A week ago, the Pro Football Hall of Fame held its induction ceremony for the Class of 2018 in Canton, as it always does, while Terrell Owens — a member of that class — held his own induction ceremony in Tennessee.
As no one has done.
The first living Hall-of-Fame honoree to skip his own induction ceremony in Canton, Owens instead chose to be honored at his alma mater, the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, where he was joined by family, friends, former teammates, coaches … and Buddy Green.
Green was Owens’ head coach at UT-Chattanooga, and he was there for a celebration that included the naming of a Chattanooga Street after the former wide receiver (Terrell Owens Way) and a weekend of family, friends and events that Green said he wouldn’t have missed.
“It was incredible,” he said on this week’s Talk of Fame Network broadcast. “He just did a great job with it … The whole weekend was just a tremendous atmosphere. Pretty special, obviously.”
In a speech that ran nearly 40 minutes, Owens criticized the Pro Football Hall-of-Fame’s board of selectors for making him wait three years for his election — saying that it “ostracized” him and “tried to keep me from what I rightfully earned, not once but twice.” And in skipping Canton, he took a jab at the Hall’s election process — one that, in 2017, he called “a total joke,” saying, “honestly, doesn’t mean anything to me to get in beyond this point.”
Well, he did get in beyond that point. So, Green was asked, does it mean anything to him now?
“All I know,'” he said “is that the celebration that we had in Chattanooga (last) weekend with all his family, his friends, all his coaches going back to little league … his pro coaches were there … his position coach … (they) all came for the celebration.
“I know how important that was to him; how special it was to him. Now, whatever was said about him … didn’t mean this, didn’t mean that … I just know how important, how emotional (it was) just to be with all his friends, fans. It was a special deal, and I think it meant a lot to him for that to happen.”