Marvin Harrison On T.O. Hall Of Fame Snub: ‘He Can Get His Ass In Whenever He Gets In’
Terrell Owens, still causing divisiveness four years after retirement. After getting kicked off of every decent NFL team for being a pain in the ass, Owens has spent the four years since preparing a spot in his rec room for that NFL Hall of Fame award that would surely come his way.
But in 2016, the first year that he was eligible, Owens was held without a reception. It came down to a numbers game, and either Owens or former Colts receiver Marvin Harrison were going to be that eighth man in. Harrison got it, Owens did not.
Owens has been quite vocal since (no!), complaining that he should have got the gold jacket. Today, Harrison finally responded.
"The person who was supposed to get in got in. And that was me," Harrison told the Talk of Fame Network. "If he didn't get in, that's his problem. He can talk all that other bulls--- like he's been doing. That's on him. But I'm in. My jacket is gold. I will look in the rear view for nobody.
"So he can get his ass in whenever he gets in ... if he gets in. If he doesn't get in, too bad. The hell with him."
By the numbers, Owens looked like a shoo-in. The six-time Pro Bowler is second all time in career receiving yards (15,934), third in touchdown catches (153) and sixth in receptions (1,078). He set the 49ers franchise record for most receptions in a game (20, vs. Bears in 2000), which is saying something considering the receivers that team has had.
But even though the league bylaws state that voters shouldn't consider off-the-field issues in Hall of Fame consideration, it's clear that many did. Owens. of course, created havoc and controversy wherever he played. He was traded by the 49ers due to differences with the front office; he helped create a division in the locker room with the Eagles between himself and Donovan McNabb; and his TD celebration antics caused endless controversy.
My favorite: In his first season with the Cowboys, in the Thanksgiving Day game against the Buccaneers in 2006, Owens caught a TD pass and dropped the ball into a Salvation Army kettle, donating the ball to the Salvation Army.
He spit in a player's face, he had sideline meltdowns, real-life meltdowns (one requiring an ambulance), and then there was the infamous, tear-filled "That's my quarterback" speech defending Dallas teammate Tony Romo in Jan., 2008.
If not for that emotional loose screw that rattled around in his noggin, Owens could have been possibly the greatest there ever was. Instead, he's going to have to go through the long slog of getting into the Hall on his second or third try. McNabb said on Wednesday that Owens definitely deserves to get in.
But are the voters being unfair, using off-the-field criteria to judge him? That's the thing -- they obviously think that all of the above are on-the-field problems. How you interact with teammates, the look-at-me celebrations and the locker room meltdowns affect how the team performs. Yes, it's beyond the numbers -- but it's tightly connected.
So now Owens is reduced to a war of words with (slightly) inferior receivers getting in ahead of him. Harrison has his own off-field issues, but they are way off-field (drug allegations), and apparently the voters have made that distinction.
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