If former general manager Bill Polian had total authority over who gets into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, he’d make sure that two of the greatest receivers in the history of the game aren’t allowed in.
On Monday, Polian told Clark Judge on Talk of Fame Network that he doesn’t think Terrell Owens and Randy Moss belong in the Hall of Fame. His reasoning? Owens was a problem child and Moss didn’t work hard.
“I take neither,” said Polian, who was in 2015. “First of all, here’s my position: Contribute both individually and to the team. T.O.’s situation, T.O.’s temperament, his ability to contribute to the team was well known up front. He was going to be a problem. We did not want to deal with problem children. Others may. We didn’t. That’s number one.
“Number two, every year in Indianapolis we said the following: ‘The price of admission is 100 percent effort all the time in everything we do.’ Well, how can we take Randy Moss when we make that statement? It’s that simple.”
There’s no question that Polian knew what he was doing when he was an executive in the NFL. He went to three Super Bowls as the general manager of the Bills and won a Super Bowl with the Colts. In his 23 years as a general manager, his teams went 229-138. But his arguments against Owens and Moss are absurd, because even though the two players had their shortcomings, they’re still two of the greatest receivers -- ever.
Owens didn’t contribute to the team? Owens ranks eighth all time in receptions, second in receiving yards, and third in receiving touchdowns. I’d say those were some decent contributions. And let’s not forget about the time he gutted out this injury in the Super Bowl, via Joel Greenberg of the Los Angeles Times:
Owens’ decision to play despite his own doctor’s advice carries the “potential for shortening his lifespan in the NFL if he causes further damage to his ankle,” said [Dr. Neal] ElAttrache, a member of the NFL Physicians Society and a consultant to the Denver Broncos and the St. Louis Rams. ElAttrache says he believes that Owens is at least six weeks away from being able to play football without risking serious re-injury.
Owens underwent surgery Dec. 22 after severely spraining ankle ligaments and fracturing the fibula bone in his right leg. In addition, he ripped a sheet of tissue called the inter-osseous membrane that connects the fibula to the larger tibia bone that runs alongside it from the foot to the knee.
As for the accusation that Moss didn’t work hard enough to be a Hall of Famer, let’s ask arguably the greatest football ever, Tom Brady:
Moss ranks 15th all-time in receptions, third in receiving yards, and second in receiving touchdowns, which seems Hall of Fame worthy to me.
Anyway, Moss is eligible for the first time in 2018 while Owens has shockingly fallen short in his first two years of eligibility. Owens recently called it a “flawed process” and, well, he doesn’t appear to be entirely wrong. Owens and Moss belong in the Hall of Fame because they’re two of the greatest receivers in the history of the game. It’s as simple as that.
Polian did admit that the two are likely to get in, even if he doesn’t approve.
“I think they will, unfortunately in my view,” Polian said, “because whether you like it or not. these ‘electoral campaigns’ have a way of swinging people. In my view, and I said this publicly last year, I think the Hall of Fames are for people who make their teams better, not who detract from them.
“Now, T.O. was a bigger detractor over his career than Moss, but you certainly wouldn’t call [Moss’ attitude] any harbinger or example of what you want in a football player other than when he decided to play. ‘I play when I play.’ I don’t buy it.”
Polian isn’t the first Hall of Famer to weigh in on Owens’ candidacy. Earlier this month, Bill Parcells said that Owens was “unreliable,” but added that he would vote for him.