He finally made it. Terrell Owens was finally going into the Hall of Fame. After his third try, the career of the talented receiver was finally recognized and he was going to have his bust in Canton, Ohio. The class he was going in with would be legendary. Randy Moss, Ray Lewis and Brian Dawkins were just a couple names that highlighted this class and Owens was a part of it. However, Owens would not be joining them in Canton, Ohio to give his Hall of Fame speech. Owens decided he was going to have his Hall of Fame induction speech at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. When he first announced the change of pace, it was met with criticism by many. One big name that talked about his decision was Michael Irvin. The talk by Irvin and others did not deter Owens though. He had a plan in place. Many thought his plan was to steal the show from the Hall of Fame and bring more attention to himself, but that was far from the case with Owens and he addressed it in his speech on Saturday afternoon,
"It's about the mere fact that the sports writers are not in alignment with the mission and core values of the Hall of Fame," said Owens. Many may not understand what Owens means but let's take a look at his numbers compared to Randy Moss. Over his career, Owens had 156 total touchdowns (153 of those receiving touchdowns), 15,934 career receiving yards and 1,078 receptions. Compare his numbers to Randy Moss and Owens has the same amount of touchdowns (156) and Owens has more receiving yards and receptions than Moss has over his career. So with that being said, what was it that held Owens out of the Hall of Fame until his third try? The obvious answer is his personality. Plenty of sports writers had issues with Terrell. Who can forget Skip Bayless, who has helped make some of his career in media off of calling Owens "Team Obliterator"? The media, who votes for Owens and other players to get in the Hall of Fame, obviously don't look at the numbers. If they did, then Owens would have been in the Hall of Fame on his first try.
The point made by Owens is the Hall of Fame needs to reign in the media that vote for the Hall of Fame inductees and he is absolutely correct. It seems like personal beefs between players and writers have gotten in the way of what the Hall of Fame is supposed to be about. The numbers should be the only speaking point and that is what it is about. It almost seems like media who vote are trying to exact revenge on someone they don't like as a player. The Hall of Fame needs to get control of these type of situations because they are getting out of hand and will continue to get worse as time goes on. Or even worse for their image, the Hall of Fame could have even more people take a stand like Owens and have their Hall of Fame inductions at places away from Canton, Ohio. That would not only hurt the image of the Hall of Fame but the money that it brings in if not only one but multiple people decide not to come.
The Hall of Fame is an achievement of a lifetime for a lot of players. It validates their work on the field and all the hours they put in for the game they love. In the words of his former wide receivers coach in Dallas, Ray Sherman, "Terrell was married to the game." So for his hard work to not be recognized because of a personality people didn't like is absurd. The writers who voted and left him out until his third time up should be ashamed of themselves. Owens is finally in and hopefully his resounding message will be heard by the Hall of Fame.