The older I get the better I take news that bothers me and gets under my skin. This weekend caused my blood pressure to rise and riled me up to a point of severe anger and frustration. Sports is a huge part of my life and I enjoy watching the best in their sport dominate. Seeing Tom Brady win his 5th Super Bowl was a delight even though I am not a Patriots fan. I have had the privilege of watching some of the all-time greats including Pete Rose, Barry Bonds, Jack Nicklaus, Roger Federer, Michael Jordan, LeBron James, and Wayne Gretzky dominate their sports. Watching their careers blossom as they win numerous championships is extremely satisfying. While I am a lifelong Detroiter and root hard for my hometown teams, I take great pleasure in watching the best perform. The next step for greatness is the Hall of Fame for these great athletes.
Pete Rose and Barry Bonds are two of the best to ever step onto a baseball field, yet when I go to Cooperstown, NY, they are not included on the wall of faces. This pains me greatly. Pete Rose personified greatness. I loved his aggressive play, and he is the Hit King. Barry Bonds is in my opinion the greatest baseball player that has ever lived, yet he has also been denied due to allegations of steroid use. We have no idea who used and who did not and I think if we knew the real truth, the numbers would be staggering. The Hall of Fame should include members based on one thing, their performance on the field. Instead, we get individuals, who must be perfect themselves, judging others and denying them their due. It is pathetic.
Many players like my childhood heroes Alan Trammell and Jack Morris are not in the Hall of Fame, and while I disagree with this, I can justify it as their numbers are on the edge of greatness and may just not be enough to get them in right away. In other cases like Bonds, Clemens, Carter, and more recently Terrell Owens, there is no doubt that these are first ballot Hall of Famers, yet they are forced to wait because some voters think they are “god-like” and should be able to judge character. This is just wrong and the process needs to change.
Terrell Owens was one of the most dynamic players the game has ever seen. At 6’3, he ran the 40 yard dash in 4.45 second. He was a 3rd round pick in 1996 out of Chattanooga by the San Francisco 49ers. He was a fiery competitor who was in top physical condition at all times. His numbers are staggering as he went to 6 Pro Bowls, pulling in 1,078 catches for 15,934 yards and 153 touchdowns. He is 2nd in career yardage and 3rd in TD’s all-time. He had nine 1,000 yard seasons and eight seasons with 10 plus TD catches over his 15 years. His performance in Super Bowl XXXIX for the Philadelphia Eagles was his crowning achievement in my opinion. Coming off a severely sprained ankle and a fractured fibula just a few weeks earlier he dominated with 9 receptions and 122 yards in a loss to the New England Patriots. There are very few athletes, if any, that could have done what he did. Most would have never taken the field.
While he might not have been the most agreeable player on each team he played for, when he stepped onto the field, you knew exactly what you were going to get. These accolades deserved a unanimous first ballot Hall of Fame selection, yet he has not yet been selected and if you believe what Peter King said today on the Mike and Mike show on ESPN, he is not even close at this point. This is a complete disgrace and makes me disregard the Hall of Fame in the NFL completely. I have also vowed to never visit Canton, OH or Cooperstown, NY until Rose, Bonds, and Owens are given their induction. An apology to each of these players should also follow.