Donuts.

  27. jag1959 says: Feb 12, 2017 7:04 PM

    “(they’ll take O.J. Simpson instead)”

    That is some seriously flawed hyperbole from a source I normally have a great deal of respect for. It is not as though Simpson was selected for enshrinement after he committed murder.

  28. Salamano says: Feb 12, 2017 7:05 PM

    He’s going to get in… stop hyperventilating…

    What’s wrong with him sweating it a couple rounds..? Some people think certain things matter for a “first ballot” HOF-er that are beyond stats, even if to just make a point. Some writers will never let a DH win an MVP, or a pitcher for that matter. Happens.

    I bet you wouldn’t think all this so wrong if it happens to a guy like Curt Schilling…

  29. truthfactory says: Feb 12, 2017 7:06 PM

    As “willing” were the teams that let him go, there was also other teams waiting to scoop him up and give him a raise. His reputation was well known, and GM’s in the league were putting big dollars on the table for him to go play there. So who cares if a writer would hypothetically want him on their team, when real life actual GM’s were ready and willing to fork over big money for him, and he produced.

    He’s a HOF’r… you can be a jerk, and a HOF’r… they are not mutually exclusive. It’s not that complicated.

  30. leatherface2012 says: Feb 12, 2017 7:08 PM

    different sport, but ty cobb was a horrendous human being, and a dirty player. maybe someone should tell that to carucci

  31. dansardo says: Feb 12, 2017 7:10 PM

    So Kurt Warner is HOF with 2 great periods in his career, at the beginning and end but was so bad during the middle he was bencefmd multiple times but one of the top 5 recievers in the history of the game isnt?

    The voters have gotten it right more often than not in the past but this group is on very thin ice, very thin ice

  32. idun215 says: Feb 12, 2017 7:11 PM

    As a Eagles fan. Yes he is a HOFer. You need to ask the fans of these former teams if they think TO is a HOFer. He may or may not be the greatest guy. But the guy showed up every week.

  33. 1phillyphan says: Feb 12, 2017 7:17 PM

    Lol…Really Vic? Talk about idiot. You find away to keep good players? OK, ask Joe Montana. Traded. Eric Dickerson. Traded. Bruce Smith, Jerry Rice, Deon Sanders, Marcus Allen, Kurt Warner ( who imo is NOT a HOF) ..IN fact it’s very hard to name ANY HOF player especially in the Fa era who did NOT get traded, cut renewed a contract. Including Dan Fouts..Who again imo is NOT a HOF player. The Hall let’s in a Kicker over TO. Terrell Davis and yes Kurt Warner are not HOF players. Look at Earners career. He had 2 great years 1 very good year and in the middle 4 years where he didn’t even start! They say he made the teams better..Well AZ has played well W/o him..Because their best player Fitzgerald is still there..Not Kurt. Vic. You’re an idiot

  34. cardinealsfan20 says: Feb 12, 2017 7:24 PM

    You people with the Ty Cobb references need to do some research. It’s been documented that the original Cobb biography containing the worst stories was mostly fabricated. Cobb was simply not the monster many have assumed over the years.

  35. cardinealsfan20 says: Feb 12, 2017 7:29 PM

    Sounds like Carucci believes anything Fouts tells him.

  36. brawnyhombre says: Feb 12, 2017 7:38 PM

    “And the 49ers would have kept him beyond Season No. 8 if his contact hadn’t voided.”

    His contract hadn’t voided. There was a clause that could’ve voided it, but his agent didn’t meet the deadline for doing so. Owens response? To throw an absolute tantrum so great that the team went ahead and got rid of him anyway.

    “When the Eagles flatly refused to reward Owens for a tremendous 2004 season…” He was already under contract. Why “reward” a player for doing his job. Remember, he not only forced his way out of San Francisco (when is contract hadn’t voided, but also refused to go to Baltimore, preferring the Eagles (and their contract offer). He could easily have opted to simply play on a series of one-year deals so he could chase top dollar every offseason, but chose not to, and then he threw a fit whenever he decided the contract he himself signed wasn’t good enough.

    “…his first two seasons there [in Dallas] were deemed to be good enough to trigger a new contract, not a pink slip.” So, he manages to last two years with a team without alienating himself (after his full-on diva persona was out in the public view following his departure from the 49ers) and that’s considered an endorsement? He needed three years to be shown the door instead of one or two, and that’s worthy of praise?

    It seems both the attacks on Owens as a bad teammate and the attacks on the attacks are flawed, then.

  37. smithee1440 says: Feb 12, 2017 7:42 PM

    HoF, yes.

    “…either the No. 2 or No. 3 best receiver in the history of the league…”

    The writer doth protest too much, methinks.

  38. bricketh says: Feb 12, 2017 7:48 PM

    TO caused issues by criticizing Jeff Garcia and Donovan McNabb publicly, and causing enough turmoil in 2005 to be sent home by the Eagles.

    He also wriggled his way out of San Francisco on what could have been a legit contract issue or an error on his and his agent’s part.

    He either attempted suicide or stupidly overdosed on pain meds while with the Cowboys, and created a sufficient distraction with his idiotic press conference where his PR girl was making excuses for him, poorly.

    All in all, he was not a great locker room presence in the early to mid 2000s, and the stories went on and on. He was a look-at-me player, but not usually to the betterment of his teams.

    All that said, his numbers are HoF-worthy, and he should make it in, but to present now that he was this model team mate and people are spinning a false narrative today that wasn’t present before is disingenuous.

    He should be in the HoF, and will likely get in in the next couple of years, but this is really the last chance to try to get him to learn some humility. Based on his comments after the last vote, he still doesn’t seem to get it, and takes no responsibility for his actions.

    Once they let the murder-covering up (minimally) Ray Lewis in on the first ballot, TO won’t look nearly as bad, so they need to try to fight their battle now.

  39. owensdefense says: Feb 12, 2017 7:59 PM

    “His contract hadn’t voided. There was a clause that could’ve voided it, but his agent didn’t meet the deadline for doing so. Owens response? To throw an absolute tantrum so great that the team went ahead and got rid of him anyway.”

    No, his agent requested a trade and Terry Donahue, the 49ers’ GM, agreed to it. The 49ers were rebuilding at the time anyway. That same off-season, they released Jeff Garcia, Garrison Hearst, Derrick Deese, and Ron Stone, and let Tai Streets and Jed Weaver walk in free agency. That’s 6 other offensive starters.

    No tantrum required.

    “He was already under contract. Why “reward” a player for doing his job. Remember, he not only forced his way out of San Francisco (when is contract hadn’t voided, but also refused to go to Baltimore, preferring the Eagles (and their contract offer). He could easily have opted to simply play on a series of one-year deals so he could chase top dollar every offseason, but chose not to, and then he threw a fit whenever he decided the contract he himself signed wasn’t good enough.”

    Let me refresh your memory: Owens filed a grievance against the 49ers seeking free agency after the 49ers traded him to the Ravens. Before ruling on the grievance, the 49ers/Ravens/Eagles worked out a 3-time trade to send Owens to the Eagles. The NFLPA was warning Owens/David Joseph (his agent at the time) not to sign the deal, but Owens and Joseph were afraid of losing and being stuck in Baltimore, hence they agreed to the contract under duress.

    You see, they had no leverage when Owens lost out on free agency. And why did Owens lose out on free agency? Because he made the mistake of sticking with the same low level agent (Owens was his only professional client) from when he was coming out. Owens, unlike most NFL superstars, came from absolutely nothing. He wasn’t even given a full scholarship to UT-Chattanooga. Buddy Nix discovered him while scouting a teammate of his and offered him a partial scholarship.

    “So, he manages to last two years with a team without alienating himself (after his full-on diva persona was out in the public view following his departure from the 49ers) and that’s considered an endorsement? He needed three years to be shown the door instead of one or two, and that’s worthy of praise?”

    He was shown the door at age 35. Only when it comes to Terrell Owens and this ridiculous narrative is “35” considered the “height” of his career. Never mind that he was coming off his statistically worst season since 1999 and in the middle of his 2008 slump, the Cowboys traded a 1st and 3rd round pick to the Lions for Roy Williams and signed him to a 7 year, $49 million contract. Never mind that on Owens’s performance evaluation sheet which he was mailed after he was released, the box that was checked for the reason for his release was “performance.” There were boxes pertaining to conduct on said form, and none of them were checked.

    By the way, on another note: Owens is one of the BEST people to play in the NFL. That’s the great irony of all of this. Those first two quarterbacks the media created feuds with both have/had major drinking problems. Their 3 combined DUIs are a microcosm of the crap each of their teams had to put up with from them.

    Owens, conversely, was living off chicken and egg whites during the season. There’s a reason there are more than 50 former teammates of his on record defending him.

  40. owensdefense says: Feb 12, 2017 8:03 PM

    “TO caused issues by criticizing Jeff Garcia and Donovan McNabb publicly, and causing enough turmoil in 2005 to be sent home by the Eagles.”

    Owens never criticized either of them publicly while they were teammates.

    “He also wriggled his way out of San Francisco on what could have been a legit contract issue or an error on his and his agent’s part.”

    He didn’t “wriggle” his way out of anything. He had a void clause in his contract and attempted to file for free agency, yet with the new collective bargaining agreement at the time, his agent missed the deadline. His agent insisted he had never been sent the fax notifying him of the change…which is entirely possible given that Owens was his only professional client. Owens’s loyalty to said agent came back to bite him in the ass. This doesn’t happen if he’s signed with a Rosenhaus at the time.

    “He either attempted suicide or stupidly overdosed on pain meds while with the Cowboys, and created a sufficient distraction with his idiotic press conference where his PR girl was making excuses for him, poorly.”

    1. Those pain pills were prescribed to him for his broken finger he suffered in the game before it that he had undergone surgery on.

    2. Bill Parcells said a few days before it happened that the pills had made him sick and he had been prescribed a milder form of the medication. What happened was he ran out of the milder form of the medication and found himself forced to take the hydrocodone after pushing himself really hard in rehab.

    3. If Ed Werder/ESPN hadn’t been hiding in the bushes outside his house and reporting him going to the hospital at 1 AM and paying off secretaries at the local police department to get an unfinished report, we never hear about this. You think this is the first time a player has checked into the hospital for a night during an NFL season? Use your damn head.

    “All in all, he was not a great locker room presence in the early to mid 2000s, and the stories went on and on. He was a look-at-me player, but not usually to the betterment of his teams.”

    His former teammates disagree with you.

  41. autumnwind999 says: Feb 12, 2017 8:04 PM

    These HOF voters are just embarrassing themselves. Their actions are deligitimizing the Hall of Fame.

  42. hawkforlife says: Feb 12, 2017 8:06 PM

    Since when did the voting rules actually state that “only” numbers are to be considered? Never, that’s when.

    I’m just fine with him being left out because he was an arrogant jerk.

    Are you telling me that you’d vote for O.J. Simpson today Florio?

  43. stoneydog1000 says: Feb 12, 2017 8:08 PM

    TO had 15,934 yards receiving, Issac Bruce had 15,208, yet you get in a big freak out over TO not getting because he was a problem. Issac was a great player and a great teammate who helped his team win a Super Bowl. He helps the community, etc. And he, also, was bypassed by the Hall once again. But, because he wasn’t a big loudmouth crybaby, he gets no mention. I guess good guys really do finish last.

  44. owensdefense says: Feb 12, 2017 8:08 PM

    “If you were around at the time, and watched up close, with your own two eyes what Owens was doing to the teams he played for, you witnessed a guy that was hurting his teams, not helping them. When guys help you win, you tend to keep them around even if they’re a major pain. Owens wasn’t worth keeping. If you weren’t right there with Owens, watching what he was doing, then you might need to ask the opinions of others. You have to try to piece together an opinion based on the opinions of others. That’s what’s going on right here. So if it’s raining outside and Steve Young tells me it’s sunny, I’m going to tell you it’s raining. I’m going with my eyeballs. But if I don’t have a window of my own to look through, I might need to ask Steve Young.”

    Oh yes, I’m sure you know better than Steve Young regarding what kind of teammate Owens was. And his other teammates, for that matter, since nearly all of them are on his side.

  45. ogawdwhereami says: Feb 12, 2017 8:13 PM

    HOF is a joke and the voters are incompetent. If Carucci and others like him aren’t able to do their jobs, replace them.

  46. redclaw1314 says: Feb 12, 2017 8:15 PM

    let the fans vote

  47. MichaelEdits says: Feb 12, 2017 8:24 PM

    I somehow managed to miss eight years of 49er Owens, but Eagles Owens certainly looked like a Hall of Famer to me. And has been noted more than once, whenever he was on the field, he never quit on his team. Never. Put the man in there. Even though I think the whole idea of the HOF is stupid. I’d rather not read about football at all than read about the HOF. Or comment on it.

  48. whodey420 says: Feb 12, 2017 8:25 PM

    Both Moss and Owens should get in. The HOF is a joke
    any more!! Call me “biased” if you want but, Ken Riley,
    Bengals CB from 1969-1983 is tied for #5 on the ALL TIME career interceptions list with Charles Woodson with 65 career interceptions. Guarantee you Woodson gets in! Ed Reed is 7th with 64 interceptions. Guarantee he gets in!
    The 4 players ahead of Riley are all in the H.O.F.!!

    Riley played 15 seasons, 9 of those were when 14 games made a season. Not to mention offenses were running the ball WAY MORE back then, (1969-83). 3 yards and a cloud of dust!! An INT every 3 games! Pffffffttttttt!!! lol

  49. majormeatcurtains says: Feb 12, 2017 8:31 PM

    Oh boo hoo. A great player didn’t get in this year. Buh friggin’ wah. It happens EVERY year Mike so step off your soapbox and go back to whining about the Redskins (which also happens EVERY year).

  50. whodey420 says: Feb 12, 2017 8:33 PM

    And don’t try to tell me they threw to the other side of the
    field back then either!! Lemar Parish was his teammate
    from 1970-1977 on the other corner and had 25 INT’s in
    105 games with the Bengals. So he had an INT every 4 games with the Bengals. 47 for his career. (8 yrs. with the Bengals, 4 with Washington and 1 with Buffalo). 🙂

  51. duffelbagsports says: Feb 12, 2017 8:33 PM

    All of the Hall of Fames are a joke. They become the Hall of Better Than Average Players.

  52. js4strings says: Feb 12, 2017 8:41 PM

    This is why HOF voting is getting to be a joke. The best players on the field, not what they’ve done off the field is what should get players in the HOF. TO is one of the best WR’s in the history of the NFL. Voters need to get off their high horses and put Owens in. If Terrell Davis is a HOF’er, TO certain any is.

  53. PhD says: Feb 12, 2017 8:41 PM

    The HOF is a big fricking joke. It’s in Ohio. It’s a tinkertoy act that can’t even hold a scheduled game (see last year) and it’s certainly not worthy of the NFL. I would be honored to have the self-righteous scribs that vote for players in that clowncar, pass on me.

  54. jag1959 says: Feb 12, 2017 8:43 PM

    MichaelEdits says:
    Feb 12, 2017 8:24 PM
    Even though I think the whole idea of the HOF is stupid. I’d rather not read about football at all than read about the HOF. Or comment on it.
    _________________

    And yet here you are doing both when all you had to do was not click on the article then compound it by posting.

  55. kevpft says: Feb 12, 2017 8:43 PM

    All Carucci is doing is showing us what a bunch of morons make up the voting pool.

    If you can’t even be objective, you’re showing us the whole process is corrupt and subjective.

  56. whodey420 says: Feb 12, 2017 8:46 PM

    A lot of it depends on the # of rings you have, the market you played in and who you blow, I mean know as far as sportswriters. They should let fans vote on it too!! :/

    The HOF is suppose to be, “individual” players over their careers. Not team achievements, like SB rings. If it weren’t for SB rings half of the Steelers in the HOF wouldn’t be there! Let alone “roid” usage by them in the 70’s! lol 🙂

  57. pastabelly says: Feb 12, 2017 8:59 PM

    I think he should get in, but to say he wasn’t a distraction is rewriting history a bit.

    In 2003, he had several sideline issues.

    He incorrectly stated Jeff Garcia’s sexual preference in an article in Philadelphia magazine.

    He had the attempted suicide incident in 2006.

    He was suspended by Andy Reid for a week in 2005 after having a bad attitude in camp.

    2006 run in with Todd Haley.

    I think he should be in, but I wonder if Jeff Garcia would vouch for his character. Let’s say that Owens was no bargain.
    Spit in the face of Dangelo Hall.

  58. whodey420 says: Feb 12, 2017 9:01 PM

    Lemar Parrish was a beast on ST’s back then too. 1974 averaged 18 yards per kick off return and 18.8 yards per PUNT return plus 2 TD’s. Anyone that follows football knows 18.8 yards per punt return ON AVERAGE for a season is unheard of!! lol Now I’m ranting! My bad! 😛

  59. bricketh says: Feb 12, 2017 9:08 PM

    Steve Young was gone by the time Owens really started up with his actions. The first of it becoming a major story was in 2005, and that was the peak of it. That said, there was plenty that happened before. You can cite whatever references you want, but the narrative was present more than 10 years ago. This isn’t new information, it occurred, was written about, was heavily discussed, and was shoved down our TVs by all of the sports shows at the time (to the point that I had to tune out of a lot of programming when the topic came up after a while).

    It is disingenuous to suggest that this is some skewed view of reality. He is definitely a HoFer, but to try to say that he never did anything, and was a perfect role model is just contributing to the problem with TO never taking responsibility for his actions. Even at the time, there were constant discussions about how his actions might affect his ability to get into the Hall one day.

    He will get in some time, maybe next year.

  60. statlaw says: Feb 12, 2017 9:10 PM

    Team…TEAM? I guess Fouts and Carrucci think there is a potential play-off game somewhere (that they would no doubt lose). HOF isn’t a “team”. It’s not even a fellowship (go to church for that please). It is about greatness on the field. Simple, done. If this isn’t the case, then the HOF is full of the stuff that exudes from the mouths of people like Joe Buck and Fouts.

  61. npadln says: Feb 12, 2017 9:11 PM

    The simple truth is this, the voters resent TO’s TALENT. They don’t resent his on field play; they resent him demanding his talent speak for itself. They wish he was less talented because then they could give LEGITIMATE reasons for keeping him out of the Hall, which infers, of course, that they don’t have a legitimate reason and they resent him for that. He’s like the dorky kid demanding a seat at the “cool” table or the jock demanding a seat in the “chess club” meetings. These guys don’t want him to “belong” and have a seat in “their” club. But what these fools are forgetting is that it isn’t “their” club that they are denying him membership to.

  62. timpiker says: Feb 12, 2017 9:16 PM

    If Peter Edward Rose isn’t in the baseball hall of fame, I couldn’t care less about TO.

  63. scrappler says: Feb 12, 2017 9:16 PM

    mike f, i agree that TO is a no doubt hall of famer and folks who are keeping him out are being petty more than anything else.

    however, it’s not entirely accurate to use his first 8 years in san fran to counter the (valid) criticism that teams didn’t try all that hard to keep him.

    TO wasn’t TO his first 8 seasons in SF. he was terrell owens. until he made that catch in the endzone in the playoffs, he was just another talented receiver.

    those tears in the endzone was the start of the transformation into TO (something TO has mentioned multiple times). that catch started his metamorphosis into the TO that teams may not have tried to get rid of, but they also didn’t try that hard to keep him either.

    whether he was a bad teammate is debateable. whether he was a distraction to every team post-SF is not debateable. he made the story about TO on the field, but even more off the field.

  64. tbabes says: Feb 12, 2017 9:16 PM

    TO deliberately made a dumpster fire of the 2005 eagles, a team that was very much a super bowl contender. He was so hurt and insulted that the Eagles didn’t give him a new contract, 1 year into a 6 year deal, that he chose to DESTROY HIS TEAM and completely derail their season. Jerry Jones cut him after the 2008 season, less than one year after signing his whiny butt to a big extension. He was an incredible WR, but the man put his own needs and interests so far above that of his team, that I have no issue at all watching him flap in the wind for a year or 10 over his HOF candidacy.

  65. donbat67 says: Feb 12, 2017 9:17 PM

    Its the hall of FAME , not the hall of statistics , winners , losers , nice guys or bad guys .

    Joe Namath is in there because of a single quote ” I guarantee were gonna win the game “.

  66. therealtrenches says: Feb 12, 2017 9:19 PM

    smithee1440 says:
    Feb 12, 2017 7:42 PM
    HoF, yes.

    “…either the No. 2 or No. 3 best receiver in the history of the league…”

    The writer doth protest too much, methinks.

    ——————–

    #2 all time in receiving yards
    #3 all time in TDs
    #8 all time in receptions.

    Who protests too much now?

  67. suncawy says: Feb 12, 2017 9:21 PM

    Let’s guess who said he was a terrible teammate….Jeff Garcia, Donovan Mcnabb, either Tony Romo or Jason Witten. Those were the guys who T.O. picked issues with, weather or not it’s fair, he should’ve made amends with those guys when those teams released him. Anyways, why all the fuss, he will eventually get in…it just might take a few years.

  68. tylawspick6 says: Feb 12, 2017 9:23 PM

    not a terrell owens fan at all, as he represents a
    team killer as well as any wr in the primadonna era,
    but dan fouts is lucky to be in the hall of fame.

    his td/int ratio is terrible

    namath, fouts, favre
    and elway lost more games for their teams
    with reckless play, than people want to admit

  69. owensdefense says: Feb 12, 2017 9:25 PM

    “TO deliberately made a dumpster fire of the 2005 eagles, a team that was very much a super bowl contender. He was so hurt and insulted that the Eagles didn’t give him a new contract, 1 year into a 6 year deal, that he chose to DESTROY HIS TEAM and completely derail their season. Jerry Jones cut him after the 2008 season, less than one year after signing his whiny butt to a big extension. He was an incredible WR, but the man put his own needs and interests so far above that of his team, that I have no issue at all watching him flap in the wind for a year or 10 over his HOF candidacy.”

    The 2005 Eagles were not Super Bowl contenders because Donovan McNabb suffered a sports hernia injury that would require surgery in week 1 against the Falcons.

    Owens wanted to renegotiate his contract because he signed it under duress (it was a 7 year deal) thanks to the grievance hearing results looming while he was negotiating the first time. He lost the leverage he would have had in free agency. He missed out on free agency because his agent missed the deadline to file for it.

    Owens did nothing to “destroy his team.” The fact that you think one player can single-handedly destroy a team is hilarious and ridiculous, not to mention contradictory to the notion that it’s a “team game.” So it’s a team game unless the team fails. Then it’s all Terrell Owens’s fault.

  70. whatjusthapped says: Feb 12, 2017 9:29 PM

    He is a horrible human being, just watch him in an interview and you can’t help but arriving at that conclusion.

    The fact that Jerry Jones gave him a raise is only further proof of that, Jerry does love the criminal element, heaven knows he signed more than his fair share of them.

  71. theandy59 says: Feb 12, 2017 9:34 PM

    Like all things, balance is the key. You need to balance a players on field production with the “other” issues (locker room presence, impact on winning, etc.). I remember an issue they had with Owens where they had to be aware of how many looks he got, lest he start throwing sideline tantrums. I remember at the time thinking that you can’t play football worrying about some guy’s ego – the QB has to throw to the open guy/best option, and if T.O. is an effective decoy and leads to three TD passes to other guys, and a win, that should be good, but it wasn’t with Owens. Personally, I think he probably belongs, but I don’t dismiss out of hand Carucci’s logic. It can’t all be about stats.

  72. owensdefense says: Feb 12, 2017 9:35 PM

    “In 2003, he had several sideline issues.”

    1. What do you mean, “sideline issues?” There is absolutely nothing wrong with yelling on the sidelines. It’s a normal part of the game.

    He had one that was captured on camera, and the reason it was captured on camera is the cameras were all focused on him as it was the 49ers vs. Vikings and they were billing it as Owens vs. Moss. He was frustrated after the 49ers were stopped on 4th and 2 and losing 28-0.

    You know who was the king of sideline tantrums? None other than Jerry Rice.

    And Rice was known to throw them when his team was WINNING games because he was upset about not getting the ball. Heck, someone recently uploaded the Owens 20 catch game to YT and Jerry Rice was whining ON THE FIELD about Owens getting all the balls, with 49ers guard Ray Brown having to calm him down. The 49ers were comfortably ahead at this point, by the way. That wasn’t a sideline tantrum, but just something I figured I’d mention.

    You want a sideline tantrum, watch the 2000 Dallas star game (where Owens celebrated a pair of touchdowns by jogging out to the star). After Rice drops a pass near the goal line, only for the 49ers to later score and go up 10-3, he is shown on camera screaming at Mariucci, with Owens, funny enough, being the one trying to calm him down. Owens, who was there, says Rice was screaming obscenities about Garcia not throwing a spiral.

    “He incorrectly stated Jeff Garcia’s sexual preference in an article in Philadelphia magazine.”

    This was in the summer of 2004, when the two were no longer teammates. He was asked if he thought his former teammate, Garcia, was gay, and he implied he thought he was (“like my boy tells me – if it looks like a rat, smells like a rat – by golly, it’s a rat”).

    1. Since they weren’t teammates anymore, it’s irrelevant. He owes him nothing.

    2. He clarified in a press conference the next gay after Eagles practice that he never said Garcia was gay and that he didn’t know if he was gay or not.

    “He had the attempted suicide incident in 2006.”

    What he had was a bad reaction to the pain medication that was prescribed to him for his broken finger he suffered their last game (week 2 vs. Washington) during their bye week. Parcells even noted that the pills had made him sick BEFORE this had happened when discussing how Owens’s rehabilitation was going in a press conference. You never hear about this if Ed Werder/ESPN weren’t camping outside Owens’s house in the bushes and paying off secretaries at the local police department to get an unfinished report at 1 AM, only for it to change when Owens was released the next morning.

    “He was suspended by Andy Reid for a week in 2005 after having a bad attitude in camp.”

    True, but this was the direct result of his contract dispute. Reid confronted him about skipping autograph sessions and they got into an argument. Not even close to the first time a player was suspended for a week during camp.

    “2006 run in with Todd Haley.”

    If you had to find everyone who has ever had a run in with Todd Haley, the line would wrap around the earth 8 times. This is a guy Bill Parcells once punched on the sidelines.

    “I think he should be in, but I wonder if Jeff Garcia would vouch for his character. Let’s say that Owens was no bargain.”

    What business does Jeff “.237 DUI” Garcia have vouching for OWENS’S character?

    “Spit in the face of Dangelo Hall.”

    That was an accident. Hall was in his face and they were jawing back and forth all game. None of the cameras caught it. That’s because, as Owens said, it must have happened accidentally.

  73. owensdefense says: Feb 12, 2017 9:36 PM

    “He is a horrible human being, just watch him in an interview and you can’t help but arriving at that conclusion.

    The fact that Jerry Jones gave him a raise is only further proof of that, Jerry does love the criminal element, heaven knows he signed more than his fair share of them.”

    Terrell Owens has a spotless criminal record. He is one of the best human beings to ever play this game. He wouldn’t hurt a fly.

  74. tbabes says: Feb 12, 2017 9:37 PM

    “Owens did nothing to “destroy his team.” The fact that you think one player can single-handedly destroy a team is hilarious and ridiculous, not to mention contradictory to the notion that it’s a “team game.” So it’s a team game unless the team fails. Then it’s all Terrell Owens’s fault.”

    Owens deliberately sabatoged the 2005 Eagles and did his very best to hurt his team’s chances of being successful, all because the eagles wouldn’t renegotiate his long term deal after 1 year. He could have handled it like a pro, but instead he whined and moaned and bad mouthed his teammates, and finally got his whiny butt suspended and deactivated for the last 9 games of the season!! He QUIT ON HIS TEAM in 2005. So he can continue to flap in the wind for a few more years over his HOF candidacy.

  75. rollotomasi14 says: Feb 12, 2017 9:41 PM

    So I guess Ray Lewis won’t be making the HoF

  76. owensdefense says: Feb 12, 2017 9:41 PM

    “mike f, i agree that TO is a no doubt hall of famer and folks who are keeping him out are being petty more than anything else.

    however, it’s not entirely accurate to use his first 8 years in san fran to counter the (valid) criticism that teams didn’t try all that hard to keep him.

    TO wasn’t TO his first 8 seasons in SF. he was terrell owens. until he made that catch in the endzone in the playoffs, he was just another talented receiver.

    those tears in the endzone was the start of the transformation into TO (something TO has mentioned multiple times). that catch started his metamorphosis into the TO that teams may not have tried to get rid of, but they also didn’t try that hard to keep him either.

    whether he was a bad teammate is debateable. whether he was a distraction to every team post-SF is not debateable. he made the story about TO on the field, but even more off the field.”

    ——-

    Nope. This is inaccurate. Owens’s reputation starts and ends with the touchdown celebrations in Dallas in 2000 and the fallout from them (refusing to apologize for them and Mariucci suspending him for a game, igniting their strained relationship…in which the media, who vilified Owens for said celebrations, naturally sided with Mariucci).

    What isn’t told in that story is how Owens actually asked his wide receivers coach at the time, George Stewart, for permission to do the star celebration, and Stewart said, “hey, do what you gotta do.” Owens never mentioned this until after Stewart had left the team because Stewart was (and still is) a close friend of his and he was worried about it hurting Stewart if that got out.

    In the summer of 2002, Mariucci actually flew out to Atlanta to try to mend the relationship with Owens after he’d actually put in a request to be left unprotected for the Texans’ expansion draft.

    In the summer of 2003, GM Terry Donahue met with Owens’s agent to discuss a contract extension (only for the two sides to be too far apart on the amount…the 49ers were playing the salary cap game again and weren’t sure if they could afford to keep both Julian Peterson and Owens).

  77. rodgerstonelson says: Feb 12, 2017 9:42 PM

    Who cares how many teams he played for. Why he left etc.
    His numbers alone scream HOF.

  78. owensdefense says: Feb 12, 2017 9:42 PM

    “Owens deliberately sabatoged the 2005 Eagles and did his very best to hurt his team’s chances of being successful, all because the eagles wouldn’t renegotiate his long term deal after 1 year. He could have handled it like a pro, but instead he whined and moaned and bad mouthed his teammates, and finally got his whiny butt suspended and deactivated for the last 9 games of the season!! He QUIT ON HIS TEAM in 2005. So he can continue to flap in the wind for a few more years over his HOF candidacy.”

    How so? Whom did he badmouth and when?

  79. balaspackfan says: Feb 12, 2017 9:50 PM

    I don’t care about the Hall of Fame.

  80. stoneydog1000 says: Feb 12, 2017 9:52 PM

    owensdefence, Terrell is that you?

  81. runningoutofboundsisforgringos says: Feb 12, 2017 9:57 PM

    Ideally, he won’t get in and will be nominated by the Seniors Committee, and not get in then, either

  82. dbfan4ever says: Feb 12, 2017 9:57 PM

    TO deserves to be in the hall of fame just for what he did to the star at Cowboys stadium!!!

  83. whodey420 says: Feb 12, 2017 9:57 PM

    timpiker says:
    Feb 12, 2017 9:16 PM
    If Peter Edward Rose isn’t in the baseball hall of fame, I couldn’t care less about TO.

    Do NOT get me started on that brother!!! lolol Talk about a joke!!?? Did he bet on baseball? Yep! Did he ever bet on
    the Reds to lose? Nope! If it weren’t for that drug dealer in his gym getting busted, no one, (outside of Cincinnati), would ever know about his betting! lol :/

  84. tbabes says: Feb 12, 2017 10:00 PM

    “Whom did he bad mouth and when?”

    Are you serious? Owens said bad things about McNabb the entire 2005 preseason and into the regular season. He went on national tv in week 7 and said the eagles would have a better record if Favre was their qb instead of McNabb. He got into a fistfight in the locker room with an eagles employee. He ripped into the front office and Coach Reid after feeling slighted about the magnitude of the recognition he received over his 100th TD catch.

    TO played the nuclear card in 2005 to get what he wanted. And it blew up in everyone’s face. You can feel slighted and butt hurt all you’d like, but the fact is TO is NOT in the HOF. And I hope he flaps in the wind for at least a few more years.

  85. vikingjack73 says: Feb 12, 2017 10:02 PM

    Owens fought with/argued with & attempted to embarrass teammates on the sidelines

    He constantly made selfish quotes about his lack of catches
    He made sure the story was ALWAYS about him!

    Was he a Hall of Famer on the field?
    Yes
    Was he a Hall of Fame pain in the ass??
    Double yes

    He will eventually make it in
    So this suddenly band wagon full of T.O. Fans can calm down & stop slobbering over him!

  86. reddzen says: Feb 12, 2017 10:05 PM

    You know Florio, I don’t agree with you often but you are spot on this time. I think these voters somehow get a god complex in that they hold the fate of great players in their hands. Mind you – some aspects of character should apply. If Rae Carruth had been awesome I’d have some issue voting for him given how his life ended up. But a bad teammate? Attitude often leads to stats and the game is about stats first.

    But what I love is your analysis of how teams “couldn’t wait to get rid of him.” This is a business, and all things being equal? Youth often trumps vets when it comes to the almighty dollar. Why someone lets someone go (different than couldn’t wait) can be complicated.

    Nice post Florio.

  87. mostepicgnar says: Feb 12, 2017 10:12 PM

    It’s the NFL, not the Boy Scouts HOF.

  88. mikebel11 says: Feb 12, 2017 10:16 PM

    Ray Lewis killed a guy and he’s considered a no brainer first ballot hall of famer

  89. owensdefense says: Feb 12, 2017 10:18 PM

    “Are you serious? Owens said bad things about McNabb the entire 2005 preseason and into the regular season. He went on national tv in week 7 and said the eagles would have a better record if Favre was their qb instead of McNabb. ”

    Nope. Not true. Graham Bensinger asked Owens why the Eagles were struggling, and he said that if Donovan McNabb wasn’t injured, their record would be better. Bensinger then asked as a follow up question what Owens thought of Irvin’s comment that if Brett Favre were the Eagles’ starting QB that season, they would be undefeated, and Owens said that was a good assessment, and went on to praise Favre.

    He said nothing bad whatsoever about McNabb in that interview when you watch it in context. The Favre idea was Irvin’s, and it was presented to him in the context of him already having mentioned that McNabb was struggling because he was injured.

    “He got into a fistfight in the locker room with an eagles employee.”

    You’re referring to Hugh Douglas, who was a former player turned “ambassador.” Douglas started the fight, just as he was fired from ESPN for threatening to fight Michael Smith (look it up). Also, what does this have to do with badmouthing former teammates?

    “He ripped into the front office and Coach Reid after feeling slighted about the magnitude of the recognition he received over his 100th TD catch.”

    He never said anything about Reid with regards to the 100th TD. He was talking about the organization/PR department. Again, what does this have to do with badmouthing teammates?

  90. owensdefense says: Feb 12, 2017 10:20 PM

    “Owens fought with/argued with & attempted to embarrass teammates on the sidelines”

    Owens never fought with a teammate on the sidelines in his entire career. Not even once.

    “He constantly made selfish quotes about his lack of catches”

    No, he did not. He only talked about catches when he was specifically asked about them by reporters, and he always talked about it in the context of wanting to be involved on the offense in order to help the team WIN. That’s a “team player.”

    “He made sure the story was ALWAYS about him!”

    No, the media did that.

  91. setrg says: Feb 12, 2017 10:21 PM

    How about automatic entry for certain record holders for modern day players:

    1-10 Career passing yards and TDs
    1-10 Career rushing yards and TDs
    1-10 Career receiving yards and TDs
    1-10 Career yards from scrimmage and TDs
    1-3 Career points
    Two seasons most passing yards and TDs
    Two seasons most rushing yards and TDs
    Two seasons most receiving yards and TDs
    Two seasons most yards from scrimmage and TDs
    1-10 Career most sacks
    1-10 Career most tackles
    1-10 Career most interceptions
    Two seasons most sacks
    Two seasons most tackles
    Two seasons most interceptions

    That should leave most of the discretionary voting to offensive linemen, interior defensive linemen and punters.

  92. ProFootballRealignment says: Feb 12, 2017 10:21 PM

    A computer deciding the HoF… Really??

    “Open the pod bay doors, Hal.”

    “I’m sorry, Terrell. I’m afraid I can’t do that.”

  93. streetyson says: Feb 12, 2017 10:28 PM

    I would say no, based on him being a selifish, mouthy jerk, but then I’d have to kick out all the selfish mouthy jerks before him, and the murderers, rapists, PED-cheats, neck-stabbers, embezzlers and other criminals, which is fine by me – make room for guys who were both quantity AND quality on the field, classy off it, and still role models for current players. And no owners or execs, or commissioners – that’s like my boss giving himself an employee of year award.

  94. rufustfirefly1303 says: Feb 12, 2017 10:28 PM

    Terrell davis gets in and not TO? Blasphemy! Davis had 2 good years. Maybe hof of adult braces wearers

  95. stoneydog1000 says: Feb 12, 2017 10:33 PM

    Hey, TO the Jerk Store called and they’re running out of you.

  96. gadzod says: Feb 12, 2017 10:35 PM

    I wonder if he voted for Warner. He was moved around just as much as the same age Owens was.

  97. justintuckrule says: Feb 12, 2017 10:53 PM

    Philly or Dallas wouldn’t have sniffed the playoffs without him much less come within a puking qb away from ending the (greatest) drought.

    Certain teams in the league who play in bunk divisions don’t know how great he was. I saw it first hand plenty. He’s a first ballot 95%er if these writers had their heads screwed on straight.

  98. stewjack says: Feb 12, 2017 10:54 PM

    Everyone knows that stats tell only parts of stories. Sure, no one is close to Jerry Rice, but Emmitt Smith holds the rushing record, and would people choose Emmitt over Walter Payton if given the choice? So, TO is 2nd or 3rd all time in some big categories. But let’s look at it this way. If you were starting a team, and you could choose three receivers in the prime of their careers, would you choose TO? I wouldn’t. He wouldn’t be in my top 5. He might not make my top 10. And that isn’t on his being a poor teammate. But I would rather have Larry Fitzgerald over TO–just on the football part of it. I’d rather have Julio Jones. Cris Carter. Randy Moss. People forget TO had a ton of drops. He’s high in that category, too. If you are going to go by stats, then Muhsin Muhammed is preferable to Steve Largent, Calvin Johnson, and Michael Irvin. I’m not saying that TO wasn’t a very good receiver, but there’s more than stats to take in, and he does not grade out well in those other categories.

  99. tbabes says: Feb 12, 2017 11:06 PM

    “Nope. Not true. Graham Bensinger asked Owens why the Eagles were struggling, and he said that if Donovan McNabb wasn’t injured, their record would be better. Bensinger then asked as a follow up question what Owens thought of Irvin’s comment that if Brett Favre were the Eagles’ starting QB that season, they would be undefeated, and Owens said that was a good assessment, and went on to praise Favre.”

    You are out to lunch. You referenced one interview, I am referring to the entire preseason and into the 2005 season where TO was badmouthing McNabb. I live in the Philly area, and I listened and watched it every day. TO isn’t in the HOF, and you will have to suffer with this FACT for at least another year. Deal with it.

  100. zinnsand21 says: Feb 12, 2017 11:17 PM

    He was a god awful teammate.. Should that nullify obvious HOF statistical numbers? Apparently it does..

  101. owensdefense says: Feb 12, 2017 11:18 PM

    “You are out to lunch. You referenced one interview, I am referring to the entire preseason and into the 2005 season where TO was badmouthing McNabb. I live in the Philly area, and I listened and watched it every day. TO isn’t in the HOF, and you will have to suffer with this FACT for at least another year. Deal with it.”

    No, YOU referenced one interview, and I addressed it. What else is there? Keep going. You have nothing that will hold up. I know you have nothing that will hold up because I know everything there is to know about this.

  102. madczyk says: Feb 12, 2017 11:31 PM

    Florio, for the love of God go look at Owens catch percentage and tell me with a straight face that Terrell Ownes deserves to be in the HOF. Not only was the guy not a team player and forget the whole “oh he wanted to paid to his ability” because that’s garbage, he couldn’t catch. There where numerous receivers in the league that caught more frequently with equal or less talent throwing them the ball. Owens just stayed in the league long enough and demanded attention enough.

  103. owensdefense says: Feb 12, 2017 11:41 PM

    “He was a god awful teammate.. Should that nullify obvious HOF statistical numbers? Apparently it does..”

    Owens’s actual teammates say he was a great teammate. Why do you think you know better than them?

  104. hexy27 says: Feb 12, 2017 11:46 PM

    Clowns who don’t think Warner or Davis belong in the hall are arguing for TO by insulting true greatness. This is funny stuff.

    Both Davis and Warner defined the teams they played for in the golden era of three franchises. Warner’s only job in New York was to play half a season before the #1 pick and NFL royalty took over. He was 5-2 when that happened.

    Those two players were league and Super Bowl MVPs and they absolutely dominated in the playoffs.

    Elway is 7-7 in the playoffs without Davis and 7-1 with him. Davis AVERAGED 142.5 yards rushing in those 8 playoff games. He was the best football player on the planet from 1996-1998.

    You think the Hall is for Jerome Bettis and his 9 seasons of stat compiling at sub 4.0 yards per carry? Because a little greatness surrounded by mediocrity is the criteria?

    Arizona as a franchise has won 3 playoff games in the 92 years without Warner. They won 4 playoff games in his 5 seasons.

    St Louis had 9 straight losing seasons before Warner took over in 1999 and they haven’t had a winning season in the 13 years since trading him.

    Have another beer at the end of the bar though, you sure know your sports ball.

  105. damcmp says: Feb 12, 2017 11:54 PM

    Carucci sucks none of these guys could carry Owens jock strap

  106. youcantmakemepickausername says: Feb 12, 2017 11:58 PM

    justintuckrule says:
    Feb 12, 2017 10:53 PM
    Philly or Dallas wouldn’t have sniffed the playoffs without him much less come within a puking qb away from ending the (greatest) drought.
    ————————————————————-
    The Eagles made the playoffs four years in a row before he got there. And won the two playoff games to get to the Super Bowl without him. I mean, there’s an incredibly strong arguument that he belongs in the hall, so you should be able to argue it without making stuff up

  107. junkfooddaddy says: Feb 12, 2017 11:59 PM

    He was wantonly subversive to his teams.

  108. dejadoh says: Feb 13, 2017 1:05 AM

    The real question here is not about TO, but why are Henry Ellard and Cliff Branch not in the HOF? The 2000’s were the height of passing gone crazy. When Ellard retired he was 3rd all time in receiving yards, behind only Jerry Rice and James Lofton. When Branch retired he was 10th (but had won 3 Super Bowls). Both belong in the HOF.

  109. majormeatcurtains says: Feb 13, 2017 3:58 AM

    rufustfirefly1303 says:
    Feb 12, 2017 10:28 PM
    Terrell davis gets in and not TO? Blasphemy! Davis had 2 good years. Maybe hof of adult braces wearers

    TD NEVER spoke about himself in the third person. Mr self promoter ALWAYS did. Ever hear TD say “Terrell Davis make touchdowns? To ALWAYS did. Pushups in the driveway for TO. ALWAYS FOR TO. Lame.

  110. Rolo Tomassi says: Feb 13, 2017 5:29 AM

    Carruicci should lose his right to vote

  111. dadsource says: Feb 13, 2017 5:56 AM

    Cue Mark Brunell crying.

  112. bullcharger says: Feb 13, 2017 6:15 AM

    Here’s the problem. You should be able to consider short stints with multiple teams, but there’s no reason to take it beyond that. It shouldn’t matter why that was the case. I don’t think the voters understand the circumstances other than rumor and hearsay. No different than Charles Hayley and Revis changing teams in my opinion.

    To me it’s the difference between a mecenary or a stalwart. TO was a mercenary. Stalwarts probably deserve the edge if all else is equal, but TO was good enough to push him into the hall.

  113. Rolo Tomassi says: Feb 13, 2017 6:25 AM

    Anyone who voted to keep TO out of the HOF should have voting rights revoked

  114. lifetimefan says: Feb 13, 2017 6:58 AM

    There seems to be a dis-connect on what the criteria is to be in the HOF. There are stats and there are personal behavioral items. If the HOF wants players to judged based upon stats only, then make the selection individuals aware of that. If they want to use personal behavior as the metric, so be it but be transparent about it.

    Look at someone like Michael Irvin. Troubled past, drugs, violence etc and yet he is in, and there is the crux of the matter. If the media likes you regardless of on and off the field issues, you are OK.

    On the whole, the media never liked Owens and that is probably the saddest but most accurate reason for why he is not in the HOF.

  115. 1captain1 says: Feb 13, 2017 7:01 AM

    Agreed. It’s just like of OJ Simpson had been put on trial right after he retired.
    His BODY(s) of work would STILL put him in the HOF.
    And deservedly so.
    Even if he did have ill fitting equipment.

  116. jimmyjoejohnbob says: Feb 13, 2017 7:04 AM

    Carruicci has lost a step… or ten. He used to be a good reporter. Now he writes like he works for the Lackawana PennySaver.

  117. nyneal says: Feb 13, 2017 7:09 AM

    All I can say about all of this is — who cares? The Hall Of Fame is just like the Oscars, Grammys, Emmys, and every other award celebrities invent for themselves to pat each other on the back.
    It is all subjective anyway and it means nothing to me what so ever. Because the reality is, it has very little to do with the fans. Yes, they can go to the Hall Of Fame and look at equipment worn by the players, etc. That’s a good thing. But I am not interested in looking at busts of players which more often than not don’t look much like the players anyway.
    So — they could do away with the Hall Of Fame other than the equipment worn by the players down through the years and that would be fine by me.
    Or, they could put every player who ever played in the Hall Of Fame and do away with all the controversy. I couldn’t care less.

  118. kenmasters34 says: Feb 13, 2017 7:16 AM

    The “He’s been on three Teams” argument is pretty dumb.

    Brett Favre played on 4 teams, Kurt warner played on a few, Jerry Rice played on 3, Montana 2, Manning 2.

  119. TheBrownswillstinkagain says: Feb 13, 2017 7:33 AM

    Vic Carucci is a flat out hack. This clown when he worked for the Browns was a suck up to Browns mgmt as they continued to suck for the last 17 yrs.

    This guy is an embarrassment to the truth everywhere.

    The HOF is an INDIVIDUAL award. Has ZERO to do with what type of teammate you are. This clown should have his privileges REVOKED immediately and same with the other Brown hack Mary Kay Cabot.

    These 2 bozos are clowns of mammoth proportions

  120. cakesw says: Feb 13, 2017 7:35 AM

    At the height of his career three teams were willing to let him go ????

    Dumbest argument EVER…

    What about Deion Sanders ???

    So, Darrell Revised won’t be a HOFer for the same reason ?…..

    Smh

  121. takemytalentstosoutheuclid says: Feb 13, 2017 7:59 AM

    Who gives a rat’s bleep what Dan Fouts thinks? I want to hear what players and coaches that TO played with think about him as a teammate, not some dinosaur that doesn’t want the loud moth young guy in his “club”.

    Secondly, Chris Carter and Tim Brown are in, but TO is not? What a joke. Do these voters actually watch football or just interview Dan Fouts before making a decision..

  122. steeelfann0155 says: Feb 13, 2017 8:26 AM

    Yea, but how many career drops did he have? What was his average of drops vs other receivers in the HOF? What metric are you using? If he has a much higher drop percentage, is that HOF worthy? Not having the greatest hands at receiver? Really?

  123. steeelfann0155 says: Feb 13, 2017 8:30 AM

    stoneydog1000 says:
    Feb 12, 2017 10:33 PM

    “Hey, TO the Jerk Store called and they’re running out of you.”

    Classic!!!!!!!!!!!!

  124. yizudien says: Feb 13, 2017 8:31 AM

    TO was a problem on each of the teams he was a part of. He was at Jeff Garcia quite a bit, especially towards the end of of his time with the 49ers. When they wouldn’t win it was because no one could get him the ball. When they came to play the vikings it was fun to watch him just to see what he would do on the sidelines if they were down.

    In Philly it was TO who suggested Mcnabb couldn’t handle the pressure of the game, also telling people about him losing his lunch in the huddle.

    In Dallas he continued to be a distraction, didn’t he almost die during a massage?

    The writer has a network of people he trusts and they trust him. He can’t release the names of those people. Come on Mike you should know that. I felt that this was fair, TO may be one of the best receivers of all time; how ever if he was a distraction I have no problem with the Hall rejecting him.

  125. nhpats says: Feb 13, 2017 8:39 AM

    hexy27 says:
    Feb 12, 2017 11:46 PM
    Clowns who don’t think Warner or Davis belong in the hall are arguing for TO by insulting true greatness. This is funny stuff.

    Both Davis and Warner defined the teams they played for in the golden era of three franchises. Warner’s only job in New York was to play half a season before the #1 pick and NFL royalty took over. He was 5-2 when that happened.

    Those two players were league and Super Bowl MVPs and they absolutely dominated in the playoffs.

    Elway is 7-7 in the playoffs without Davis and 7-1 with him. Davis AVERAGED 142.5 yards rushing in those 8 playoff games. He was the best football player on the planet from 1996-1998.

    You think the Hall is for Jerome Bettis and his 9 seasons of stat compiling at sub 4.0 yards per carry? Because a little greatness surrounded by mediocrity is the criteria?

    Arizona as a franchise has won 3 playoff games in the 92 years without Warner. They won 4 playoff games in his 5 seasons.

    St Louis had 9 straight losing seasons before Warner took over in 1999 and they haven’t had a winning season in the 13 years since trading him.

    Have another beer at the end of the bar though, you sure know your sports ball.

    ————-

    I read your analysis….and again, you point out that Davis has a couple of really great seasons. That is not nearly enough to warrant induction into the HoF. As for Warner, I would say he is a good up….decent player….good career….

  126. joetoronto says: Feb 13, 2017 9:01 AM

    I like Carucci, especially compared to the other jamokes on the Buffalo News sports staff, but he is way off here. Owens in the HOF is such a shoe-in its mind-boggling how hard it is to argue against it.

  127. randalpnaditch says: Feb 13, 2017 9:14 AM

    The wrong Terrell got in. The Hof is turning into high school yearbook voting. Most popular, most likely to succeed etc. It seems getting into broadcasting is the ticket in anymore. Terrell Davis was good for 2 maybe 3 years. Great guy, but not a Hof due to lack of longevity.

  128. shutupbrees says: Feb 13, 2017 9:14 AM

    “[Hall of Famer and Hall of Fame voter Dan Fouts] looked at the fact that at the height of Owens’ career, three teams — the San Francisco 49ers, Philadelphia Eagles, and Dallas Cowboys — all were willing to let him go,”

    This comment is ridiculous for numerous reasons, but mainly:

    1) The first time he changed teams, he was nearly 31 Years Old. Which is older than several current HOF WR were when they Retired.

    2) When the Cowboys “let him go”, he was 35 Effing years old!! 35! And still a 1,000 yd 10TD WR. So to call him “still at the height of his powers” in that argument, makes the argument on Owens behalf.

    Owens stats make him a lock, but he has numerous games and plays that will be replayed and discussed forever:

    1) youtube Garrison Hearst’s 96 Yd TD run. What should stand out besides the wicked stiff arm, is Terrell Owens coming from nowhere to outrun EVERYONE and make three blocks to get Hearst in the Endzone. Guy was a great blocker.
    2) The TD catch to beat GB in the playoffs.
    3) 20 Reception game
    4) Playing the SB with a broken leg and being the best player on the field.

  129. drocity says: Feb 13, 2017 9:16 AM

    Can we let this go? TO will get another chance to be in the HOF. Whether he should be a first ballot inductee is a discussion but not worthy of the amount of megabytes dedicated to the topic on this site. He will have another chance next year.

  130. liftheavyorliftheavy says: Feb 13, 2017 9:43 AM

    shutupbrees says:
    Feb 13, 2017 9:14 AM

    1) youtube Garrison Hearst’s 96 Yd TD run. What should stand out besides the wicked stiff arm, is Terrell Owens coming from nowhere to outrun EVERYONE and make three blocks to get Hearst in the Endzone. Guy was a great blocker.
    2) The TD catch to beat GB in the playoffs.
    3) 20 Reception game
    4) Playing the SB with a broken leg and being the best player on the field.

    —————–

    1&4 … definition of a selfish player huh [sarcasm, obviously]. Good post.

  131. damujazz says: Feb 13, 2017 9:54 AM

    Most people are only interested in what Owens did on the field. There doesn’t have to be just one HOF, football fans can establish other HOFs and it looks it is certainly time to do just that.

  132. maestro1899 says: Feb 13, 2017 10:03 AM

    Vic, IT TAKES TWO TO TANGO. What do you say about all of the teams that signed or traded for TO??

    They obviously wanted TO on their team, in spite of all of the negativity that the media was reporting at the time…

  133. jgedgar70 says: Feb 13, 2017 10:37 AM

    Sometimes writers that have Hall of Fame ballots get really full of themselves, and develop a god complex. The worst example was the year the BBWAA voted no one into the MLB HOF because of the steroid candidates, when Craig Biggio was eligible and has never been suspected of steroid use. A bunch of them wrote lengthy columns defending themselves and their god complexes. It was all hot garbage. Whether a guy gets in the HOF should only be determined by the play on the field and any HOF rules (like MLB HOF and their anti-Pete Rose rule). Nothing else – no “but I heard he acted like this” crap, especially if you the HOF voter, never saw it happen.

  134. scotthochsdramaticweightgain1 says: Feb 13, 2017 10:45 AM

    What’s the big deal? I mean T.O. is already in the Obama Zombie Hall of Fame, which is housed in a dumpster on 8 Mile and Livernois in Detroit. Rats admitted for free with one paying customer.

  135. RegisHawk says: Feb 13, 2017 11:17 AM

    …my position that the “teams couldn’t wait to get rid” of Owens narrative is deeply flawed.

    It was…and you made the case against your own argument and (once again) failed to see it. Maybe you just figured your readership was too stupid to pick up on it…

    Yes, teams signed Owens to a contract extension with exhorbitant bonuses…and were still willing to get rid of him with that money yet to come off their books. How bad does it have to be if you can’t even force yourself to keep a guy around until the cap hit is less than lethal? There have been any number of players who turned out to be less than the money spent who were kept around until it wasn’t prohibitively too expensive to let go. Osweiler is in the middle of such a situation.

  136. jags2daship says: Feb 13, 2017 12:06 PM

    We should put that wussy Johnathan Martin in the HOF if its based on locker room nice guy.

  137. jnova80 says: Feb 13, 2017 12:26 PM

    richardtroch says:
    Feb 12, 2017 6:39 PM

    Rings? No.
    ———————————————
    Barry Sanders and LaDainian Tomlinson were trash as well I suppose…

  138. mattbilleauthor says: Feb 13, 2017 1:35 PM

    The guy has a point about numbers and computers. He does not have a point about T.O. Pain the neck but one of the great WRs. Put him in.

  139. voltaire325 says: Feb 13, 2017 1:50 PM

    Although Florio mocked it, Carucci did make a valid point that if it was just about numbers then they would have a computer do it. It clearly is not just about numbers.

    I agree that Owens should be in and believe that he eventually will be. That being said, I am ok with him getting snubbed for a couple of ballots because of his circus sideshow stuff.

    Florio, tries to discount the 3 teams letting him go but he shouldn’t. He points out that Young vouches for him. What about the fact that McNabb and Romo refused to event participate in his episode of a “A Football Life” let alone vouch for him. Very telling indeed.

  140. bspurloc says: Feb 13, 2017 2:00 PM

    .
    what does the locker room have to do with stats?
    better not look into Babe Ruths social life etc.

  141. steelerfaninok says: Feb 13, 2017 2:41 PM

    Florio, WE ALL SAW what a troublemaker TO was… this isn’t a bunch of fiction. I would have NEVER wanted him on my team and I have no desire to see his bust in Canton.. PERIOD. No matter how good he was, he was BAD for the game and it has continued with recievers since he was in the league

  142. tweener8292 says: Feb 13, 2017 9:12 PM

    The O.J. Simpson comment has nothing to do with his performance as a NFL player.

  143. keifer1751 says: Feb 13, 2017 9:58 PM

    I have always thought TO was a turd and still do. With that said, he really was a Hall of Fame player and should be in.

  144. bubba703 says: Feb 17, 2017 6:44 AM

    IF it was the Hall of great statistics, TO would be in. But HOF is supposed to be more than that. TO was indeed a gifted athlete but offset by being locker room poison. Those living in Philly watched him pollute the Eagles on a daily basis. Football is a supposed to be TEAM sport, TO put himself before the team. That’s not something to be rewarded. Perhaps making him wait a few more years is good therapy.

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