I have known Matt for years, respect his judgement and work ethic as well as anyone, but I can’t agree with a recent blog of his in which he said some voters may not jump at the chance to vote Terrell Owens as a first-ballot Hall of Famer.
Matt correctly points out that Owens was given the boot by the Cowboys, Niners and Eagles for being a royal pain the petunia. Matt wrote that those exits will give Hall of Fame voters a moment of pause because such dumpings are incongrous with Hall guys. Maybe they are. Still. . .
I apply the same test to football’s Hall of Fame as I do to baseball’s. I don’t have a vote for Canton but I do have for Cooperstown and anytime I judge a player worthy of Cooperstown I begin with this simple question: “Can the history of baseball be written without (pick a name) in it?”
It’s why I never voted for Don Sutton but why, if I had a Canton vote, I’d select Owens on the first ballot. He has 1,078 catches, 15,934 yards, 153 touchdowns and any game he played in, everyone was aware of his presence, in the press box, stands or sidelines.
You simply can not write the history of the NFL without including Terrell Owens. That doesn’t mean I like him. I don’t. I think he disgraced the game, especially that time at Texas Stadium. In an interview with NFL Films, I said, “Terrell was dropped on his head as a kid and never got over it.”
Owens is recovering from surgery, says he’ll return for his 16th year and maybe it’ll be his sixth team. Knowing Owens, it’ll be a self-serving spectacle, full of a lot of smack and sizzle.
No matter. I don’t like the man but I loved watching the player – and that’s what the NFL does best. It provides us an interesting entertainment.
Sorry, Matt, I think I just wrote a column instead of a blog. But T.O. gets me going.