Terrell Owens apparently won’t be heeding Dan Fouts’ not-so-subtle warning that criticizing the Hall of Fame selection process will continue keep him out of Canton.
In an interview with Tim Graham of the Buffalo News and WHLD in Buffalo, Owens elaborated on his views regarding the process — views that already were crystal clear based on his Twitter feed.
“Obviously, what I did, the Hall of Fame, that should validate it,” Owens told Graham. “But now it’s something else. Now they’re adding to the bylaws; they’re adding extra things to the criteria to be inducted. . . . . For me, that’s where I’ve lost all respect for it, in a sense.”
They haven’t really added to the bylaws, but they have started onto a slippery slope that considers behavior between the sideline and the parking lot — behavior that may or may not have been factored into the candidacy of other players and that will definitely cause issues when future players who may or may not have been bad teammates are up for consideration.
Owens also addressed the accuracy of off-field concerns passed along to the voters on a second-hand or even more remote basis.
“You listen to guys like Bill Polian and Dan Fouts that have said, you know, coaches and players have come to them or pulled them to the side and said that I was a horrible teammate,” Owens said, via Dave DeLuca of SportingNews.com. “That’s what really rubs me the wrong way, because I know . . . how I was raised. When you talk about character, that’s a sensitive subject for me, because I know who I am as a person. Just because I had some disagreements with some coaches or some players, that doesn’t mean that I’m a bad person or disruptive or a locker-room cancer as they would have it.”
Owens also has concerns (as do I) about the ability of the people who are bad-mouthing him to be kept secret.
“When it comes to questioning my character and what I did in that locker room,” Owens said, “the thing that a lot of people are missing, is these coaches and these people are saying that I’m this type of person in the locker room, well who are those guys? Nobody’s attaching any names to anything. They’re just saying, ‘Oh, this is what I heard.'”
That’s why the process needs to be more transparent. Each player’s on-field accomplishments are out in the open, for anyone to see and to assess. Everything else is, to some degree or another, concealed. The process of picking through those facts shouldn’t be.
Until that changes, Owens isn’t the only person who will have issues with the process.