Per usual, this year’s Pro Football Hall of Fame class was announced to the crowd before the first preseason game of the year.
Before the Bears and Ravens kicked off the Hall of Fame game, NBC play-by-play man Al Michaels introduced the new Hall of Famers over the stadium’s loudspeakers. Brian Urlacher got a big cheer from the Bears fans in Canton, Ohio. Ray Lewis did his squirrel dance. All of the new Hall of Famers smiled as they took the field.
And, as promised, the Hall of Fame acted as if Terrell Owens didn’t exist.
Why is the Hall of Fame being so petty toward Terrell Owens?
In the weeks before the Hall of Fame induction weekend, maybe the Hall of Fame could have taken the high road with Owens? Owens said he wouldn’t attend, because he was angry after being passed over twice. The Hall of Fame said it would not announce Owens all weekend. The easy thing for the Hall of Fame to do would be to soften its stance and introduce him anyway. He did earn that.
Nope. Owens was not mentioned at all as the Hall of Famers were introduced by Michaels before the game.
“The attending members of the Hall of Fame class,” is how Michaels wrapped it up in his role announcing the members to the crowd in the stands.
While Hall of Fame president David Baker told NFL Network that Owens is welcome in Canton, it’s like like they did much to show that Thursday.
Owens will be in Chattanooga
Once the broadcast shifted to the NBC booth and Michaels and Cris Collinsworth were speaking to the television audience, Michaels said Owens’ name and promised that he and Collinsworth would discuss him later.
Meanwhile, Owens seemed happy with his choice to have his own ceremony at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. He’ll give a speech there Saturday.
— Terrell Owens (@terrellowens) August 2, 2018
Still, it’s petty that the Hall of Fame is acting like Owens isn’t part of the class just because he won’t attend its party. Owens earned his way on the class with a magnificent career. He finished second all-time in receiving yards. Him deciding to stay away from Canton, for whatever reason, shouldn’t be a reason to not give him any recognition. The Hall could have handled this much better, but it decided not to.
But still, Owens will be a focal point of the weekend, even as the Hall of Fame tries to act like he didn’t earn his way into its ranks.
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