The NFL is all about production. It’s a league where the average career is around 3 seasons. Thousands of players have played but a little over 300 call the Hall of Fame home. One was once again snubbed … Terrell Owens.
The position of wide receiver has its stereotypes of being a deva and immature. Active players like Odell Beckham Jr. and Antonio Brown have done nothing to change that notion,but it is a position that takes a lot of of skill, focus, coordination and athleticism.
Owens is known for his flamboyant celebrations and his larger than life personality. Whether it was showing up the Cowboys star, doing sit ups with no shirt during an interview, dumping popcorn in his helmet or feuding with Donovan McNabb … he was always grabbing headlines. It’s a business afterall and he knew how to draw an audience and put on a show even if it wasn’t always positive. He may have complained every time the ball wasn’t thrown his way. But aren’t we always criticizing people for being too passive or not confident enough. When you step on a sports field you should think you’re better than everyone else and going to beat them and that’s what T.O. did.
You may hate him. But there’s no reason he should not be in the Hall based upon his on field performance which is how a player should be judged. O.J. Simpson is in the Hall of Fame to name one person with questionable character.
Some analysts recently have criticized how he hurt teams and inhibited their chances of winning. They have used it as an excuse to discredit what he accomplished on the field personally.
The media members who vote probably feel like they are giving T.O. 'justice'; for what he did to fellow reporters and fans.
A career defining moment on the field for him occurred Late in December 2004 against the Cowboys. A Roy Williams horse collar tackle looked to have ended his season by giving him a severely sprained ankle and fractured fibula. The Eagles made it to the Super Bowl without setting up a matchup with the Patriots. Owens announced that he would play in the game against the advice of team doctors. He silenced any doubters when he recorded 9 catches for 122 yards in a losing effort. He could have just sat out and no one would have said a word. However, he put the team before himself and went out and gave a better effort than 99.9% of humans would in that situation. This should be praised when people look back on his career.[pullquote]The media members who vote probably feel like they are giving T.O. “justice” for what he did to fellow reporters and fans.[/pullquote]
He’s the only player to have recorded one and two touchdowns in a game against all 32 NFL teams. Owens led the league in receiving touchdowns three times. He recorded nine 1,000 yard seasons. A six time pro bowler, 5 time 1st team all pro and member of the 2000’s all-decade team. He is second all time in receiving yards with 15,934, 8th in receptions with 1,078 and 3rd in touchdowns with 153. If you take a look at those three stat categories everyone in the top 15 is already a hall of famer or in most people’s eyes a no doubter when they become eligible. The Hall is also a place where the history of the game is told through the careers of the best players. You can’t talk about the best offensive players of the last 20 years without mentioning T.O.
So why do people want to discredit T.O.’s career?
The media members who vote probably feel like they are giving T.O. “justice” for what he did to fellow reporters and fans. But is that their job? Don’t reporters love great stories and circus shows? It sure does drive their business. Chris Carter had to wait six years and five finalist selections before he was finally voted in.
At the time of his retirement he was second all time in touchdowns and receptions. It makes no sense that he had to wait and why should Owens. Next year hopefully the voters get off their high horse and put the man where he belongs. Owens may have played for 5 teams in his career and that can be attributed to his personality. But there’s a lot of guys who have played in this league with questionable personalities. Most of don’t come close to comparing to T.O.