For the second straight year, wide receiver Terrell Owens was not elected into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Many believe it’s because of the actions from Owens off-the-field, where some viewed him as a distraction to the teams he played for.
The numbers speak for themselves though. Owens is right there with the best receivers to ever play in the NFL. His 15,934 career receiving yards rank second in NFL history, and his 153 receiving touchdowns are third. Former NFL tight end George Wrighster was in the league while Owens played. He went off on The Jake Brown Show on Play.it about Owens not getting in again.
“I don’t believe he was robbed, I know he was robbed and everybody else knows that he was robbed,” Wrighster stated (begins at47:08 mark). “A man who has over 15,000 yards with 1,000 catches, 153 touchdowns, second all-time, how do you not put this guy in the Hall of Fame. When you look at the criteria for what putting a guy in the Hall of Fame should be is can you tell the story of the game of this generation without this player and you cannot tell the story of the game of this generation without Terrell Owens. You just can’t and if you can you’re a liar. People say he obliterated teams, he did this he did that at the end of the day you put the players in the Hall of Fame that deserve to be whether you like him. Despite whether you hate them, regardless of what you feel about their character, it is about what did you do on that field and the same is true of baseball, same is true of basketball.
If you don’t like a guy so what? Curt Schilling should be in the Hall of Fame. He can hate me as a black man, he can call me an ‘n’ word up and down the street, but I still believe that the man belongs in the Hall of Fame and the same with Terrell Owens. You can say whatever you want to say about him, the man has never been arrested, yes he’s highly emotional, yes he’s had other things going on, but in reality on that field is the only thing that matters. Whoever did not vote for him to be in the Hall of Fame, they should get their voting rights revoked, because you’re making a mockery and a sham of the Pro Football Hall of Fame. It is for the best players who’ve ever played this game and you under no circumstance, I don’t care if you feel he obliterated teams or whatever, was he one of the best players of all time? The answer is yes. There’s no way you can keep him out of your top six receivers of all-time. You can’t do it and if you do you are a liar, you are a fraud and you yourself need your head examined.”
Was it his off-the-field problems that aren’t getting him in?
“Of course, because the media holds grudges a lot of these people who are not voting for him are people who are finally happy to have some power in life and now they’re gonna bully the athletes now,” Wrighster continued. “Now they’re in charge, it’s criminal it’s below board the fact that he didn’t even get in as a first ballot. He should have been a unanimous selection, let alone just a first ballot, and the fact that he didn’t get in on the second ballot really takes away credibility from the Hall of Fame when you don’t put the players in that deserve to be in.”
So what about the field that got in: Kurt Warner, LaDainian Tomlinson, Morten Andersen, Terrell Davis…did they deserve to get in this year?
“Those are the two guys in particular that you look at or even a Kurt Warner that you could replace T.O. with,” said Wrighster. “Because there’s only a limited amount of spots that can get in then T.O. has to get in so then yes one of those three guys can be removed because you can’t remove Tomlinson, Jerry Jones it doesn’t count towards TO’s election, so that doesn’t matter. Morten Anderson, greatest kicker of all-time, you can’t really argue with that, but how do you leave the guy out. Why? I keep hearing people say ‘oh he’ll get in next year,’ but why should a first ballot Hall of Famer have to wait for the third ballot. I mean where do you as a writer get off trying to punish a guy because you don’t like him. That makes you a jerk too. You are exactly what you say he is. You are a team obliterator, a Hall of Fame obliterator. So you’re not doing the right thing because you thought he didn’t do the right thing. I love the quote “if you get in a fight with monsters don’t you yourself become a monster.” You have become a monster if you are a voter and you do not vote for people to be in just because you don’t like them.”
Wrighster went on to compare it to the Baseball Hall of Fame.
“I will tell you this, baseball has done itself a disservice with its Hall of Fame when you have guys like (Jeff) Bagwell, Mike Piazza who have admitted to using Andro and you have Bud Selig who was the commissioner of baseball which allowed all the steroids and PED’s to go on just to save the game after the strike,” Wrighster said. “They’re in the Hall of Fame, but you don’t have Barry Bonds or Roger Clemens in the Hall of Fame. That makes no sense then on top of that, you don’t even vote Curt Schilling in because you don’t like him because he’s a jerk. Who cares? What did they do on the field and this line of reasoning is exactly why you have some big stars and big names not showing up to the Grammy’s because when you don’t vote for people who should be getting the awards or should be getting the votes, it takes away all your credibility as a legitimate organization.”
Jake Brown is the Digital Program Manager at CBS Sports Radio and a columnist for CBS Sports Radio, CBS Local Sports, and CBS Local. You can catch him on The Jake Brown Show on CBS Radio’s Play.it, iTunes, and Spotify. It’s a weekly sports show mixed in with a bit of entertainment and interviews as well every week. He occasionally hosts SportsTalk1240 on WGBB in Long Island, and formerly hosted Brown and Scoop, Brown and Troupe, and on ESPN Radio NH. Jake lives in Queens and being a Mets fan is finally paying off.