Owens was dinged because he spent most of his career being a pain in the rear for his teammates (most notably with the Cowboys and Eagles, although he had plenty of shenanigan-filled games with the 49ers) and because of the stand-in-line process for wideouts getting into Canton.
"He played a number of years with Peyton Manning, he's an incredible receiver," Owens said. "But again, when it comes to what the Hall of Fame is all about in terms of the criteria to get in, it should be purely based on stats, and obviously my stats are better than his.
"Of all the gold jackets that were there leading up to the actual day of the induction, everybody for sure was like I was a shoe-in. And at some point, yeah, I feel like I will get in, but I think with the body of work and what I did for the game, I should have been in first ballot."
Owens has a viable case. He is sixth in receptions all-time with 1,078 (Harrison is second with 1,102), second in receiving yards all-time with 15,934 (Harrison is seventh with 14,580) and third all-time in receiving touchdowns with 153 (Harrison is fifth with 128).
But it's not like he annihilates Harrison in every category. And Harrison is definitely a Hall of Fame receiver. Him getting in ahead of Owens is more about Harrison playing for one team his entire career and not being antagonistic with the media and teammates.
Owens has a compelling case, but the reality of the situation is his case won't impact the process. And right now the process is keeping him from getting in immediately.