T.O.: “Mind boggling” to not be in Hall of Fame

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In two days, the folks who determine the new class of Hall of Famers will get together to sift through the current class of finalists. For the third time, two of the best three receivers in NFL history will be up for consideration.

During a Wednesday visit to PFT Live, Terrell Owens explained his thoughts on being snubbed two times, and possibly counting.

“It is what it is,” Owens said. “I’ve kind of moved on from it. I think in terms of really the reputation [and] the credibility of the Hall of Fame I think it’s doing itself a disservice to what it actually means. . . . I think I should’ve been a shoo-in based on my statistics. I’ve said all along my stats speak for itself. I think when you bring up character issues, there’s a number of people that you can put in that category. It’s mind boggling to me.”

The biggest knock on Owens has nothing to do with off-field behavior.

“What I’ve heard is I’m divisive in the locker room,” he said. “Half the locker room liked me, half didn’t. Why couldn’t you go with the other narrative that I was a great teammate based on the people that spoke out on my behalf?”

The problem with the broader process is that the line between what should and shouldn’t be considered has blurred considerably, allowing it to be twisted in whatever direction the voters want to twist it. The false narrative that emerged last year, and that likely will come up again this year, is that teams “couldn’t wait to get rid” of Owens.

Meanwhile. . . .

“Ray Lewis,” Owens said. “He’s a guy that’s up for the Hall of Fame. You think about some of his off the field issues that may come into play [that] nobody’s talking about. But they feel like he’s a shoo-in.”

Owens admits that he was outspoken, but he’s confounded that it’s a knock against him.

When has being outspoken been a bad thing?” Owens said. “Now you see with so many social issues that are surrounding us. Guys are speaking up, speaking their mind. I think I was sort of at the forefront of that. Just being open and being open and honest about certain situations.” 

Owens was willing to be outspoken about the possibility of fellow receiver Randy Moss gaining admission to the Hall of Fame before Owens.

“It’s just really gonna put a black eye on the Hall of Fame and what it stands for,” Owens said. “I’ve been up the last two years. This is the third time. I think again what they’ve been, the issues they’ve been bringing up as far as why I haven’t gotten in doesn’t really match with the bylaws and the criteria in which guys are nominated and then inducted. . . . It just does the Hall of Fame a disservice. The Hall of Fame committee who puts these guys in position to nominate and then induct them it’s just not good for the game.”

Some have suggested that T.O.’s willingness to rip the process will work against him by giving the voters another reason to keep him out, even though anything he says now shouldn’t be held against his playing career. If that’s indeed a consideration (and it shouldn’t be), Owens didn’t shy away from firing shots at the current selection process.

“I think they need to just change it up,” Owens said. “At least have people on the panel with some credibility. Why are you going to allow guys that have never even played the sport have your fate at their hands?”

While there’s definitely a place for people who didn’t play football to assess and select the best football players of all time, the people who have failed to put Owens in the Hall of Fame will get another chance to make it right on Saturday. If he’s omitted again, the criticism from him and other (like me) will only grow.

81 responses to “T.O.: “Mind boggling” to not be in Hall of Fame

  1. He not in the hall of fame for the same reason his playing end early. No one wanted him on their team. What does that tell you?

  2. He hasn’t gotten in because of his big mouth, yet every year he spouts off and wonders why he’s not in.

    It’s amazing.

  3. Society does not like people who are outspoken. Society wants you to conform.

    Interfere with a murder investigation? No problem. You’re a first ballot Hall of Famer. Annoy a media hack by being outspoken? Yeah. Sit down until your turn is called.

    Couldn’t stand TO. But he belongs in the Hall.

  4. Honesty he is a top 3 WR of all time he should be in the HOF. The fact that he isn’t really ruins the HOF for me. Perhaps they should allow former players to vote people in the HOF and take it away from these arrogant writers who really have no clue. If you ask former players, they all say he should be a first ballot HOF, even guys who hate him. To me this isn’t about Owens, it is about the people who are deciding who gets it, and I think they have proven they are not fit for the job.

  5. I think he should be in BUT it’s amazing he still doesn’t realize what a cancer he was to the teams he played on. It was a lot more than being outspoken. This guy was a terrible teammate.

  6. “I think I should’ve been a shoo-in based on my statistics” Perhaps. Many might agree with you. However, you are a major douche and need to simmer on the back burner for a while because…..

    “I’ve kind of moved on from it.” Um, no you haven’t. Shut up and wait your turn. Or maybe go do sit ups in your driveway.

  7. By “teaching a lesson” to TO for being a crazy, jerk all the voters did was increase the belief that the HOF and its voting process is an unfair, popularity contest.

  8. He’s right, it’s ridiculous and the ‘voters’ should be embarrassed. Dudes top 3 in TDs and yards I believe, like evah!

    This isn’t he Hall of Nice people, or the Hall of Great Teammates.

    There are women abusers and addicts in the Hall for Pete’s sake

  9. The Hall of Fame is a popularity contest. There are a lot of players in the Hall that I don’t think should be and a lot of players that should be that aren’t. T.O. is one of the top 5 receivers of all time and he never got in trouble off the field and he always helped his teams win. With the Eagles in the Super Bowl this year, the voters should remember what T.O. did the last time they were in the Super Bowl coming off a broken bone. They wouldn’t have had a chance to win without him.

  10. “At least have people on the panel with some credibility.”


    He’s not very smart, is he? Insulting the people who vote is always a good way to get them behind you.

  11. He should be in. It’s really not even an argument. I guess Micheal Irvin and his drug problems are cleaner than being unliked by a few teammates.

  12. Sure he was a locker room poison, but it’s hard to argue against him being one of the best receivers of all time; numbers don’t lie. He belongs in the hall, like him or not.

  13. Nothing mind boggling about the NFL not wanting to celebrate the career of a person that constantly throws his organizations, teams, coaches, and QBs under the bus….even to this day.

    I think TO has left a bad taste in the mouths of every team and fanbase that once supported him.

  14. No doubt he should be in. I wonder if the voters have an axe to grind
    Maybe they need to change it up and have people that have played the game at the highest level deciding who gets in. Just a thought.

  15. His career stats clearly qualify him for HOF. They are better than a number of inductees. That’s not the issue. What’s holding him back is that he threw QB’s, teammates and coaches under the bus. He was not a team player. He was the prototypical diva WR who pissed off a lot of people around the NFL. He’ll get in eventually but he’ll have to wait till time heals the wounds he opened.

  16. The best thing TO could do to get in…would be to say means things about America and Trump…

    Think about it…the people keeping him outta the HOF are the same as the ones fighting to get Kaepernick a job…the fact that he can’t play has nothing to do with it…it’s because he said mean things about our President and Country…

  17. Once Bettis made it – the HOF became about as relevant as the Pro Bowl.

    All he really needs to do is be seen and NOT HEARD for a while and he’ll be in.

    Want to talk travesty and who is/isn’t in the HOF? Give Jerry Kramer a call and learn what that’s like.

  18. Please let this whiner in, I am sick of hearing this during every super bowl week, and for several weeks after!!!

  19. This is TO’s problem, he just doesn’t know when to shut up. However the HOF is suppose to be about the numbers and he has those. I mean they are considering Ray Lewis and he is suppose to be a lock. Lawrence Taylor is in and that says every thing you need to know, Its about the Numbers. I don’t even like T.O. But he should be in.

  20. unfortunately you treated the media like crap and your fans too. I am an example of this as i saw you in Cleveland and asked to take a pic with you and you did’t even acknowledge me, so tough beans for you.

  21. I see T.O. is up to his old CRY BABY ways. Instead of being gracious to be one of the handful of finalists, he’s again tearing at others up for the honor. Before it was Marvin Harrison, who at the time of his retirement, was #2 in most WR statistics behind Rice (and #1 in a few) yet T.O. ripped on him for being small and playing with Peyton. Come on man! Now you’re ripping on Ray Lewis? Don’t tear down others, man. It’s tacky and people see it. I don’t hear MOSS tearing down others. Every year it’s the same schtick from this guy. I hope they pass on him again.

  22. This is WHY he is not in the HOF. The entitlemnent, his attitude, no real accomplishments, etc.

    I would still vote NO.

    He emboides the opposite of what makes a real football player.

  23. Any time a hall of fame voting committee keeps players out who are obvious hall of farmers it reflects poorly on them not the player.

    I watched the NFL. I watched Owens. I thought he was an arrogant loud mouth narcissistic jerk. But being someone who appreciates the game I knew what I was seeing on the field was a hall of famer. It is a little mind boggling to me that he isn’t in yet.

  24. I agree he should be in based on his stats, his ability to take over games, and his clutch plays in big situations.

    With all of that said, I get it. I’m an Eagles fan. When he was on the Eagles he was awesome until he got hurt, and then he turned into a total nightmare. He was benched that second season, which was good, but he got so much media coverage it cut into whatever else was going on with the team. I stopped watching because it was like the T.O. show.

    So, in that respect, he was bad for the league as a whole because it was possibly hurting ratings. The NFL is a brand. It’s a business, first and foremost. I can see why the committee would be hesitant to induct him into the Hall of Fame. He hurt the brand for a few years. The NFL was a worse product because of T.O.

  25. He was a better athlete and football player then both Carter and Irvin. Both hall of famers through their media connections after their playing days, it is mind boggling he isn’t in, as well as it’s mind boggling that he fails to this day to realize how narcissistic he sounds every time he opens his mouth.

  26. Is it the Hall of Stats? If so he should be in.

    But the Hall of fame? Meh…maybe they can make a Hall of Notoriety or Hall of Locker Room Cancers, just for him. Either would be more appropriate and feed his inflated ego.

  27. stucats says:
    February 1, 2018 at 8:17 am
    unfortunately you treated the media like crap and your fans too. I am an example of this as i saw you in Cleveland and asked to take a pic with you and you did’t even acknowledge me, so tough beans for you.

    If media treatment were a requisite, Bill Belichick — who we will always love at 1925 Giants Drive — would NEVER get in, and he is as much of a lock as Owens was as a player.

  28. jarjarbinks1 says: “No doubt he should be in. I wonder if the voters have an axe to grind. Maybe they need to change it up and have people that have played the game at the highest level deciding who gets in.”

    Absolutely no way. Players would be way more biased – case in point: Warren Sapp has said a few times that Michael Strahan does not belong in the HOF. Players are just too competitive to have an objective opinion.

  29. yooperman says:
    February 1, 2018 at 7:04 am
    He not in the hall of fame for the same reason his playing end early. No one wanted him on their team. What does that tell you?
    You do realize he played until he was 37 which covered 15 seasons, right? How is that ending his career early? No one wanted the guy? He played for 5 teams, you act as if he this guy was a major bust that no team would touch. Dude might have been a terrible teammate, but his numbers say he is a HOFer.

  30. To everyone who is a fan of pro football TO is a Hall of Famer. The voters who decide to “make him wait” because they didn’t like his personality should be embarrassed. Diva? Narcissist? Self serving? Absolutely, but that shouldn’t tarnish the obviously ridiculous career numbers that his resume boasts. Again, embarrassing that he does not yet own a Gold jacket.

  31. T.O. is being punished for being a clown show off the field. His stats say he belongs in the HOF, but for many voters they see his off field antics first and foremost. It actually wouldn’t surprise if many of the voters that didn’t vote for him are holding off on voting him in just to put Randy Moss in before him or at the same time. Randy has his issues you can knock him for, too, but he seems to have played the off field politics game much better than T.O. did.

    HOF voters are human, they have the same biases that many fans hold.

  32. is it an NFL Hall of Fame about Football and stats? or is it an NFL Hall of Fame that includes whether or not you played nice with reporters in the locker room that gets you in?? turning into a joke and they better right their ship soon or their HOF will be viewed as a joke in future years…TO had 1,000 plus receiving yards in like 9 of 15 seasons..and playoff numbers were great! Enough! Enshrine that Man!! And i never was a fan of his but whats right is right!!

  33. WR’s have typically had to wait to get into the HOF. Art Monk waited 8 years & Tim Brown waited 6. Although TO’s stats may be better, those other guys competed in a completely different era.

    TO’s me-1st & narcissistic “I never did anything wrong” or “I’m misunderstood” attention-seeking ways are a text-book example of how NOT to act in any profession.

    TO had amazing ability, uncanny measurements, crazy good skills, extreme passion & competitiveness. But he was absolute drama-queen. Not just a coach-killer, but a TEAM killer & complete distraction. He clearly is still a wounded person that needs help. The Football Life about him was very telling. He grew up with deep psychological wounds that most do not have to bear. But look at the contrast to John Randle, who rose to the top amidst similar circumstances.

    That said, what is mind-boggling about TO is that he continues to not be self-aware & continues to badmouth everyone around him, even the decision-makers that determine the when he will get in. The sooner he faces that mountain, the easier the process will be for him.

    That is no way to go thru life. I hit the pause button a lot when I watch a Football Life with my kids. Lots of parental guidance during the TO episode. It’s a blessing to be THAT good, but don’t be THAT GUY.

  34. From the 98 season until his last in Dallas, he was not only a dominant force, he was must see TV. You never know what that guy was gonna do each Sunday. He was VERY entertaining. Guys like that don’t grow on trees and without them, people turn off their TVs. The name of the institution is the “Hall of FAME,” isn’t it? He should definitely be in there.

  35. Outspoken is fine. It’s not the outspokenness, it’s the CONTENT! Owens comes off as the most ARROGANT, self-absorbed jerk who is the president of the me-first generation. It’s not that we want you to shut up, it’s….never mind, shut up!

  36. “It is what it is.” Yes, outspoken people know there will be consequenses. They have such low self esteem they become addicted to narcissism. Any attention is better than no attention.

  37. Don’t claim that Hall inductees must have high character when former drug addicts are in and an accused murderer will likely be inducted. Just vote TO in and move on.

  38. He’s not in because because he was an annoying diva. Barry Sanders just handed the ball to the ref like a true pro. Class act.

  39. He’s not in because his liabilities as a teammate made his assets as a talented receiver expendable for like five teams (I lost track). Hall of Famers are players that teams fight to keep their entire careers, not players that teams get rid of because of the headaches.

  40. 2nd in career receiving yards
    3rd in career receiving touchdowns
    8th in career receptions

    Absolutely ridiculous that this guy isn’t in the Hall of Fame already.

  41. Guys like T.O. don’t get it…despite his gaudy numbers he left a trail of discontent at each NFL stop. You can’t be a butthead all your career and then wonder why you’re not in the HOF. He just said IF he gets in, it won’t be as a Niner. Really? Let’s see, they’re the team that gave him a huge opportunity to make his mark. When things soured between him & Jeff Garcia (that’s just about all on T.O.) they didn’t keep him around. Amazing.

  42. He was a complete jerk and an undermining force on in the locker room…but until someone comes out and says it about more than the numbers, he’s a HOF player by a mile. Based on ability he and Moss were in a league of their own. I wish they weren’t such toolbags, their numbers would be even more ridiculous.

  43. It will take more than periods of great play for you to make it TO. Sometimes memories are long and vivid and quite frankly you’re remembered as a jerk.

  44. T.O. shouldn’t complain. Brian Dawkins, who was a true leader, and a boy scout compared to Owens isn’t in the Hall of Fame either. The voting process may not be fair and objective, but it is what it is. Owens will just have to live with it.

  45. T.O. has always been confused by anything that isn’t all-about-him … and that has been the whole problem all along. No self-control, throwing tantrums on the sidelines, tossing teammates under the bus … if he only could have focused all his abilities in positive directions, he might have been the goat.

  46. People are always comparing him to Moss and using this as argument for why he should be considered the same or ahead of Moss.

    In addition to being a REALLY bad teammate and Coach-killer at times (something that really DOES impact your overall value as a player) Moss was MUCH more of a game-changer, especially early in his career.

    Moss EXPLODED as a Rookie, shattering records, and causing Green Bay to change their entire draft and defensive back strategy to combat his skills.

    Even LATE in his career (with NE) he caught 23 of Brady’s 50 TD passes.

    While TO had great overall numbers, he just wasn’t the same electric, game-changing type receiver Moss was.

    Even the casual fan can see this, and the HOF voters certainly can.

  47. T.O. had zero off the field issues and some of the greatest stats of all-time,yet he is not in the HoF because he was “cancerous in the locker room”. Meanwhile, Lawrence Taylor, who had a plethora of off the field issues during his playing days and is a freaking registered sex offender is in the HoF. Really??

  48. Many fans and reporters do not like him because he was disruptive, not because he was outspoken. He is all about himself. He has thrown temper tantrums on multiple occasions because the ball wasn’t thrown his way more often, according to him. It got so bad that several teams have decided to get rid of him even though he was productive. Football is a team sport and the goal is winning as a team. It is NOT about achieving the best individual stats for any single player. Yes, his stats are good, but his attitude is bad. It is so bad that even though he still could play, no team wanted him, and he wound up retiring from football. May be he can get in when there are enough people who don’t know or remember his attitude are casting votes, looking only at his stats.

  49. Bottom line – the fact this guy isn’t in is a joke. This isn’t supposed to be the hall of girlscouts, the hall of nice guys and the hall of media suck-ups. It’s the Hall of Fame and his numbers were first ballot worthy – PERIOD. These HOF voters should be ashamed of themselves that he’s not in yet. “Oh, he was a disruptive presence in the locker room’? Give me a break. Even if he was – so what? I didn’t think being Mr. Popular in the locker room and kissing up to media shills was more important than almost 16000 yards receiving, 150+ Td’s and playing in the superbowl with a broken leg…but apparently it is.

    So the best way in T.O. – play the game. Not Football – that didn’t matter – play The media game. Get yourself a public relations consultant and clean up your image. Once everyone sees what a nice guy you’ve become, you are a shoe-in.

  50. The NFL in general needs to be able to show some class and leadership! I agree with the owner of the Texans, “The inmates are running the asylum! Goodell has been proven to be extremely overpaid and unproductive. Players on most of the teams are undisciplined distractions. They are more concerned with getting attention, being cute than winning football games! Discipline is an important ingredient for players and teams!

  51. Great player. Can’t be denied

    However, every team he played for couldn’t wait to get rid of him by the end, and I never heard a fan of one of his former teams say “man, i wish we still had TO”. I don’t see how that can just be ignored just because he put up numbers

    He should get in, no doubt. But I have no reason with him being made to wait a few years. Spending your whole professional life being a tool has some consequences when you want something that is based on the opinion of others? Who’d of thought?

  52. HOF is not the Hall of Stats. If it were, then a computer can be used to pick who is going to be in it and no humans need to be involved. There are reasons why Barry Bonds, Roger Clements and Pete Rose are not in the baseball HOF, even though they have great stats. Personally I have no problem with TO being in the HOF, but there are enough voters who do not want him in there for him to be denied so far.

  53. omeimontis says:
    February 2, 2018 at 1:47 pm
    HOF is not the Hall of Stats. If it were, then a computer can be used to pick who is going to be in it and no humans need to be involved. There are reasons why Barry Bonds, Roger Clements and Pete Rose are not in the baseball HOF, even though they have great stats. Personally I have no problem with TO being in the HOF, but there are enough voters who do not want him in there for him to be denied so far.

    Just be patient… Eventually you’ll get in T.O.
    Tony Boselli has had to wait… and he’s OK with it. I believe Boselli is the LT that Orlando Pace called they best of their era.
    T.O. wasn’t even the best WR of his era. Stats or no stats.

  54. The fact that lewis got in first try and it took 3 times for two of the most prolific receivers in history to get in is a disgrace. Sorry their “attitude” hurt your feelings.

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