You know why Terrell Owens shouldn’t be in the Pro Football Hall of Fame? Because every minute of every play of every practice and every game, all he ever tried to do was get himself into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Instead of, you know, trying to help his team win football games.
T.O. has the stats to be considered one of the NFL’s all-time great receivers. But not the substance. He said it himself while with the 49ers, "I love me some me."
Funny? Sure. Hall-of-Fame character? Surely you jest.
Owens will get enshrined in Canton one day. He has the 6th-most catches, 2nd-most yards and 3rd-most touchdowns. But it was destructive, divisive character that has the door locked on his first attempt.
Michael Irvin was selfish off the field; T.O. was selfish on it.
No? Think about his touchdown celebration. What about making arm signals to spell out "T" and "O" has anything to do with team. It was all about Owens, and everyone and everything came second. Yes, even his disrespectful sprint to desecrate the Cowboys’ star at Texas Stadium in 2000.
Owens was a productive receiver in Dallas, but for most of us we remember his time here as negative because of the locker-room chaos, the mysterious hospital visit and the lack of team success.
In my Hall of Fame I'd let in Drew Pearson before Owens. A team player with more success and impressive stats in a bump-and-run era in which pass patterns were akin to Greco-Roman wrestling.
T.O. was saturated with talent, but void of class. You know who has a lot of T.O. in their make-up? Cam Newton. The Panthers’ quarterback has a myriad of look-at-me touchdown celebrations and he’s an arrogant, joyful front-runner. But at the first sign of trouble – consider his Super Bowl post-game pouting press conference – he clams up. And when it was time to risk his body to recover a crucial fumble late in the game, the boastful star who fancies himself as Superman decided to not even jump into the pile.
Like T.O., Newton would rather play great in a loss than play bad in a win.
And that’s precisely why the Hall of Fame should keep Owens out. For now.
A native Texan who was born in Duncanville and graduated from UT-Arlington, Richie Whitt has been a mainstay in the Metroplex media since 1986. He’s held prominent roles on all media platforms including newspaper (Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Dallas Observer), radio (105.3 The Fan) and TV (co-host on TXA 21 and numerous guest appearances, including NBC 5). He lives in McKinney with his wife, Sybil, and two very spoiled dogs.