Last week the NFL Hall Fame in Canton, Ohio, held it's annual induction ceremony. Admitting to the Hall just a few of the best athletes the game has ever known. And, like most years, the make up of the list is questioned. Why didn't this player get voted in and why did this player. What is odd is that this year there exist the agony of one player who, though he got voted, held a personal boycott of the induction ceremony. His name is Terrell Owens, an NFL legend.
He chose not to attend. Instead he gave a speech from the grounds of the University --University Of Tennessee at Chattanooga (UTC)-- for whom he played the game as a collegiate student athlete. Nothing of this sort had ever been done before. When he spoke to the gathered media he said that he was not skipping the ceremony because he wasn't selected on the first ballot, which everyone admits his talents and career success on the field surely qualified him, but because how unfair the people who run the selection process, sports writers, are. They are too hung up on player personality to the point they overlook player performance and career contributions to the game itself. And for that reason he wasn't selected on the first or second time his name was on the ballot, to which many were stunned. However, on his third ballot did make it into the Hall.
This three year delay was uncalled for. One of the greatest to ever play his position was basically reprimanded, held back, by people who did not vote for him for reasons other than what the rules require. On both points he was indeed correct. So he passed up a once in a lifetime opportunity to speak his mind at the induction ceremony, and personally honor his selection, to speak louder by not attending.
And to this shame the HOF committee is now contemplating doing something that is so un-American that people are stunned. After his refusal to show up to the ceremony they are considering passing a new rule which says that all selected entrants must attend the ceremony to receive the Halls honors. This act is appalling. Not even Congress requires recipients of the Medal of Honor to attend. The Nobel Prize doesn't require their prize winners to show up in person --Bob Dylan most recently didn't accept the award bestowed on him-- but they didn't say, well we are going to take it back because you didn't show up. People don't even have to show up to receive and Oscar, sorry this actor couldn't make it so we are accepting it on his/her behalf.
The NFL Hall Of Fame needs to grow a pair, and let this stupid rule go. You don't do such things because you are mad, because you got your feelings hurt.