Hall of Fame is botching it with in-kind snub of Owens

Doing the popular thing is not always the right thing.

The Pro Football Hall of Fame’s decision to virtually ignore Terrell Owens at the induction ceremony because he is refusing to attend falls in that category.

It was a popular move because it was an in your face answer to Owens’ refusing to show, probably because he was snubbed the first two years he was ineligible.

The move cements Owens’ reputation as an immature, me-first kind of guy who was often a cancer on the teams he played for.

He wore out his welcome so often that he played for five teams despite his talent.

He should have played tennis or golf. He is not a team player. It has to be all about him.

But shouldn’t the HOF executives be the adults in the room? He will not be introduced at the Friday night Gold Jacket ceremony and will not be introduced the following night at the annual induction ceremony.

“The focus is on the guys who are here,’’ Joe Horrigan, the HOF’s executive director, told Clark Judge of the Talk of Fame Network.

But isn’t the snub just drawing more attention to Owens? Why not run a video of his highlights at the induction ceremony and move on to the next presentation?

Judge, who happens to be a longtime friend, even said the HOF won’t let Owens spoil their party. Yet they are highlighting Owens’ absence by snubbing him.

Judge wrote the HOF wasn’t being vindictive or punitive. It certainly looks like they are.

Horrigan compared it to a graduate who doesn’t show up for the graduation ceremony and doesn’t get a diploma or is mentioned.

But being honored at the Hall isn’t supposed to be about showing up, although Owens is the first ever to snub the hall.

“There’s no reason to bring him up as an individual,’’ Horrigan said. “He’s not here.’’

Actually, the reason to bring him up is that he is a member of this year’s class.

The HOF is fortunate Owens isn’t attending. His me-too attitude won’t be missed. He probably would have whined about not getting in sooner. He was never a team player, so it’s fitting he isn’t going to be part of this year’s HOF team.

Instead, they will mail his gold jacket Saturday morning to Owens, who is making his acceptance speech at his alma mater Tennessee-Chattanooga that day. But I think he already had his own gold jacket made up in the past to protest being overlooked. Or could have had one made.

Owens is so selfis, he is even denying his family and friends the chance to be in Canton for all the festivities.

One voter, Gary Myers, said he wouldn’t have voted for Owens if he knew he wasn’t going to show up.

But why would we be surprised Owens is going to be a no-show? The move is consistent with his whole career.

I didn’t vote for him because I didn’t see the rush to elect him in his third year of eligibility while other worthy candidates have suffered the fate of being in the final 15 or final 10 for more than three years and not making it.

I would have put him in eventually, but I also would have had no problem waiting a decade or so to get him in. I would have put in a player who has been waiting longer for induction.

Owens’ supporters point to his stats, but if the HOF is only about stats, you don’t need to have a vote.

My feeling is you judge the totality of a career. Some argue that off-field stuff shouldn’t matter. But I think the locker-room presence can’t be ignored.

My only regret is that the HOF has dragged itself down to T.O.’s level by snubbing him. Michelle Obama once said “When they go low, we go high.” This was the Hall’s chance to go high — and they didn’t.

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