BLOOMINGTON, Minn. — It’s almost impossible to separate the careers of Randy Moss and Terrell Owens.
Owens played from 1996-2010, Moss’ first year was 1998 and he retired after 2012. Both made six Pro Bowls. Both had Super Bowl heartache. They’re neighbors on the all-time lists: Moss is second in career touchdown catches and fourth in yards, Owens is third in receiving touchdowns and second in yards. They were both outspoken, controversial and never boring. Both looked like sure Hall of Famers when they played.
It would be fitting if the duo made it to Canton together. Moss and Owens are a part of the group of finalists who voters will decide on Saturday. The hall’s class of 2018 will be announced Saturday night. No more than five modern-era finalists can be elected, but it seems there’s only one lock (linebacker Ray Lewis) and perhaps first-time finalist Moss should be a lock too. But as Owens can attest, it’s not always as easy as it seems.
Despite five All-Pro nods and 1,078 career receptions, 15,934 receiving yards and 156 total touchdowns, Owens has been passed over twice as a finalist. It’s the most controversial snub by the Hall of Fame voters in recent years. As a player, it’s undeniable Owens was a Hall of Fame talent. Voters clearly are considering everything else with the Owens package, which often included creating controversy and wearing out his welcome. There’s a reason one of the greatest receivers ever played for five teams.
Owens has been on radio row at the Super Bowl all week. He has expressed frustration with the process before, and
“I feel more disrespect than disappointed,” Owens told Hill this week. “And I’ve always said, too, that when you align your expectations with reality, you’ll never be disappointed. So I think in terms of my body of work and what I’ve done for the game, then that speaks loudly for itself.”
Moss seems like he should be a first-ballot Hall of Famer, though it should give him pause that Owens has had to wait, as did other great pass catchers like Marvin Harrison and Shannon Sharpe. Moss was one of the most electrifying players of his generation, from a record-setting 17-touchdown rookie season on. Moss should be in right away, but then when you look at his resume vs. Owens (Owens had more yards per game, five All-Pro nods to four for Moss, Moss had 157 touchdowns in 2018 games while Owens had 156 touchdowns in 219 games), they’re eerily similar and it would be a bit weird if Moss got in on the first ballot while Owens waited at least twice, and perhaps longer.
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