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On Saturday, August 4, in Canton, Ohio, the newest inductees will be enshrined in the NFL Hall of Fame. This year, eight new members will be added, the maximum allowed in any given year. Seven will show up. One will not.
There will be 318 members following this year’s induction. The selection committee is made up of 48 individuals, mostly media members and each NFL city is represented by a media person.
Eligibility for a player or coach begins five years after retirement. Fans actually can nominate a player, coach, or contributor to the Hall. The committee narrows the list to 25 semifinalists and then down again to 15. The Selection Committee meets again and, if a nominee receives 80% of the votes, they will be inducted. There must be at least four and no more than eight new inductees.
This year, Bobby Beathard, Robert Brazile, Brian Dawkins, Jerry Kramer, Ray Lewis, Randy Moss, Brian Urlacher, and Terrell Owens will make up the Class of 2018.
All but Terrell Owens will attend. Although he has not publicly stated his reasons, most believe it is a response to not making the Hall in his first or second year of eligibility. His statistics certainly merited induction and many felt it was his on- and off-the-field exploits that kept him from garnering the necessary votes the first two years.
Owens is in the top ten in receptions, receiving yards, and receiving touchdowns. He was a part of three Super Bowl teams with the Dallas Cowboys. He also was a thorn in the side of almost every team he played for and there were many. Suffice it to say when he left a team, tears were not shed.
So despite being invited and calling the moment “one of the most memorable days of my life”, he will instead give his acceptance speech at the University of Tennessee in Chattanooga on August 4, the same day as the ceremony in Canton.
So, how has the Hall responded to the snub? They will not acknowledge Terrell Owens at all during the ceremony. Hall of Fame wide receiver, Michael Irvin, said it best, “We can’t spend this moment for all these other guys talking about the guy that is not here. You cannot do that and take that away. He’s doing his own thing wherever he’s doing his own thing, and God bless him. And when they mention the class they’ll mention him, but why should you steal those other guys’ moment because of the decision of this one?”
“I think it’s the right move. They’re not saying he’s not going to have a bust in the room. They’re not saying he’s not getting his jacket. They’re saying, ‘We’re honoring his wish. He doesn’t want to be here with us, we’re going to mention him as little as possible.’ I think it’s the right move.”
Terrell Owens has a right to not attend a party he was invited to and the Hall has the right to pay as little attention to the no-show as they want.
Both can respond to the invitation as many often do, “With regrets”. Only this time, I think both parties will eventually truly believe it.
ABOVE THE EARS (SOME MUSINGS)
- Speaking of the Dallas Cowboys, retired quarterback Tony Romo won the American Century Championship this past weekend. This was part of a celebrity golf tour that now exists for sports personalities. Romo won $125,000, but plays as an amateur, so he donated his winning check to charity.
- Back in April when I made my baseball predictions, I could not fathom a stronger team than the Yankees in the American League. But the Boston Red Sox and the Houston Astros have been amazing. Going into the All-Star break only the Red Sox (68 wins), the Astros (64 wins) and the Yankees (62 wins) have more than 60 wins. The best record in the National League belongs to the Cubs, but they would be 13 games behind the Red Sox in the standings if they were in the same division.
- Speaking of the Cubs, they have quietly moved past the Milwaukee Brewers in the standings and the media in Chicago and the players give most of the credit to the locker room culture created by former Lafayette student Joe Maddon. If you are a Maddon or Cub fan, Lafayette is auctioning off two “Joe Maddon Baseball Tours” to the highest bidder. For details, go to:https://goleopards.cbsi-auctions.com/
- The Phillies are in first place at the All-Star break. They have done it by winning at home where they are 30-16. Only the San Francisco Giants have won more home games (31) than the Phils. Nothing is better than keeping the Philadelphia fans happy at home.
- Our final Blue Mountain League Game of the Week will be on July 24 when the Martins Creek Creekers travel to Egypt to play the Northern Yankees. Watch at 9:30pm.