Terrell Owens Did His Hall of Fame Induction His Way And He Is Right
Terrell Owens is, has and probably always will be one of the most polarizing people in Sports. And to be perfectly honest, I'm pretty certain he's okay with that.
Terrell Owens is now also a member of one of Professional Sports most treasured club---he's a Pro Football Hall of Famer.
And true to form, he did his enshrinement his way---to the misunderstood chagrin of a frightening amount of people.
Owens stated shortly after qualifying he would not attend the Pro Football Hall of Fames induction ceremony in Canton, Ohio becoming the first person to decline the ceremony invitation.
He didn't give a clear reason at the time and a lot of you took some pretty cheap shots at him for doing it, calling him "Disrespectful" "Full of Himself" and accusing him of trying to hijack the weekend.
Which he may or may not of done---but his decision was surprisingly well thought out and you might be surprised just how respectful and reverential he was....
Owens held and event with his Alma Mater, The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga in front of a rather large crowd of family, friends and supporters.
Most importantly--he explained why he didn't go to Canton. And I get it. He has an issue with the process--with the writers who make the decision. It's a problem Major League Baseball's Hall of Fame doesn't know how to address either. (Whole other story)
The ability to get in totally hinges on your acceptance or amount of love writers have for you as opposed to meeting any certain criteria. There are no statistical measures to qualify you for the Football Hall of Fame. The only rule: You have to be out of the game for 5-years.
If you produced statistics you'll likely get on the ballot but there is nothing that says you have to do "X amount of catches for Y amount of yards or TD's" in order to be considered a "Hall of Famer". Though I will say Football is less "cliquish" than baseball.
Here's Owens expounding his thoughts on the matter:
The reaction for all of this is about what you'd expect: People online taking shots at him for being "Disrespectful" to the Hall.
What makes someone "Disrespectful"? What makes what he did a bad thing? It's a personal statement by someone who at times did or said some things he probably shouldn't have done.
But how does him not going to Canton make him a bad person? How does it make him wrong?
So many sports fans are locked into this thought/belief pattern that things must always be done or said in a way that things have been done for generations.
Please explain to me why Terrell Owens...or anyone else has to attend an event honoring himself if they have a message or problem with the process/system or the way it came about?
Could he have done this, made the same statement in Canton? Probably. Would it have had the same effect/impact? No. It would have served the purpose of every snarky person on the internet by providing fodder and opportunity to say he made it about himself instead of the ceremony.
By doing his own thing, it allowed those who attended the Ceremony to have the spotlight all to themselves. Which is the most respectful thing Owens could have done. He allowed the Ceremony to be the traditional long, boring, stuffy and uninteresting event it always is. And if that's what you like you probably enjoyed it.
Appreciate what T.O. did by not being a side-show to that event. For doing what he wanted to do and saying what he wanted to say in a forum where it wouldn't take away from the main event.
And for that, he should be applauded...