Owens snubs back, gets call to Hall of Fame while playing basketball in LA

Clarence E. Hill Jr., Fort Worth Star-Telegram on

Published in Football

MINNEAPOLIS -- Terrell Owens is an outsider no more.

His status has matched his numbers.


Two years of being snubbed by voters for allegedly being a divisive force in the locker room during a 15-year NFL career gave way to common sense with Owens being elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame as a member of the Class of 2018.

And of course, typical of Owens' style, he got the last laugh and the last snub.

He was in Los Angeles, where he played in his league basketball game, rather than waiting for the call or the knock on the door in his Minneapolis hotel with the rest of the candidates.

But he posted a happy photo on his Instagram account. "CONGRATS to the 2018 HOF CLASS. We're Golden!"

Owens' fellow inductees in the Class of 2018 include receiver Randy Moss, linebacker Ray Lewis, linebacker Brian Urlacher and safety Brian Dawkins, guard Jerry Kramer, linebacker Robert Brazile and general manager Bobby Beathard.

Reached by phone, Owens declined talk about his induction but he texted: "Headed to basketball game. Plus nothing else to say."


He is finally in. And finally golden.

Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said Owens has always been deserving.

"He is a Hall of Fame player," Jones said. "Certainly, among the players I have been around and played against he is a Hall of Famer."

Former Dallas Cowboys cornerback Everson Walls saw his bid of going from first-time finalist all the way to the Hall of Fame in his final year of eligibility come up short.

But that he got this far 19 years after his retirement makes it likely that he could gain admittance down the road as a candidate on the senior's committee.


As the only player in NFL history to lead the league interceptions three times, Walls is disappointed he didn't get in, but he has no regrets about a process and week in which people were reminded of his greatness.

He and his family had a great time this week in Minneapolis and they are looking forward to continuing the process of getting Team Walls in the Hall of Fame.

"It is what it is," Walls said. "I was ready for anything. It didn't work out. It was fun being part of the process. It's been a great weekend with my family. They are disappointed. We all are disappointed. It was fun while it lasted. But I told them the campaign for team Walls begins again tomorrow."

The campaign for Owens is finally over.

Owens' numbers speak for themselves. He caught 1,078 passes for 15,934 yards and 153 touchdowns. In NFL history, he ranks eighth in receptions, second in receiving yards and third in touchdown receptions. Owens holds the NFL record for receptions in a single game (20), had nine 1,000-yard seasons and caught at least 10 touchdown passes in eight seasons.

Owens, who played with the San Francisco 49ers, Philadelphia Eagles, Dallas Cowboys, Buffalo Bills and Cincinnati Bengals, earned six Pro Bowl invitations and was named first-team All-Pro five times.

Only Hall of Fame receiver Jerry Rice had a better statistical resume.

It's kind of ironic and fitting that Owens is going in with Moss and Lewis, who both were inducted in their first year of eligibility.

Both also had their own set of off the field issues and character concerns. But unlike Owens, those things didn't hold them back or make them wait for getting the call to the Hall of Fame.

He not only made the final cut Saturday after a lengthy 45-minute discussion among the voters, the longest for any of the candidates, but he was voted in.

But rather than a knock on the door, he had to get the call while getting ready for a basketball game in Los Angeles.

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