One of the great mysteries and, for many people, issues with the Hall of Fame is a voting process that could lead to Terrell Owens not being selected for Canton.
Owens, despite being a pain in the rear at times for teammates and coaches, is eighth all time in receptions (1,078), second in receiving yards (15,934) and third in receiving touchdowns (153). Despite his exclusion from the Hall, it appears more and more people are coming out in favor of Owens.
One of those people, Kurt Warner, was part of the 2017 Hall of Fame class that conspicuously did not include Owens. Appearing on “PFT Live” with Mike Florio, Warner said he believes Owens will one day make it to Canton.
“I believe, A, he’s a Hall of Famer,” Warner said. “What he did between those lines you can’t argue. There’s nothing you can argue about, and I believe he will get in.”
But what’s interesting about Warner’s argument for Owens is that he actually does think players need to be good teammates, need to be good outside of the lines and off the field and to maintain a “level of prestige,” but he also made a point to compare Owens with a guy like Charles Haley, who played with multiple teams and wasn’t necessarily a calming locker room presence.
“The other part of it is when I’ve always thought of the Hall of Fame I think, yeah, great between the lines in regards to statistics and how you played your game but I also have always thought of it as a level of prestige,” Warner said. “That it’s about the way you represented the game and the impact that you had on the game as a whole and I’m speaking just based on hearsay because every time I’ve been around T.O. I loved the guy. He’s been great to me and I love his personality but I believe that’s the perception or reality that’s there is that the voters fully believe he belongs in due to his numbers and will get in.
“But there’s a prestige factor that maybe wasn’t matched with T.O. based on the different things that we hear and that we’ve seen and that’s really the only caveat right there [for him] and guys like Charles Haley. Same way, right? He belonged in the Hall of Fame way before he got in but there was a part to it that says, ‘We believe that the Hall of Fame is more than stats.’ It’s not just stats there’s something else extra to it and then you have to weigh that with guys like myself. You know you got T.O. and myself and you try to weigh the two and balance them out and I think it was just a matter of, ‘OK we weighed this one a little bit heavier than T.O. yet T.O. I believe without question because he’s earned that right with the way he played the game.’”
In other words, Warner is fully on board with Owens making it into the Hall of Fame, but he certainly thinks that Owens bouncing around to different teams over the course of his career and, at times, not being the ideal teammate hurts his case.
But like many, he sees Owens as a guy who will eventually just get in, once he pays the “dues” for having been a questionable teammate and at times a distraction off the field.