(Photo courtesy of Indianapolis Colts)
By Ron Borges
Talk of Fame Network
Add Hall-of-Fame wide receiver Marvin Harrison to the list of people sick of listening to Terrell Owens.
Harrison is quiet by nature and inclination, but when he has something to say his message is clear. Speaking nationally for the first time since being elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame on Feb. 6, Harrison told the Talk of Fame Network what he thought of Owens’ somewhat ungracious reaction to having failed to gain entry to the Hall in his first year of eligibility while Harrison finally made it on his third try.
“I wasn’t concerned at all (about the possibility he and Owens would split votes and thus deny each other entry this year),’’ Harrison told TOF’s hosts Ron Borges, Rick Gosselin and Clark Judge this week. “I’m not concerned about, you know, T.O. Not one bit. I was concerned about myself. I wasn’t worried about splitting the vote with anyone. That was it.
“The person who was supposed to get in got in. And that was me. If he didn’t get in, that’s his problem. He can talk all that other bullshit like he’s been doing. That’s on him. But I’m in. My jacket is gold. I will look in the rear view for nobody.
“So he can get his ass in whenever he gets in … if he gets in. If he doesn’t get in too bad. The hell with him.’’
Anybody unclear on how Harrison felt about Owens’ complaints that the voting system was flawed and the process needs to change?
Owens initially was gracious upon learning Harrison would be fitted for the Hall’s gold jacket in August while he would have to wait at least another year before reaching Canton. He initially tweeted, “Unfortunately I did not make it. CONGRATS to the 2016 HOF CLASS. Thanks to ALL MY FANS for ur unwavering love & support. #ONLYGODCAN JUDGE ME.’’
But within days, Owens was telling a Dallas radio station he was “an automatic shoo-in,’’ saying “I felt more so disrespected. I think you guys know, my stats speak for themselves. I think everyone realizes that there is a flaw in the system. I didn’t really have to say a whole lot. Around the country, two weeks after the Super Bowl, and this whole induction thing … people are still talking about it. Obviously, there is something that needs to be changed about it. I never really played the game to get in the Hall of Fame, anyways.
“I’m used to it. I probably would have been more surprised if I had made it. It’s a shame for some pencil-pushers to vote guys in, considering the body of work they’ve done and put out on the football field. What I’ve done throughout my career speaks volumes.”
So does Harrison’s, in case Owens hadn’t noticed. While Owens ranked sixth in receptions (1.078) and second in receiving yards (15,934) and touchdowns (153), Harrison was third all-time with 1,102 receptions, fifth in touchdowns with 128 and seventh in yardage with 14,580. He was also an eight-time Pro Bowl selection to Owens’ six times and was a first-team all-decade selection for the 2000s.
Owens was second team.
Owens, not surprisingly, didn’t stop there. He also claimed ESPN commentator and Hall-of-Famer Cris Carter “begged his way into the Hall of Fame.’’ Carter had been critical of Owens early in his career but chose not to fire back at T.O.
The normally mum Harrison felt no such restraint, however, telling the Talk of Fame Network, “I’m not worried about nobody in my rear-view mirror. I’m only worried about the gold jacket, and I have a gold jacket. I’m not worried about gold jackets behind me.’’
Asked if he felt Owens was a Hall of Famer as well, Harrison ignored him, saying, “If it was up to me, Isaac Bruce, Reggie Wayne … I can go and list … Moss … Randy Moss … can all get in. They got a lot of class with them. If they didn’t get in the same time I got in they’d of had a better approach about it as opposed to this guy.
“I’m not worried about nobody else but me. My jacket is gold. I don’t look in the rear-view mirror.’’
When Gosselin suggested, jokingly, to Harrison, “The line forms at the back?’’
“Right!’’ Harrison said. “Exactly!’’