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‘Classy’ Owens in love with himself

If you’re looking for the real reason why Terrell Owens opted to skip his NFL Hall of Fame induction this past weekend in Canton, Ohio, look no further than one short comment.

Owens, a gifted athlete who played 15 seasons in the NFL and was a Pro Bowl selection in six of those years, was among the eight members of the Hall of Fame Class of 2018. After it was announced earlier this year that he would join NFL greats Randy Moss, Bob Bethard, Robert Brazille, Brian Dawkins, Jerry Kramer, Ray Lewis, and Brian Urlacher in the prestigious Hall of Fame, Owens said he would boycott the induction ceremony.

The reason? To hear Owens tell it, it wasn’t because it took his third time of being on the Hall of Fame ballot to receive enough votes to win that honor. Rather, he felt ostracized by the voting members of what he said he felt was “rightfully mine” (inclusion in the Hall of Fame).

During his acceptance speech on Saturday on the campus of his former college (University of Tennessee-Chattanooga), Owens blasted the national sports media, who comprise 46 of the 48 voting members of the NFL Hall of Fame. He was quoted as saying that the voting process is “flawed.”

“There’s been a lot of speculation and false reports as to why I chose not to be there (Canton),” Owens said while in Chattanooga on Saturday. “I would like to set the record straight. It’s not because how many times it took me to be voted to the Hall. It’s about the mere fact that the sportswriters are not in alignment with the mission and the core values of the Hall of Fame.”

Now that’s the proverbial pot calling the kettle black.

Without giving a nod to his superstar career numbers (1,078 receptions for 15,934 yards and 153 touchdowns) let’s study the “core values” history of Terrell Owens.

His most talked about on-field antic came during an October, 2002 contest on Monday Night Football in Seattle. There, after catching a TD pass for the 49’ers, Owens pulled a ‘Sharpie’ marker out of his sock and proceeded to autograph the ball. He handed it to his financial adviser, who was sitting in an end zone luxury suite rented by Shawn Springs, the Seattle cornerback he had just beaten on the play. Classy….that was real classy.

Want more “class”….then how ‘bout during a game in Chicago one year earlier where the 49’ers blew a 19-point lead and lost in overtime. Afterwards, Owens accused his head coach Steve Mariucci of protecting his friend Dick Jauron, then head coach of the Bears.

His “classy” style followed Owens after he was traded to the Eagles…. openly mocking Ray Lewis by performing the Ravens middle linebacker’s trademark celebration dance; and feuding often with Philadelphia quarterback Donovan McNabb. He also had the nerve to say in a 2005 interview that despite making $7.5 million in 2004, he needs a new contract to “feed his family.” That was a slap in the face of millions of Americans living paycheck to paycheck and struggling the provide their families with the basic necessities.

In 2006 while playing with the Cowboys, Owens spit in the face of Falcons cornerback DeAngelo Hall.

Yep….this guy is knee deep in “core values.”

So, that brings us back full circle from the start of this column. What was the comment Owens made that should shed all the light necessary on why he really skipped out on attending the ceremony in Canton….where, by the way, all the other 2018 Hall of Fame inductees were on Saturday.

At the conclusion of his acceptance speech at UT-Chattanooga, someone in the crowd shouted, “I love you, T.O.”

“I love you, too,” Owens responded. “But I love me more.”

There you have it.

 

Cal Bryant is the Editor of Roanoke-Chowan Publications. Contact him at cal.bryant@r-cnews.com or 252-332-7207.

About Cal Bryant

Cal Bryant, a 40-year veteran of the newspaper industry, serves as the Editor at Roanoke-Chowan Publications, publishers of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, Gates County Index, and Front Porch Living magazine.

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