One thing has become clear in the 13 days since the Hall of Fame selection meeting: Even those who have opposed Terrell Owens’ enshrinement admit he’ll eventually get in.
When he does, will he show up? Consider this exchange from T.O.’s interview with Mike Francesa of WFAN.
“God has something better in store, bigger and better than the Hall of Fame,” Owens said. “If I get in great, if I don’t, OK. The first two years, OK, cool, it would have been an honor. But after this year, when they keep moving the sticks in order for me not to get in, I’ve lost respect for the process.”
“Harry Carson got upset and got to a point where he said, ‘I don’t care,'” Francesa said. “‘If they vote me in now I’m not going.’ When he got in he went. You’ll do the same thing. When they vote you in, you’ll go because you’ll be happy that you got in, and you will get in.”
“I’m not Harry Carson,” Owens replied, “and I’m sure if you’ve done your research, everybody will tell you. And you just alluded to it earlier. I’m a different guy.”
“Yeah, but you’ll go when you get in. You will. You’ll be happy.”
“I’m a different guy,” Owens said. “I’m a special guy.”
“So what are you saying now? You’re saying now you wouldn’t go if you get in now?”
“I’m a committed guy. When I put my mind to something, I succeed.”
“So what are you saying?”
“I’m saying, if I get in, I get in. If I don’t, it’s not a big deal.”
“But if you get in, you’ll go right? You’ll still acknowledge it and accept it, right?”
“Don’t interpret anything. I’ve already given you my answer.”
The answer seems to be, based on the things the said, that he won’t attend. Owens specifically said: (1) “I’m not Harry Carson”; (2) “I’m a different guy”; and (3) “When I put my mind to something, I succeed.”
If Owens has, as it appears, put his mind to not showing up for his gold jacket and bronze bust, maybe he won’t. The next question is whether that will influence the voters.
It shouldn’t. But keep in mind that Hall of Fame voter Dan Fouts already has said that Owens isn’t helping his case by ripping the process. Which confirms that the members of the committee aren’t above human nature. Which invites speculation as to whether the voters will use T.O.’s apparent refusal to show up for the party as justification for the lingering refusal to invite him.