No one tells Terrell Owens what to do. Part of that is what made him one of the most polarizing wide receivers in the NFL, and the other part of that is why he isn’t going to his own Hall of Fame induction ceremony, even though he participated in arguably MTV’s worst show, The Challenge.
If you didn’t watch The Challenge, which basically pits washed-up reality-TV veterans against washed-up celebrities, you can learn everything you need to know:
Shortly after this altercation, T.O. quit the show, and yep, it was a total T.O. thing to do. But the most T.O. thing—in fact, the final T.O. thing out of all the T.O. things, and there have been many, including my favorite (see below)—has to be T.O. refusing to attend his Hall of Fame induction ceremony.
Not only not going to his induction ceremony, but issuing a press release, which is now called “pulling a Drake.”
When I first heard that T.O. wasn’t going to the ceremony, I immediately thought: “Damn, that is some boss shit. What a way to push the ball forward in the Movement for Black Lives by spurring a Hall of Fame induction.” Then I remembered we were talking about T.O., who notoriously gives a fuck only about T.O.
Because Owens’ press release was super vague, noting that he planned to spend that day “elsewhere,” rumors began spouting that T.O. wasn’t going to the ceremony because he’s butt-hurt over not being a first-ballot Hall of Famer. Owens was a finalist for two years before finally being elected. He had this to say to CBS Sports after his second snub:
In terms of—you know—why I’m not into the Hall of Fame I think a lot of people can speculate and have their opinions about it ... but at the end of the day, like I said, I think that the Hall of Fame has taken a black eye considering people like myself—and there’re gonna be people after me—that are very very deserving of being in that Hall of Fame and not getting the nod that they should. But when you talk about guys’ numbers and their body of work when they should be a first-ballot Hall of Famer, then they should get that nod.
And T.O. is right. He should’ve been a first-ballot entry into the Hall of Fame behind only Jerry Rice and Randy Moss.
Here’s the argument CBS Sports made after Owens was denied entry into Canton for the second time:
In spite of bouncing between teams (something Moss also went through), Owens holds a myriad of NFL records. He’s second all-time in career yardage with 15,934 (though Larry Fitzgerald is closing in), eighth all-time in receptions (1,078) and third all-time in touchdowns (153). He’s made his mark on nearly every conceivable receiving stat, but he’s been left off twice.
The other part that I think is difficult is that T.O. is not only a world-class athlete; he’s also a world-class asshole. (I probably should’ve mentioned this up front, but before NFL owners proved to be egomaniacal kings using black bodies for gladiator sports while simultaneously pandering to a president with abnormally small hands, I was a fan of Washington’s football team with the horribly racist name.)
People hate assholes, even when they are really talented at sports. Nevertheless, Owens is in the Hall of Fame, and in typical asshole fashion, he won’t be there. It isn’t as if he has to be, but it kind of proves the point of everyone who voted against him as to why they should’ve kept him out.
T.O. is going to T.O., and the shocker there is that even as he gets older, he still hasn’t grown up. Had that press release said something political, I would’ve been shocked. Had it noted the unjust treatment of Colin Kaepernick and Eric Reid, I would’ve been floored. But T.O. deciding not to attend the induction ceremony to celebrate his greatness is vintage, asshole T.O.