As we continue to wait (and wait . . . and wait) for the Hall of Famers other than Dan Fouts who are opposed to putting Terrell Owens in the Hall of Fame to stand up and be identified, a new Hall of Famer who has four other receivers he’d like to see in Canton acknowledges that he’d thinks Owens should be there — flaws and all.
“I believe, A, he’s a Hall of Famer,” Warner said on a Wednesday visit to PFT Live. “What he did between those lines you can’t argue. There’s nothing you can argue about, and I believe he will get in.”
The position wasn’t unequivocal, however.
“The other part of it is when I’ve always thought of the Hall of Fame I think, yeah, great between the lines in regards to statistics and how you played your game but I also have always thought of it as a level of prestige,” Warner said. “That it’s about the way you represented the game and the impact that you had on the game as a whole and I’m speaking just based on here say because every time I’ve been around T.O. I loved the guy. He’s been great to me and I love his personality but I believe that’s the perception or reality that’s there is that the voters fully believe he belongs in due to his numbers and will get in.
“But there’s a prestige factor that maybe wasn’t matched with T.O. based on the different things that we hear and that we’ve seen and that’s really the only caveat right there [for him] and guys like Charles Haley. Same way, right? He belonged in the Hall of Fame way before he got in but there was a part to it that says, ‘We believe that the Hall of Fame is more than stats.’ It’s not just stats there’s something else extra to it and then you have to weigh that with guys like myself. You know you got T.O. and myself and you try to weigh the two and balance them out and I think it was just a matter of, ‘Okay we weighed this one a little bit heavier than T.O. yet T.O. I believe without question because he’s earned that right with the way he played the game.’”
That’s a fair, reasoned assessment of the situation. The problem, though, is that some of the voters seem to be sufficiently entrenched to keep T.O. in his time out chair for a third year and beyond. Hopefully they’ll: (1) listen to other voices like Warner’s (and Steve Young and Bill Parcells); and (2) they won’t continue to refuse to induct Owens due either to spite or to the fact that Owens has seen fit to defend himself and, in turn, challenge a process that clearly could be improved.