During his career Marvin Harrison was a notorious recluse who said nothing about anything, so when he took a microphone it’s equal parts shock and curiosity. What is the former standout wide receiver of the Indianapolis Colts going to say?
Harrison, who on his third try was recently voted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, did not elect to say little or just offer some lame cliches but took aim at one of his ex-colleagues in the NFL, former Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Terrell Owens.
You remember him.
Owens complained after he was left out of the HOF 2016 class. The man simply cannot shut his mouth. He never has realized just how bad he sounds, how much he contradicts himself and the damage his mouth and attitude did to what should be a slam-dunk HOF resume.
Premium content for only $0.99
For the most comprehensive local coverage, subscribe today.
In an interview with Rick Gosselin of the Dallas Morning News, who is a HOF voter, on The Talk of Fame Radio Network, Harrison ripped TO and said everything the PHOF voters, countless ex-teammates and those who covered him feel about him.
Hosts Ron Borges, Gosselin and Clark Judge asked Harrison if he was worried that being on the same ballot with so many star wide receivers, like Owens, would split the vote. That’s when Harrison opened a can ...
“I wasn’t concerned at all. 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,” Harrison said. “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 (bull stuff) 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.”
It’s one thing if a member of the media rips T.O. but quite another when the noiseless Marvin Harrison goes out of his way to bury him.
When the new class was announced shortly before the Super Bowl, Owens Tweeted a nice message to the new members. It was surprising and suggested Owens, 42, has moved on.
Yeah ... no.
Then he went on a 105.3 The Fan in Dallas and, as expected, it became a “Poor Me, Starring Terrell Owens - Volume 78.”
He complained about the voting procedure, belittled the voters, made fun of HOF inductee and ESPN analyst Cris Carter and said “What I’ve done throughout my career speaks volumes.”
Yes it does, which is the problem.
From 1996 to 2010, Owens had 1,078 receptions for 15,934 yards with 153 touchdowns for five teams.
Despite his vast number of employers, he has Hall of Fame numbers, and those stats will eventually push him into Canton. When he was in the prime of his career he was impossible to defend and the best, or second best, wide receiver in the game.
What this dope never grasped was just how much damage his mouth and his attitude did to that resume. He has never understood the reality that just because he was never arrested means he is a good guy. No one is awarded medals for avoiding handcuffs.
The fact that San Francisco and Philadelphia were willing to dump him when he was in the middle of his prime speaks to just how much teams did not want him in their respective locker rooms. Teams do not want to jettison great players unless they have to. He was a drama mamma who wore out his teammates; it was always something.
There is no comparison to be made between Owens and former Cowboys receiver Michael Irvin, who also took a while for his HOF induction because of his off the field incidents, which were criminal. The Cowboys and his teammates loved him because he was a good teammate and he cared about winning. With Owens, you were just never quite sure if he cared about himself and his stats more than his team.
His quarterbacks would complain that he would refuse to go over the middle, “Give him his eyes” and be willing to catch a ball that would make him vulnerable to a hit, and that he would improvise routes without warning which would often lead to interceptions.
Having covered him during his time with the Dallas Cowboys, I always thought there were a few wires crossed upstairs and that he failed to grasp the sound of his own voice. He was no different than most pro jocks who are surrounded with enablers who tell him he is right and that he is being wrongly persecuted; he believed all of it, too.
If he ever would alter his rhetoric the drama behind Terrell Owens’ Hall of Fame induction would cease. Until then, rip away Marvin Harrison.