The Pro Football Hall of Fame voted on their 2016 induction class, and it did not include the player with the second most receiving yards in NFL history. Wide receiver Terrell Owens put together huge numbers in his career, but for the time-being it was not enough to gain entry.
Clark Judge is a Hall of Fame voter, and he took some time to discuss what went down in the room for a variety of candidates. You can check out plenty of details there, but I wanted to pull out what he had to say about the discussion on Terrell Owens. It lasted 43 minutes and 15 seconds, which was the second longest behind only Eddie DeBartolo.
Here's what Clark had to say about TO and the discussion centered around his candidacy:
No surprise here. With Terrell Owens on the ballot, you're not only asked to bring your popcorn; you're told to bring your flak jacket, too. There were bound to be grenades lobbed by both sides, and there were. His supporters argue that Owens has Hall-of-Fame numbers, and they're right. But there's another number they don't mention, and it's one that must have swayed voters. It's zero. That's the number of teams that wanted to keep this guy at the top of his career. Yeah, I know, he showed remarkable courage ... not to mention ability ... with his Super Bowl XXXIX performance for Philadelphia. But by the middle of the following season he'd become so intolerable that the Eagles kicked him to the curb ... and what's new? Over his last six-and-a-half seasons, he played with four teams. "The Hall of Fame ought to be for people who make their teams better," Polian said on the Talk of Fame Network, "not for those who disrupt them and make them worse." The board agreed.
Former Bay Area sports columnist Nancy Gay presented TO's case to the voters, and had this to say after he tweeted he did not make the team.
It was my honor to present you, Terrell. It will happen for you. https://t.co/Qab0tlcNuf— Nancy Gay (@nancygay) February 7, 2016
TO's former coach, Steve Mariucci, said that Owens is a Hall of Fame wide receiver, but his answer also seemed to suggest he thought maybe it might take a time or two. Ronnie Lott also thinks TO is a Hall of Fame receiver, but he did not think Owens would make it on the first ballot.
And so, we're left to wait at least one more year for the former 49ers wide receiver to gain eligibility to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.