Yesterday, I said positive things about the classy way Peyton Manning handled the announcement of his retirement. Today, I would like to turn attention to the other end of the spectrum. After the 2016 inductees for the Pro Football Hall of Fame were announced, Terrell Owens took umbrage at the fact that he was left out. He played the “disrespected card” and made some comment about how Cris Carter had “begged his way” into the HoF. His comments reinforced in everyone’s mind two things that are apparent about T.O.:
He has a strong narcissistic streak.
He does not have even a 10-nanosecond delay line between his brain and his mouth.
There is a wide-receiver who will be inducted this summer; Marvin Harrison made it into the HoF and Harrison did not appreciate Owens’ fulminations. Here is what he said during a radio interview:
“The person who was supposed to get in got in. And that was me. If he didn’t get in, that’s his problem. He can talk all that other bullsh*t like he’s been doing. That’s on him. But I’m in. My jacket is gold. I will look in the rear view for nobody. So he can get his ass in whenever he gets in … if he gets in. If he doesn’t get in, too bad. The hell with him.”
If T.O. had said those words, people would have been marginally surprised at his potty-mouth but few would have shocked. Marvin Harrison was sort of like the “Silent Cal” Coolidge of the NFL during his career; he rarely said anything let alone anything at that level of candor. But there it is and there you have the essence of T.O.’s “problem” with Hall of Fame voters.
As I noted before the voting on the finalists was revealed, Owens’ numbers written on a piece of paper with no relationship to the human being who generated those numbers demand that the player be in the Hall of Fame. Having said that, the path to “getting a gold jacket” demands also that the player in question pass through the filter of a few dozen voters. Like it or not, those voters are humans and they will always put things in context when they ponder a decision they consider to be important.
The fact of the matter is that Terrell Owens still does not realize how off-putting he can be. Consider for a moment that Owens played for 5 different NFL teams. Even if you spot him his last two teams as merely the last gasps in a productive career wherein the team hoped he could recapture his prior productivity, that means that 3 different teams had enough of him and his antics while he was still performing at a Hall of Fame level.
The Niners did not move Heaven and Earth to keep him in SF at age 30.
The Eagles shed no tears when he departed Philly at age 32.
The Cowboys just moved on when he left Dallas at age 35.
Oh, and along the way he probably did not endear himself to anyone in Baltimore after reneging on a contract deal there. It was an ugly mess…
The two obvious personal characteristics I noted at the start of this rant allowed teams to deal with him taking his talents elsewhere without having the team sink into a terminal blue funk. The sort of outbursts we saw after his exclusion from the HoF this year surely would not have been “positive locker room leadership”. Moreover, this sort of tantrum-like behavior is likely to remain in the minds of a few of the voters – many of whom will be back “in the room” sifting through the final candidates. I wonder if Terrell Owens even recognizes that fact.
On the flip side of the coin here, try to imagine the induction speech T. O. might give somewhere down the line when he does in fact join the Hall of Fame. It could be memorable…
Former Cowboys’ RB, Joseph Randle, was arrested in Kansas on a warrant that says he failed to appear in court. At this point, I usually try to point out that final judgment needs to wait until more facts are in. Indeed, that remains the operative stance; but in this case, I might be tempted to conclude that Randle is living his life just a bit off-center. This is the sixth time he has been arrested by police in various jurisdictions in the last 18 months on charges to include inter alia theft, drug possession and assault.
Randle spent three years as a “student-athlete” at an NCAA Division 1-A school maintaining his eligibility all along the way. I have no idea what courses he took, but would it not be ironic if it turned out that he was a criminal justice major?
Bob Molinaro had this item in a recent column in the Hampton Roads Virginian-Pilot:
“Major slippage: After they blew another game – losing to the Clippers after being up 16 with 7:26 to play – it’s impossible to take the Oklahoma City Thunder seriously as a title contender. Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook may be fine entertainers, but the Thunder, who had a chance for redemption late Thursday night at the Warriors, are proving to be underachievers, chokers even. They’ve lost nine games this season when taking a lead into the fourth quarter. Only the 76ers have lost more that way.”
I am shocked by this commentary. I am not shocked by Prof. Molinaro’s assessment that the Thunder are disappointing underachievers; they certainly have played that way recently. Here is what I am shocked by:
I would never have thought that the 76ers had held the lead at the end of 3 quarters enough times to top the Thunder in that “League of Lowness”.
Finally, one more item from Bob Molinaro:
“Did you realize that you can bet on MLB spring training games? Nothing says compulsive gambler quite like throwing good money at bad split-squad games featuring minor-league pitchers.”
He is right you know…
But don’t get me wrong, I love sports………