The rift between Terrell Owens and the Pro Football Hall of Fame has become more of a chasm.
After railing against voters (and rightly so) for boxing him out of the HOF on his first two attempts for no other reason than he was a colossal annoyance during his playing days, Owens finally got voted in this time. But, T.O. being T.O., the beef of course didn’t end there. Last week, Owens announced that he wouldn’t be attending the HOF induction ceremony in Canton, Ohio on Aug. 4. He said he would instead give his induction speech at his alma mater, the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga.
“After giving it much thought I have realized just how much I want to celebrate what will inevitably be the best weekend of my life at a place that means so much to me,” Owens wrote in a message posted to Twitter.
Hall of Fame Officials responded in kind to what they apparently viewed as a slight from T.O. Hall of Fame executive director Joe Horrigan told Talk of Fame Network’s Clark Judge that Owens will not be introduced during the ceremony, saying, “The focus is on the guys who are here.”
“This isn’t the Pro Football Hall of Fame being vindictive or punitive. It’s about it being sensible. As Horrigan pointed out, the situation isn’t unlike a senior who decides to boycott his school’s graduation. His name isn’t mentioned, and his diploma isn’t awarded. Instead, he receives it afterward. And, so, Owens’ gold jacket, which under normal circumstances would be placed on his shoulders at Friday’s Gold Jacket dinner, will be mailed first thing Saturday morning. But his name that evening won’t be mentioned with the others, just as it won’t be recognized 24 hours later when individuals are introduced at Saturday’s nationally-televised induction.”
So, while Owens will live on as one of the greatest wide receivers in NFL history, he’ll also be remembered as one of its most obnoxious.