With everyone having an opinion about Terrell Owens not showing up for the Hall of Fame ceremony (and with the opinions of non-football people like Charles Barkley and Dick Vitale getting noticed), it makes sense to listen to the comments from the actual members of the Hall of Fame — especially when one of them is closely identified with one of the team for which T.O. played.
Hall of Fame running back Thurman Thomas disagrees with T.O.’s decision to boycott the enshrinement, even if Thomas agrees that Owens should have been enshrined on his first try.
“I’m a little ticked off that he’s not coming,” Thomas said Saturday morning at the Professional Football Researchers Association Convention, via the Buffalo News. “But it’s his choice. . . . I think it was a bad P.R. move on his part, but I do get it. . . . Every guy thinks they should have been a first-ballot Hall of Famer. I remember Deacon Jones telling me after I didn’t get in the first time. . . he said, ‘Whether you’re going to get in the first time, the second time, the third time, it’s when you get in that you should enjoy it.'”
The difference, of course, is that none of the voters felt compelled to publicly crap on Thomas when Thomas got passed over. Owens justifiably should be upset that multiple members of the Selection Committee justified the outcome in 2016 and 2017 by arguing that Owens was/is a bad teammate and a worse person.
Owens said on Saturday night that he’s staying away for all of the men who had to wait to get what they deserved. But, as Thomas says, every finalist believes he should have gotten in on the first try. It’s ultimately a numbers game, and there are more worthy candidates than there are bronze busts.
And if the member of the Selection Committee who opted to trash T.O. had simply explained it that way, maybe he would have shown up for the ceremony once he finally got in.