Earlier today the NFL released the 2017 NFL Hall of Fame Class. Congratulations are in store for Terrell Davis, Kurt Warner, LaDainian Tomlinson, Jason Taylor, and Morten Andersen who each received the nod. Warner, being a Super Bowl winning quarterback with extremely good stats over his entire career was a fairly obvious choice. LaDainian Tomlinson was another obvious choice. Morten Andersen was one of the best kickers in the game for 2 decades. Jason Taylor and Terrell Davis were great players, dominant players at times. Neither should be considered an all time great.
While Jason Taylor should get into the HOF on the strength of his sack numbers alone, he was never dominant enough to be a first ballot player in a crowded year. One could argue that he is a marginal member at best. Terrell Davis played on some great teams, had a few great seasons, and had his career unfortunately cut short due to injury. As did Tony Boselli at the same time. Unlike Davis, Boselli was the best player at his position for most of his career.
The most galling snub is Terrell Owens, one of the most polarizing players of all time. Despite his inability to get along with coaches, teammates, and the media, Owens had more Pro Bowl and All Pro seasons than Davis and Taylor, is highly ranked in career accomplishments, and was the first player (Randy Moss has since accomplished the same) to average over 10 touchdowns and 1000 receiving yards over the course of his career.
I get that Owens was tough to deal with, although I found him to be no more difficult than many other HOF athletes, soon to be HOF athletes, and coaches but, should it matter? Owens’ numbers do not simply make a marginal case. They don’t just make a compelling case. They make an undeniable case that he was one of the best receivers to ever play the game and did so at a higher level than all but 1 current HOF receiver. He’s going to get in, making him wait seems petty, and that is the problem.
Journalists are in charge of things like HOF voting and All Pro seasons because they are supposed to be the most impartial and knowledgeable group. Playing favorites and punishing players like Owens only undermines a profession that is under constant attack from fans, players, coaches, and the league.
Allowing players like Warner, Taylor, Davis, and even Andersen to get into the HOF over players like Owens with far better credentials stinks.
**Kenny Easley and Jerry Jones were also inducted by the veterans committee and whatever committee inducts owners.