Why The Eagles Should Celebrate T.O.
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the Eagles Need To Celebrate Terrell Owens' Hall of Fame Induction

No one is honoring Owens. Why not the fan base that loves him the most?

the Eagles Need To Celebrate Terrell Owens' Hall of Fame Induction

With the Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement coming soon, the biggest headline of the event is that inductee Terrell Owens announced that he will not attend the ceremony in Canton and will be making his own Hall of Fame speech at his alma mater in the University of Tennesee-Chattanooga.

The Hall of Fame responded by announcing that they will not mention him during the ceremony and mail his gold jacket the day of the inductions.

Is he doing this because he's upset the Hall waited until his third year of eligibility to induct him?

Is it because he's using it as a way to make some money considering his history of financial issues?

Did the Hall wait to induct him as a punishment for the constant distractions he put on all his teams?

Or is this how they treat all Hall-Worthy receivers who aren't Jerry Rice or Randy Moss?

Who knows at this point, but one thing that's also noticeable is that none of the NFL franchises he's played for have personally celebrated Owens's induction.

T.O. played for 5 teams throughout his career. Two of them, the Bills and Bengals, had him for just one season at the very end of his career. The other three, the 49ers, Eagles, and Cowboys, he earned a 1st team All-Pro nod and made a big impact on each of them.

Even though he was a 49er and a Cowboy longer than he was in Philadelphia, I think the Eagles should celebrate T.O.'s Hall of Fame enshrinement.

Even though this is the year that Brian Dawkins, the Eagle who defined the franchise for the first decade of the 21st century and owns the heart of every true Eagle fan in the world, will be inducted this year, T.O. has a small piece of their hearts as well despite his short career in Philly.

When I think of 49ers receivers historically I think of Jerry Rice obviously. T.O. maybe the 2nd or 3rd greatest receiver of all-time, but he's still not Jerry Rice, because no one is. What 49er receivers do I think of next? The recently passed Dwight Clark, whose catch in the 1981 NFC Championship game alone made him a San Francisco icon. I even think of a receiver like John Taylor, who caught the game-winning touchdown in Super Bowl 23 against the Bengals. T.O. may have been better than Clark and Taylor, but they made more famous plays in bigger games.

Not to say that T.O. didn't have great postseason moments as a 49er, his game-winning touchdown in the 1998 NFC Wild Card game against the Packers from Steve Young is one of the greatest catches in NFL history and made Owens a star. His performance in the 2002 Wild Card Game against the Giants single-handedly brought San Francisco back from a 38-14 deficit to win 39-38 in one of the wildest games in NFL history.

But T.O.'s game-winner against the Packers in 1998 also symbolized the last great moment of San Francisco's incredible run dating back to Dwight Clark's catch in 1981. Steve Young's career ended the next season and the 49ers finally fell out of Super Bowl contention. Owens's greatest as a receiver brought some success in the early 2000s, but by the time he left the 49ers franchise became lost in the wilderness and it took years to climb back into relevance.

T.O. was a great 49er, but he's not a 49er immortal.

And then there are the Cowboys.

When you think of Cowboys receivers you think of one number: 88. And the three receivers who defined 88.

First, there's Drew Pearson, who made himself familiar with young Eagles fans at the NFL draft last year. In the 1970s, Pearson was one of the most clutch receivers in the NFL, catching one big touchdown after enough from Roger Staubach. His signature play was the famous 1975 Hail Mary catch against the Minnesota Vikings in the playoffs, one of the most controversial plays in NFL history.

Then there's The Playmaker Michael Irvin. The vocal leader and the heart and soul of the 90s Cowboys that won three Super Bowls in four receivers. Jerry Rice may have been better, but Irvin's swagger and ability defined what the brash 90s Cowboys were all about. To this day he represents himself and the Dallas Cowboys on NFL Network carrying the same attitude he had back in his playing days.

And finally were at the latest 88 in Dez Bryant. Even though Dez was let go by Dallas after going on a decline since his dominant 2014 season, he at least defined a generation of Cowboys receivers who wore the iconic 88 jerseys. He perfectly embodied the hatable but talented persona for a great Cowboys receiver during the social media era.

Owens however, just happened to be the great receiver who spent a brief time in Cowboy blue before Dez's arrival. He helped Dallas gain some relevance after going under for a while in the 2000s and helped develop their first franchise quarterback since Troy Aikman in Tony Romo, but his fallout from the Cowboys and them quickly replacing him with Dez simply made him a footnote in their franchise history. Also, Owens most famous Cowboy-related moment was as a 49er when he stood on the Dallas star mid-field in 2000.

And finally, there are the Eagles. As an Eagles fan and historian, the greatest receivers to wear green and white are Harold Carmichael and Hall-of-Famer Tommy McDonald, followed by current color analyst Mike Quick. And that's about it.

In my lifetime? Not a lot of great a receivers: Desean Jackson had great moments and I was mad to see him get released. Jeremy Maclin was very good and left too soon. And course, the group that won the first Super Bowl in franchise history featuring the likes of Alshon Jefferey, Torrey Smith, Nelson Agholor and Mack Hollins. But the best Eagle receiver I've seen in my lifetime? Terrell Owens by miles.

Owens played only 22 games for the Eagles. In those 22 games, he had 133 catches for 2,085 yards and 20 touchdowns, nearly a one touchdown per game.

His remarkable 2004 regular season came to a halt in Week 15 against the Cowboys when he broke his ankle and missed the rest of the season and their first two playoff games. Despite the injury, he still managed to suit up to play probably the greatest game of his career in Super Bowl 39 against the New England Patriots. The 2004 Patriot defense is looked back at one of the great defenses of the 2000s with a secondary that featured borderline Hall of Famers Rodney Harrison, Asante Samuel, and Ty Law. Owens dominated them with one good leg any with 9 catches for 122 yards which kept the Eagles in position to win the game throughout. Until Nick Foles, Owen's performance in Jacksonville was the greatest performance by an Eagle in the Super Bowl.

Unfortunately, Super Bowl 39 is remembered for more bad things than good, and the Eagles lost 24-21, the closest the Andy Reid/Donovan McNabb Era would come to winning a Lombardi trophy. Had the Eagles won Super Bowl 39, T.O. would go down as a Philadelphia sports legend along with the likes of Moses Malone and Pete Rose as the key acquired piece that got their team over the hump.

While T.O. was still a legend for his impact on the 2004 Super Bowl team, his fallout from the Eagles was equally as bizarre and devastating. Some say the heat between Owens and McNabb started with the contract situation, but the cracks really began during the 04 season. The one bad regular season game that year against the Steelers saw Owens yelling at Donovan McNabb on the sidelines in frustration with McNabb turning away from him, a sign of things to come. And then in a game against the Giants that clinched the NFC East, McNabb told Owens to "STFU" while in the huddle.

When their tensions boiled during the offseasons with T.O.'s potential holdout from training camp and bizarre workout on his front porch, McNabb vs. Owens began to divide the locker room and Eagles fans as a whole. Owens still came back to play in 2005, but his Eagle career came to an abrupt end when seemingly negative comments against McNabb forced his suspension for the remainder of the season and his release. The 2005 campaign was an epic disaster for the Eagles going from the Super Bowl to 6-10. T.O.'s major distraction throughout the year made him the scapegoat for the team's failures and he became public enemy number 1 when he inevitably signed with Dallas Cowboys.

Even though he became Philadelphia's sports greatest sports villain and we cheered in glee at beating him in 2006 and humiliated them 44-6 in 2008, time somehow managed to heal this big wound. The Eagles once again became in need of a big-time receiver that they needed before Owens arrived in 2004, and while Desean and Maclin were nice, they weren't close to T.O. Owens was like a comet through the sky, and Eagles fans couldn't help but look back on how good he was in 2004 and wonder what could've been had things worked out. And nowadays they've taken T.O.'s side in the McNabb vs. Owens feud.

Philadelphia fans don't know what to make of McNabb nowadays to the point that he's barely mentioned anymore. For all the good he did, when fans talk about him on sports talk radio all they can say are the bad stuff.

The booing on draft day, forgetting there are ties in the NFL, the alleged puking in the Super Bowl, blowing NFC championship games he was favored to win, the passive-aggressive interviews, and the awkward soundbites always played on the radio. Somehow the best quarterback in franchise history is the source of bad mojo that drags Philly fans down, and the Eagles winning the Super Bowl purged all that bad mojo from the past into oblivion.

In conclusion, every Hall of Famer has a home to go to and be celebrated in and for T.O., the closest thing he has to one is in Philadelphia where in a brief time he captured the hearts of millions, which is pretty tough to do for any Philly athlete (unless if you're a 2017 Eagle.)

This season lets give T.O. a nice little celebration in Philadelphia to show how appreciated he was since literally no one else will.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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