Back in the the mid-2000s, when I started getting into watching sports, Terrell Owens was among the few NFL players that I actually remembered and paid close attention to.
I also used to watch iconic players such as Randy Moss, Ladainian Tomlinson, Larry Fitzgerald, Brett Favre, Ray Lewis, Kurt Warner and a few others. The only difference between Owens and all of these players is that all of them are either in the Pro Football Hall of Fame or are already future Hall of Famers.
Owens, on the other hand, isn't really either.
Since his final season in 2010 with the Cincinatti Bengals, fans have debated on whether on not he deserves to be in the Hall of Fame, which is where the issue occurs.
There are a good amount of fans, analysts and potential Hall of Famers themselves who say that he is more than worthy to be inducted whereas the other half dismiss any type of worthiness and disregard his accomplishments over his 14-year career.
For example, Skip Bayless takes the side of the latter via Skip and Shannon: UNDISPUTED:
"In the end, I feel like he hurt those teams more than he helped; three really good teams. All three had a chance to get this [playoffs]... He wouldn't be in my Hall of Fame because the numbers lie."
But then, Shannon Sharpe, his co-host, said exactly everything I was thinking, via Fox Sports:
"They changed the rules to inhibit TO from going under the first ballot. Skip, they said you were never supposed to use off-field behavior. Because we know there are plenty of guys in the Pro Football Hall of Fame that have off-field issues. But it wasn't until TO came up on the ballot that they said, we're going to use what happened in the locker room, what happened on the sidelines as criteria.
Wow, is that what it means? Is that-- you want to keep a guy that his numbers warrant him going in on the first ballot? He was-- at the time of retirement, he was third in TD receptions, second in yards-- he still second in yards-- he was probably like third or fourth in catches. And no off the field issue, TO has never run afoul with the law."
Owens, statistically, is one of the greatest wide receivers to ever play the game. For some people to completely disregard these numbers and his insane talent is ridiculous.
If we aren't looking at stats at all for the Hall of Fame, let's just push Tom Brady and Larry Fitzgerald to the side then.
Let's end this off with some more Shannon via Fox Sports:
"TO is one of three men that's been a first team All-Pro with three different teams. Ted Hendricks was one, first ballot Hall of Famer, the other is Deion Sanders, first ballot Hall of Famer. There is no-- by no, any metric that you want to use says Terrell Owens should have been a first ballot Hall of Famer."