No matter your opinion on Terrell Owens being left out of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, we can agree he’s done nothing to help his own cause. Going on television wearing a counterfeit gold jacket with his accomplishments printed on the back makes a mockery of everybody involved, and his incessant whining won’t garner sympathy from members of the selection committee, either.
At least the Hall of Fame is a battle he can theoretically win. Given enough time, Owens should get in – that is, if he ever gives it a rest, and probably even if he doesn’t. Where Owens will never be able to claim a victory is his feud with Donovan McNabb and the Eagles, no matter how much of the public is on the wide receiver’s side.
Owens spent over seven minutes regurgitating his side of the McNabb-Eagles soap opera in his latest tell-all with busybodies Skip Bayless and Shannon Sharpe on Wednesday. This past January, it was 97.5 The Fanatic promoting more of the same sob stories we’ve been hearing since 2005. Nothing changes. Owens is justified in all of his reactions and behaviors, and he’s all too eager to explain why.
For the record, I’ve always maintained he was wrong about his contract dispute with the Eagles. Owens complained he was underpaid in ’05 and the club could get out of the deal the following year. The contract did pay a low base salary for that season, but made him among the highest-paid receivers in the NFL over the first two years on average, and there was no reason for the Eagles not to honor it as long as he was performing and focused. Maybe Owens feared frequent tiffs with McNabb would be reason enough for the front office to cut bait. Then again, maybe Owens could have simply bit his tongue, too.
But, in all honesty, who really cares who was right or wrong at this point? That was 12 years ago. Whatever Owens’ issues – business with the Eagles, personal with McNabb – nothing is gained by debating them any further. If you disagree with my assessment of the situation, fine. There are far more relevant topics to debate.
Yet, Owens is always going be on the losing end of any argument he finds himself because of his inability to be the bigger man. He may have overmatched defensive backs in the NFL and muscled his way out of Philadelphia back in the day, but in 2017, Owens comes off small when talking about the past.
Want to impress Hall of Fame voters? Try this gimmick on for size: Instead of seizing every opportunity to air dirty laundry with McNabb or the Eagles, simply say that chapter is closed and you wish everything would have turned out different. It’s not an admission guilt of wrongdoing, or even burying the hatchet, but it’s not pointing the finger and making excuses, either.
Until Owens learns to do that, he will lose every fight he’s in until the end of time.
Which is not to say McNabb or the Eagles won with Owens. Nobody did. Not the quarterback, not the team, not the head coach, not the front office, not the franchise, not the fans. Nobody. Had McNabb been able to make nice with Owens for a few years longer, he would’ve posted numbers that make him a lock for the Hall as well. If the Eagles had only found a way to placate Owens, they may have won a Super Bowl or two.
Instead, everybody came away scarred and with nothing to show from the debacle. That’s true no matter whose “side” you take, which is why Owens needs to stop trying to play defense.
Every time Owens attempts to delegitimize the Hall and the people involved with the process, he puts himself further away from Canton. Every time he makes an excuse for what transpired with McNabb and the Eagles, it accomplishes nothing – only to serve as a reminder of what could have been, as well as an example of why Owens finds himself in this predicament in the first place.