Hall of Fame will largely ignore Terrell Owens during enshrinement ceremony

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The Hall of Fame will be fighting petty with petty.

Apparently miffed that receiver Terrell Owens has decided not to attend the Hall of Fame enshrinement ceremony, Owens will get minimal attention as he officials enters the Hall of Fame.

As explained by Hall of Fame voter Clark Judge (in an article that makes his feelings on the matter abundantly clear), the Hall of Fame will not announce Owens’ name during the Friday night gold jacket ceremony or during Saturday night’s enshrinement.

The focus is on the guys who are here,” Hall of Fame executive director Joe Horrigan told Judge.

Of course, that same reasoning would apply to new Hall of Famers who are inducted posthumously (and that attitude partially exists when it comes to induction speeches and Hall of Fame jackets and rings). But this isn’t about Hall of Famers being available to attend; it’s about one of them having the perceived audacity to choose not to attend. In obvious retaliation for Owens’ choosing not to be there, the Hall of Fame is acting like he doesn’t exist.

Sure, he’ll get his jacket in the mail. And, yes, he’ll be mentioned when references are made to the entire class. Beyond that, nothing.

“There’s no reason to bring him up as an individual,” said Horrigan. “He’s not here.”

Judge responds to that sentiment by saying, “Bingo.” I’d use a different word that starts with B.

This was the opportunity for the Hall of Fame to take the high road, to acknowledge Owens by name, to display a video of the achievements that earned him a spot in Canton. Instead, the proprietors of the museum have decided to mimic the scattered members of the Selection Committee who have a bug up their butts because T.O. won’t take his seat alongside the rest of the class.

The enshrinement festivities are (or at least should be) about celebrating the greatness that earned the player a permanent place in the Hall of Fame. It shouldn’t be about settling scores or acting on vendettas or engaging in tit-for-tat exchanges. The Hall of Fame is (or at least should be) better than that.

Clearly, it’s not. But we already knew that, given the manner in which specific members of the Selection Committee opted to justify the decision to omit T.O. on his first and second try not by explaining that there are too many worthy finalists and most need to wait a bit but by trashing him so viciously that it made some say, “Why are you even considering him?”

But they did consider him. And they did enshrine him. And even if they don’t like the fact that he’s exercising his right not to show up and display appropriate gratitude and deference to the custodians of the museum, he should at least be mentioned individually, and his bust should be unveiled in front of everyone in attendance.

With so many owners and other persons of influence on the Hall of Fame’s board of trustees, here’s hoping one of these grown-ups makes a grown-up decision.

133 responses to “Hall of Fame will largely ignore Terrell Owens during enshrinement ceremony

  1. Terrell is happy being miserable,let him give his speech in front of 10 people at his college !

  2. He had a great career on the field, but the HOF is correct in ignoring him. Give him any notice, it becomes a vacuum of questions about “Terrell this..”, “Terrell that…”. No need to pull attention away from those who want to be there and are thankful for the opportunity.

    Yes, it is his right to not show up, but it is also their right to dismiss his actions with an equal amount of disregard.

  3. Owens doesn’t want to play nice with the media after all the shenanigans they’ve pulled on him and his HOF entrance. He has the numbers; regardless of what you think of him personally, he has the numbers. And that’s all that matters. But the media choose to snub him for a few years so it’s why should he play nice with them?

    He’s in, it’s over with. We all can move on.

  4. For once, I totally agree with your biased admonishment of the HoF committee. One of them even said that if they had known T.O. would not attend, they would not have voted for him. What a bunch of petty, puny bureaucrats. Disgusting.

  5. he officials enters the Hall of Fame…. think you would try and proof read your article and not depend on spellcheck…

  6. “Of course, that same reasoning would apply to new Hall of Famers who are inducted posthumously”

    HUGE stretch there. A guy saying “I don’t want to attend and will give my speech somewhere else” is a LONG ways from a guy being deceased. They should announce him as an inductee and have his name listed with all the rest but ignore him when it comes to the introductions and speeches just like he told them to do.

  7. Oh they should mention his name alright. His should be the FIRST named mentioned followed by this….”We hereby declare you UN-enshrined. Give us our coat back and your bust will self-destruct in T-minus 10…9…8…7…”

    I was all for his enshrinement. But now hes just a bum who only belongs in the Hall of Shame.

  8. The NFL HOF was merely allowing Terrell to set the rules – he didn’t want to be a part of the ceremony, they complied.

    I agree with the HOF.

  9. The HOF is extremely petty for this. None of the dead enshrined members ever show up to the ceremony, do they get ignored as well?
    His accomplishments on the field are what got him there, that doesn’t change because he isn’t there in person for their ceremony.

  10. I’m with the HoF on this – if he wants to give the finger to any ceremonial enshrinement for him, why give him that air time & awkward empty stage all to help him highlight his disdain of them? Screw him.

  11. Seriously, the Hall needs to make this a requirement. If you skip, your enshrinement is suspended until you are voted in posthumously.
    Its not unfair, its not racist, liberal or conservative.
    You are getting the highest honor for professional athletes, attend or lose it!!

  12. I agree with you that the Hall should take the high road. And I think by not disparaging him, but rather simply not calling attention to his absence, they are meeting that obligation.

  13. So starved for attention, TO has to reduce himself to this. Really a shame. It actually shows just how unappreciative todays athletes have become.

    I hope they don’t even mention his name. He earned the right to be placed there, but he hasn’t earned the right to be praised for being a nitwit.

  14. Owens is a giant baby but I love how his actions keep exposing the HOF for the corrupt scheme that it is. How it works makes no sense and many of the voters have an agenda. This simple action of not mentioning him proves the HOF thinks it’s more important then the players and the game.

    The simple fact is that many DCs have stated that Owens and Moss are the only recently inducted WRs they ever had to build their game plans around.

  15. Brings up a few good follow up questions. You know how one person ruins it for everyone else? How will the next fringe guy who is “misunderstood” be treated now? Going to make voters second guess.

  16. TO made a CHOICE, so I 100% agree with what the HoF is doing here.
    He wants his own personal celebration, where he gets 100% of the attention and can profit from anyone who wants to advertise off of his “event”.
    This is TO’s very last official event with the NFL, and he’s going to end it as selfishly as possible. Therefore he deserves to be ignored.

  17. I agree with the committee. People who exercise the rights that they are entitled to have to realize that others have the right to exercize their response.

  18. The hall is making a mistake here. I thought they were better than this. Guess not. Very dissapointing.

  19. Owen’s had every right to snub the HOF, they snubbed him by making him (and his clearly first ballot career) wait – that’s his prerogative, regardless if he will one day regret it. A very emotional guy making an emotional shortsighted decision…crazy, right? That being said, why would the HOF incorporate him into the ceremony?

    Petty on both sides, but at the end of the day the HOF reaps what is sows. I’m siding with TO on this (which seems wrong saying out loud).

  20. I agree with the writer, bu for different reasons. Owens’ bust should be unveiled with the rest of the class, but, at the end. With no other fanfare.

    Not out of petty retaliation though. I think Owens’ rationale is his own and that’s the way he wants it. He shouldn’t be detracting from the other enshrinee’s day in the sun though.

  21. Sorry, Florio, but I don’t get the beef with the HOF over this. Owens has chosen not to attend, and has made his reasons for not attending perfectly clear. Honestly, if the HOF gave Owens the same attention they give someone inducted posthumously, Owens would probably be offended by that, and I’m sure the media would side with him.

    Owens’ reasons for not showing up seem to boil down to the fact that he had to wait three years to get inducted into the Hall of Fame. Meanwhile, Jerry Kramer is also being inducted into the Hall of Fame this year. Kramer played on five championship teams during his career, and retired years before Owens was even born. And we’re supposed to take Owens’ discontent over not being a first ballot inductee seriously? I don’t think so.

    Owens has chosen not to attend. Quit bashing the HOF for abiding by his wish.

  22. So, the children who didn’t like his attitude to begin with and kept him out for a couple of years are now so hurt by his no-show that they’re performing their equivalent of taking their marbles an going home? Shocker.

    Note to HoF voters – You’ve got more than a few truly heinous folks in the hall already. Nit-picking over locker room cancers and whiners looks petty in comparison.

    And Florio’s comparison to posthumous winners is apt, whether you like T.O.’s antics or not. This “we’re going to pretend he’s not part of this induction class” isn’t how they handle anyone else who doesn’t attend.

    “But let’s make something clear: This isn’t the Pro Football Hall of Fame being vindictive or punitive. It’s about it being sensible. As Horrigan pointed out, the situation isn’t unlike a senior who decides to boycott his school’s graduation. His name isn’t mentioned, and his diploma isn’t awarded. ” – The only similarity of this to high school…is the petulance of the behavior on both sides.

  23. David Baker has been a schmuck and meathead his whole professional life, and his pettiness and lack of professionalism has already destroyed the Arena league, left a black mark on the NFL & HoF with the field debacle a few years ago and now this. TO may be a prick, but Baker and the organization are showing themselves to be no different; why should us fans care about what the HoF represents if he and the board don’t?

  24. for a group of people who get free tickets to all the games they seem really entitled, and combative.

  25. nytroutdog says:
    July 12, 2018 at 2:30 pm
    Agree 100%, Florio. He should have his day whether present or not.

    He does deserve his day and was fairly offered it. He refused. Thats his call he is free to make and they should respect his wishes by not having it.

    I think he is still planning on having his day but wants to manage it all himself at another location. Thats fine too. Its his right and he should be so allowed.

    So everybody should be happy now. When does camp open?

  26. 2 wrongs =’S who gives a flying F. Thanks Mike for the update, now I’ll be able to sleep at night.

  27. T.O……stupid is as stupid does….
    Seems he needs to get his man-pon changed….
    Can’t wait to see Romo interviewed & crying….SHE’S MY RECEIVER!!!!! Sob sob……guess that makes Tony the pitcher!!!! Lol

  28. Please… just quietly hang his plaque in the middle of the night and look the other way… forever.

    Owens is the “new breed” of narcissists playing football.

    Guys like him make me sick to my stomach.

    I stopped eating popcorn because of him. 😉

  29. Your perception that Owens is somehow aggrieved is absurd. He is telling them to f-off, so they are ignoring him. End of non-story.

  30. Given the choice between watching some boring, predictable HOF ceremony or watching T.O.’s spectacle, I’m choosing T.O. every time. With the HOF you know it’s going to be a snooze fest, with T.O. you just never know.

  31. Meanwhile they’ll slobber over Ray Lewis. Let the record show Terrell Owens has never been accused of any crime, let alone conspiring to cover up a murder. But he’s soooo divisive in a locker room, waaaaaahh

  32. Clowns need an audience and we have provided that for all involved. I believe deep down T.O is a pretty good guy but has lacked guidance for so long now he is a full grown man who cant manage to get out of his own way.

  33. “up in your business says:
    July 12, 2018 at 2:08 pm
    They’ll ignore him, just like the rest of us do.”

    And yet here you are, not ignoring him.

    Must be another dumb liberal.

  34. Pathetic power play by HoF. They should of taken the opportunity to be the bigger man it would of made TO look even worse. Instead it seems they have now validated his non appearance. Good for him, HoF is a joke of an org.

  35. Pretty obvious that Mr. Florio is a liberal. I think the Hall of Fame is taking the correct stance on this issue. I believe that the HOF is in fact taking the “high road” by not acknowledging a very immature person that should not have been let in to start with. Now the voters will know next that immature DIVA’s like Mr. Owens should not be voted in to the HOF. Fool me once, shame on TO. The hall voters will not be fooled twice. That should be the story here.

  36. Don’t be so petty. Do the full ceremony and just say he couldn’t be there to accept and you wish him the best.

    Why is it so hard for an entity as big as the NFL to be the bigger person?

  37. I listened to a voter whose name I can’t recall state that this is why he did not vote for TO until this year. That is why Owens is upset and I don’t blame him. These voters act like a bunch of stuck up snobs who are some kind of cryptic gatekeepers. Their job duty is to asses a player’s career on the field and then determine if he should be inducted into the HOF, period. If Ray Lewis is a first ballot HOFer then Owens should have been as well.

  38. When induction day arrives, none of this will matter, as Ray Lewis incoherent ramblings will be epic, and the highlight of the day.

  39. Centered00 says:
    July 12, 2018 at 2:55 pm
    Please… just quietly hang his plaque in the middle of the night and look the other way… forever.
    Owens is the “new breed” of narcissists playing football.
    Guys like him make me sick to my stomach.
    I stopped eating popcorn because of him. 😉


    He started his first NFL game 23 years ago and retired 8 years ago. I wouldn’t say he’s a new anything.

  40. The HOF is taking the high road. Owens doesn’t want to be there so then why give him the attention he obviously doesn’t want? It’s a win win. He stays away and the Hall barely will mention him. He’s retiring just like he was as a teammate … he makes everything all about him.

  41. Poor character displayed by T.O. now, and often during his career. He should have never been inducted.

  42. Sorry to disagree with the TO apologism but the HOF are very much in their right to handle the King of the Man-Babies in this manner. Technically his refusal to go through with induction ceremony would be a legal refusal to accept his entrance into the Hall. They would be in their rights to take it back and leave him out for eternity. Using the illogical argument of posthumous entry is kind of hilarious. The family,friends and estate of the individual shows up for the honor that is bestowed onto them in his behalf instead of refusing to show up and hold a rival award ceremony in a backwater town somewhere. The HOF by giving TO the little or no attention he deserves has played it perfectly and taken the steam out of MR LOOK AT ME trying to steal the thunder from the other inductees. It will be interesting to watch the 4 or 5 people at TO’s “ceremony” listen to him whine about everything the whole night. Better them than us.

  43. Of course the Hall is going to be petty about this. Owens is giving the fans an event for free, which will draw some of them away from their $500+ per person cash grab.

  44. bullcharger says:
    July 12, 2018 at 3:17 pm
    Don’t be so petty. Do the full ceremony and just say he couldn’t be there to accept and you wish him the best.

    Why is it so hard for an entity as big as the NFL to be the bigger person?

    The HOF is not affiliated with the NFL.

  45. Let’s be honest when you take feelings out of it it boils down to Owens was given an invitation to a party to speak and he declined so why bring it up? Their not making his bust any smaller and he will still have a place in Canton.

  46. I am fine with the way the HOF is handling this. TO could have taken the high road & spoke about his kids & family. He could have used his tough childhood to point to how he used sports to escape & succeed. Instead he acts like he always has ” it’s all about me” He made his choice & the HOF made theirs. I watch all the speeches to learn more about the players history & he could have thanked all his people who helped him like his grand mother & coaches etc. But TO believes he had zero help & did it all alone – what a team mate & inspiration. Not.

  47. We all know T.O. is nuts, but these HOF people are just as bad. They have no room to criticize T.O. at all. They brought this upon themselves when they made a mockery of the HOF process by not putting T.O. in the first time around. It was a no brainer as he was one of the top 3 WR to ever play the game.

  48. Rumor has it that T.O. is broke and cannot afford to pay for his friends and family to attend the enshrinement.

  49. Hall of Fame executive director Joe Horrigan: The focus is on the guys who are here.


    Bill Belichick on Tom Brady’s absence during OTAs: Not Gonna Talk About Guys Who Aren’t Here.

    Mike Tomlin wants to talk about James Conner, not Le’Veon Bell: We’re not gonna waste a whole lot of time worrying about the guys that aren’t here.



  50. Tolerance.
    Tolerance is what some of you are demanding from the HoF in regards to mention of TO during the ceremony.
    If you tolerate bad behavior, then the brat will continue the behavior knowing that you won’t do anything about it. Then if/when you do do something about it, he/she will claim that you tolerated the behavior before so it is YOUR fault that the behavior continued.
    Therefore, the HoF is 100% in not tolerating TO’s behavior by mentioning him at the ceremony.

  51. The God complex these guys have is amazing. Say what you want about T.O., he helped his team’s to victories, put together brilliant performances through injury and has the numbers of a first-ballot Hall of Famer. I can’t blame him for sticking it to the committee for the blatant disrespect.

  52. Christopher says:
    July 12, 2018 at 3:32 pm

    We all know T.O. is nuts, but these HOF people are just as bad. They have no room to criticize T.O. at all. They brought this upon themselves when they made a mockery of the HOF process by not putting T.O. in the first time around. It was a no brainer as he was one of the top 3 WR to ever play the game.

    So you demand that the HoF enable TO the brat? Just b/c he feels that he is a first ballot HoFer does not obligate the HoF from inducting him on the first try.
    TO made his bed, now he has to lie in it, and as usual, he’s crying about being a “victim”.
    Spare me TO.
    I’ll be watching the real HoFers get inducted.

  53. I thought TO deserved to get in on the first ballot. That he didn’t was a pathetic statement by the HOF committee on how “personality” matters, ignoring the other HOF members who were bad teammates, criminals, or not nice people with the media. (Go on, somebody explain to me why what Ray Lewis was involved in was less bad than what TO did)

    I’m glad he was voted in, even if it was a bit late. Other greats have also had to wait. It’s not the end of the world.

    TO has decided, of course, that he wasn’t prominent enough in the ceremonies, so he refused to attend, as is his right. Fine. He doesn’t owe them an appearance to be a HOF member – his career did that.

    If he doesn’t want to grace the ceremony with his presence, and wants to have his own somewhere in order for it to be more about him, then I don’t see why the HOF ceremony needs to do anything about him. He’s handling it the way he wants. He’s not deceased, or unable to attend – it’s a choice. Is it petty? Sure, but it would be super weird to have a ceremony about a player who is intentionally skipping such an honor.

  54. Do not blame OchoUno/T.O. This is the “climate” created by the HoF voters who, instead of recognizing the NFL’s most talented players and rewarding such talent with immediate acknowledgement, they instead chose to begrudgingly hold back such recognition for OchoUno/T.O. among others.

    Shame on the voters — that is all here.

  55. By mid August no one will care, shoot I don’t care now. Owen’s is who he is, he’s never respected anyone but himself professionally. And that’s fine, but don’t be surprised of people’s reactions when you continue to be that way and they don’t like it.

    Preseason can’t get here soon enough.

  56. Seriously, the Hall needs to make this a requirement. If you skip, your enshrinement is suspended until you are voted in posthumously.
    Its not unfair, its not racist, liberal or conservative.
    You are getting the highest honor for professional athletes, attend or lose it!!
    This isn’t a popularity contest. It’s based on merit. It’s like receiving a graduate degree, you’ve earned it, you don’t have to go to the ceremony to make it official, it was earned PRIOR to the ceremony.

  57. Using the logic of those who claim all the players should just stay in the locker room as a solution to the anthem issue……maybe the HOF should just cancel all the speeches because a small minority of guys want to “protest” the induction

  58. ravens2xworldchamps says:
    July 12, 2018 at 3:31 pm
    Down with racism. Down with fascism.


    Down with Progressivism

  59. stellarperformance says:
    July 12, 2018 at 3:29 pm
    bullcharger says:
    July 12, 2018 at 3:17 pm
    Don’t be so petty. Do the full ceremony and just say he couldn’t be there to accept and you wish him the best.
    Why is it so hard for an entity as big as the NFL to be the bigger person?
    The HOF is not affiliated with the NFL.


    Sure… that’s why there are so many CFL players in there.

  60. This whole country has taken on this petty attitude. It is a big part of who our president is and transcends down the average person as well. Most of them will even call themselves Christians but none have actually read about their religion.

  61. To hell with T.O. If he doesn’t have enough class to show up, why should he be mentioned at the induction ceremony? Honor and focus on the great players who actually care enough to be present for this momentous occasion. T.O.’s admittedly excellent play on the field deserves a bust in the HOF, but his actions off the field have earned him the right to be ignored at the ceremony. So be it. I say again, to hell with T.O. and his childish antics. I’m glad the HOF isn’t buying into his idiocy. Ignore him and treat him like the immature jerk that he is.

  62. The HOF is doing everything they can for him without him there. His chair and bust will be presented – just nothing else. What the heck else could they do – say a speech for the guy? Come on now.

  63. This is the best approach to give him as little attention as possible. TO wants the spotlight and they’re not giving it to him.

  64. omeimontis says:
    July 12, 2018 at 5:18 pm
    If there is a way to reverse the decision to induct him, the HOF may do just that. LOL


    Why exactly? Is attending the ceremony a prerequisite to induction into the HOF?

  65. Sorry – the Hall comes across as petty and stooping down a level by being this way.

    If Owens was sick, hurt, disables, broke or deceased – he sure as hell would be mentioned – as IT IS A CLASS — IT’S NOT INDIVIDUALS.

    I hope they reconsider

  66. While some may see this as a petty response, the Hall has to make clear that any inductee would sacrifice some of the glory by staying away. They don’t want future inductees throwing private parties like TO and hurting a big money making weekend.

    Makes perfect sense to me.

  67. Can’t knock his accomplishments but wonder about that selection committee. They let this jerk in but not Branch ,Flores ,Plunkett. Even Raider haters would agree that those 3 were nothing but class acts

  68. It’s T.O.’s choice to not attend. I have no problem with that. He has his reasons (which I suspect to be financial). There is still a certain amount of respect that The Hall must provide since T.O. has been selected for enshrinement, REGARDLESS of T.O.’s attitude. For The Hall to be so petty as to dis Owens for being a no-show just cheapens the purpose of enshrinement. The Hall should just go about the motions – they don’t need to be negative, but they also don’t need to be over the top – regard him as an actor winning an Oscar and doesn’t attend the Academy Awards: a stand-in who accepts the award for T.O. and gets off the stage. When all players are together at the end then they can either just present the bust, or the representative with the bust, and do that for any other inductee who couldn’t come to the gala (i.e., died)

  69. Totally agree with the decision. T.O. CHOSE not to be involved. So he’s not involved. Stop carrying water for that whiner.

  70. Put his bust in the mens’ room facing a urinal. It’s a prime location. Everyone will see it.

  71. HE started this crap! Screw the high road on this one. I’ve tried to sympathize with this…MANCHILD! NO MORE!
    If he chooses to act an ass, that’s on him, HE should’ve taken the high road, but instead he wants to play. This has been and will FOREVER remain TO’s same old MO, and unfortunately, his legacy to the greatest team sport. I wouldn’t mention him either. For as great a Football Player he was, and still can possibly play another year or two, HE, for whatever reason, SELFISHNESS(cough!!!) decided to $hit on his own legacy with all the antics. Let the MEN who truly respect and understand the enormity and impact of this occasion and its accolades enjoy THEIR moment WITHOUT the distraction of Hall of Fame Wide Receiver Terrell Owens…

  72. The sportswriters were petty to blackball a binafide first ballot player because he was a bore to them. Talk about petty? They screwed him over because he wasn’t kissing their behind like Bettis Terrell Davis. He shouldn’t have to his okay ON the field is all that matters. People need to plow their eyes and stop thinking it’s abkit TO being a child when it’s much more than that. The pro football writers if America who vote need to be disbanded from hof voting and their needs to be 100 percent transparency as to who and why someone thumbs up/down a potential candidate. I don’t understand why it’s not like that now in the age we live in where eggheads broadcast over their fb page what they Had for breakfast.

  73. I’m fine with that. If he’s not there, there is not much to say. The inductees get their moment when they give their speech. I suppose the HOF could pull a “Clint Eastwood” and go with an empty chair.

  74. You would think the NFL would pay for all the extra for the friends and family, surprised due to the amount of money a Hall of Fame player made for the NFL.

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