Well this is interesting.
As we all know, Terrell Owens skipped the Pro Football Hall of Fame ceremony in Canton, Ohio and had his own in Chattanooga, Tennessee at his alma mater. Apparently, the Hall is feeling a little embarrassed by the spectacle and wants to ensure that this does not happen again.
This news comes from Pro Football Talk, which reported that the institution wants to enforce a rule change that would force all inductees to attend the ceremony in Canton. It is not sure how they can enforce that though the speculation is that once a candidate reaches the Semi-Finalist stage they would have to sign a waiver stating that they would attend the ceremony.
In our eyes, this is a strange action by the Pro Football Hall of Fame. During Owens’ speech he stated that the reason he boycotted Canton was that he was protesting the Hall of Fame selection process, which he viewed as flawed.
Specifically, he stated this during the ceremony:
“Many of you are probably wondering why we’re here, instead of Canton. I’d like to set the record straight. It’s about the mere fact that the sportswriters are not in alignment with the mission core values of the Hall of Fame. These writers disregarded the system, the criteria and by-laws and ultimately, the true meaning of the Hall of Fame and what it represents. I wanted to take a stand so the next gut coming after me will not have to go through what I, and others have gone through.”
Honestly, we here at Notinhalloffame.com have been vocal about our belief that Terrell Owens should have entered the Pro Football Hall of Fame on the first ballot with all due respect he wasn’t even close to being the person who had a long wait for enshrinement…that would be Jerry Kramer who waited decades and until this past weekend was the only member of the NFL 50th anniversary team not to be enshrined. If Owens feels snubbed, we wonder if he had a long conversation with Jerry Kramer on that subject.
We don’t think he did either.
Having said that the actions of Terrell Owens were his right to do. While we weren’t enamored of it the fact that the Pro Football Hall of Fame are now looking to create a policy to prevent this seems very totalitarian to us, especially considering that there was a good chance that what Terrell Owens did would be a “one-off” and that we are unlikely to see this again, but with the political climate of the NFL, unnecessary rules may not help potential inductees to “tow the line”.
Chances are that the T.O. Hall of Fame drama is over and it is unlikely that we will see this occur again…whether they try to enforce this or not.