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.