The Most Important Hall Of Fame Vote In 2018
If you drive down I-77 in northeast Ohio, you will cruise by the town of Canton, home to the hallowed grounds of the NFL Hall of Fame. A building dedicated to the games’ greatest moments and players to have ever graced a football field. In recent years, the nomination process has become less about players and more about politics.
The kind of respect Terrell Owens (T.O.) received from opposing defenses was something most wide receivers only experience in their dreams. Every defensive coordinator drew up game plans to shut him down, but few succeeded. His level of play solidified him as one of the best wide receivers in history.
T.O went to six Pro Bowls and averaged 14.8 yards a catch, finishing third in receiving yards with 15,934, and second in touchdowns with 153 among wide receivers. His play should have sealed his fate as a first ballot Hall of Famer. Unfortunately, the voters have decided that his struggles with teammates and members of the media off the field overshadow his victories on it and have repeatedly denied him entry into the Hall of Fame.
The rules governing the nomination process prohibit voters from considering a player’s off the field conduct. On the field performance is the sole criteria that can be used to evaluate a candidate, which is why players like Lawrence Taylor, who failed three drug tests, got in no problem. Voter Gary Meyer’s of the New York Daily News interview on the Dan Patrick Show offered an inside take on why T.O. isn’t a Hall of Famer. He stated, “The bottom line on T.O. is, he was so disruptive.” Gary outed the voters, going on record to say that they passed on T.O. because they thought his locker room behavior extended to the field. This thought process is utterly insane.
T.O. was so dominant between the white lines that his name gets dropped in any conversation about the top three wide receivers of all time. His perceived bad behavior in the locker room did not impact his play. What I think Gary is talking about is the fact that T.O. was no friend of the media. He didn’t kiss the ring and often found himself sparring with NFL sportswriters, who are the gatekeepers to the Hall and have denied T.O. admission to the club. The voter’s inability to recognize T.O. as one of the greatest wide receivers to play the game is turning the Hall of Fame into a sham.
If you can’t tell the story of the NFL without telling tales about a particular player, then there had better be a bronze bust of his likeliness in Canton, OH. Terrell Owens is a major character in the tale of the National Football League.
The Hall of Fame Selection Committee should have their voting rights revoked if they take a third pass on T.O. this February.