Terrell Owens was denied admittance to the Pro Football Hall of Fame for the second straight year, and he is not happy about it. Owens, 43, tweeted that the Hall of Fame is a “total joke” and that he doesn’t care whether he gets in or not.
Why did Owens, one of the greatest receivers of all time, fall short of the Hall again?
“Well, let me point out that on the 48-man committee, 38 can vote yes and 10 can vote no, and that keeps somebody out,” Houston Chronicle NFL writer and Hall of Fame voter John McClain said on CBS Sports Radio’s The DA Show. “I have no idea what the vote was for T.O. It was a spirited debate, and a lot of people spoke up for him. I voted for him last year on the cut from 15 to 10, and he made it. I did not vote him from 10 to five because I thought there were others that were just as deserving, and this year he didn’t make the cut from 15 to 10.
“I can’t speak for everybody,” McClain continued, “but I’ll say this: Our by-laws say what you do off the field doesn’t matter. They’re not talking about in the dressing room or the sideline. They’re talking about what you do in your private life. Now T.O. never had a problem, as far as I know, in his private life, but lot of people – and I’m taking for myself, even though I voted for him – there were a lot of people that didn’t think he deserved to go early because he was so disruptive. He had been suspended, he had been cut. We all know about that.”
Owens played in the NFL for 15 years and had nine 1,000-yard seasons. He ranks eighth all-time in receptions (1,078), second in receiving yards (15,934) and third in touchdowns (153).
“His statistics were great, he deserves to be, he will be in,” McClain said. “But I talked to 12 Hall of Famers last week, and 10 told me, ‘I think he should be in, but not now because of the way he was.’ That resonated with me, but I still voted for him. He was a touchdown machine. Now he was disruptive and he seemed to tear some teams apart, but the times come and he’ll get in.”
McClain wasn’t necessarily surprised that Owens lashed out at voters, but McClain also knows Owens’ frustration is likely temporary.
“I know he was unhappy and he blasted the committee,” McClain said. “That’s happened before. Remember when Harry Carson said, ‘Take my name off the list. I don’t want to be considered again. I’m not going.’ We voted him in, and of course he was so happy, he cried.”