Anthony Gill is a Producer/Board Operator for WSCR-AM 670 The Score and Technical Producer for The D & Davis Show
“Nothing is more simple than greatness” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
Well said, Ralph.
As I took in this quote for a few minutes after googling “quotes about greatness,” I was struck by how clearly this one spoke on the ongoing situation of NFL great Terrell Owens and his not being voted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
For the first two years of his eligibility into the great hall in Canton, Ohio, Owens has been shut down better than any bump-and-run defender could have done so either before or after modern adjustments to pass interference rules.
A second pass on Owens became official this Saturday as the 2017 HOF class was announced and T.O. was nowhere to be found among the likes of LaDainian Tomlinson and Kurt Warner and Terrell Davis — of the three only Tomlinson has anywhere close to the impact historically at his position that Owens, a top-five wide receiver statistically in the history of the NFL, provided during his career.
T.O. hasn’t been afraid to speak his mind in response to this obvious slighting and I’m proud of him for it, I’d hope for him to continue speaking out on the self-righteousness and hypocrisy cooked up every year by the self-appointed “lords of the game” — the Professional Football Hall of Fame voting committee, made up of veteran journalists who’ve covered the NFL for a certain period of time — who so preciously parse out the Hall of Fame tickets each year as if they are made of something even more valuable than the tickets to Willie Wonka’s factory.
There have been arguments to be made in the past, certain people have been looked over, others have been held back for a number of years, etc. Eventually everyone who is deserving gets in, so there isn’t much reason to worry that T.O. will never get in, but in the face of his accomplishments it makes sense to ask the question. Why? Cause T.O. is no doubt a Hall of Famer, arguably a first-ballot selection.
Why as a voting committee would you make him wait any amount of time unless you’re positioning yourself to be a group of egotistical, non interesting, wang-grabbers who feel like they should be consulted on someone else’s greatness, greatness that has already been established and that they had nothing to do in establishing in the first place.
Beyond any emotional reaction, the fact that Terrell Owens is still without a gold jacket is preposterous as it is ridiculous. Just look at the numbers.
T.O. is currently second all time in receiving yards, behind only Jerry Rice, he is eighth in receptions and third in touchdowns with only Rice and likely 2018 HOF inductee Randy Moss in front of him in that category. In the light of this, its been reported that within the voting talks T.O. was dismissed in the first round of cuts, he actually didn’t even make the final 10 candidates that eventually were whittled down to seven inductees.
There is no reason based on on-field production that Owens should be out, so why else would he not be included? What is it about? Is it about being a good person? A credit to the NFL’s position as America’s most beloved obsession? That couldn’t be it if the likes of Lawrence Taylor sit in the hall with no issue, he who most recently was just arrested on a DUI charge on September 3rd of 2016 in Palm Beach, Fla. It couldn’t be the case either if another recent HOFer (for the sake of security, we’ll refer to him here as “Harvin Marrison”) gets the red carpet treatment in Canton after allegedly shooting a man near a business he owns in Philadelphia.
Is it entirely a personality issue for T.O., maybe he is too self-absorbed? That couldn’t be it, I would be certain that voting committee couldn’t imagine the pro football hall without Joe Namath, one of the most flashy players in the league’s history.
I’m not saying Owens is an precious angel by any means, but who the hell has been in the NFL? The Pro Football Hall of Fame is literally filled with criminals, shameless self promoters and just plain jerks, so why does Owens, a person without a violent off-field incident or a disgusting controversy to his name (unless you’re a member of Donovan McNabb’s family maybe) not rate?
T.O. was box office, a truly famous personality in a league that would rather limit its number of players with true personality. In the end he stands as one of the more interesting players in the league’s history. The only explanation is voter’s personal vendettas against him as a person and it has nothing to do with his excellence on the field. They are holding an imaginary, hypocritical, and unnecessary standard that seems to be selective.
A HOF candidacy for a player with Owens’ statistical and anecdotal impact should be a layup but the committee of self righteousness — backed by too many in our society who feel they are holders of all things moral and good, yet are so selective with their forgiveness and acceptance — can’t seem to get out of the way.
Greatness is like pornography, you know it when you see it, and like as my guy Ralph said, nothing is more simple than greatness, except for maybe not accepting it when it is right in front of you.
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