I’ve always wanted to do at least a couple more hackwatches so that I could get to the very bottom of the barrel: sportswriters. Oddly enough, most people with the title “sports writer” barely understand the sport they cover and are bad writers as well. It’s as if society decided that a few dozen illiterate Chinese peasants should be “English professors.” Or if a quadruple amputee who became aroused at the site of watching someone drown was declared a “lifeguard.” Sportswriters covering sports is bad enough, but for some reason they tend to venture into other realms like the law, politics and morality, which they do not understand at all. I’ve just been waiting on an article that really exemplifies everything that is wrong with these retards. Hello, Jason Cole. Hello an article that actually asks:

APTOPIX Giants Cowboys Football

Does Terrell Owens deserve bust in Canton?

Now if you’re foreign or a woman or something, the stench of stupidity might not overwhelm you instantly. Give me a few minutes, and I promise it will build. And no, this is not one of those “hot topic” blog things where the shocking headline doesn’t match the content. Cole is actually challenging TO’s Hall Of Fame credentials.

CANTON, Ohio – Terrell Owens(notes) stood next to the ticket office just inside the glass doors of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, headphones covering his ears, sunglasses on his face, and stared outside at the throng of people Saturday evening who were here for the enshrinement ceremonies.

Owens, who joined the Bengals last month after an offseason of little interest in his services, looked out of place.

Reason one Owens doesn’t deserve to be in the Hall of Fame: He doesn’t show much interest in the Hall of Fame. This is just classic sportswriting. I mean, if you write about football for a living, you should probably understand that there is no major sport in which one of the Hall of Fame criteria is “how much does the player like this museum?” Yes, it’s vaguely annoying when somebody so fortunate becomes blasé about it, and jock resentment is the engine that drives much of this type of sports writing, but you know what?


A place he may never arrive if you buy the opinions of some people in the game.

“Absolutely not,” a long-time NFL team personnel executive said recently when asked if Owens deserved a spot in the Hall of Fame. Another prominent team executive echoed that, calling Owens a “figment.”

“I think he is so overblown statistics-wise, it’s unbelievable,” the first executive said. “If you play long enough, you’re going to have stats. He’s playing long enough and he’s got stats and now he has another gig, so there are more stats coming. But he’s no more a Hall of Famer than this bottle of water.

“I’m talking about the route runner. I’m talking about the hands. All that stuff, the wide receiver skills. I just don’t see it. Big, strong, all that that? Yeah. That’s there. But Hall of Famer? Years ago I would have said he was heading in a Hall of Fame direction. But a winner? He doesn’t have any of that. We don’t even have to bring that [into the discussion]. ”


Reason 2: He is overrated. Obviously these people have some sort of resentment against Owens, which probably has more basis in personal interaction than Jason Cole’s hysteria and envy. So I guess this is the spot to lay out some facts. TO was considered, throughout his prime, to be somewhere among the top two to three players at his position by the overwhelming majority of the people watching the game. For me that’s it. If you spend a long stretch doing that, you are by definition, a Hall of Famer. The “overblown statistics?” Normally I’d pull out all kinds of stats that would show how good the player I’m arguing for “really” is. In this case, there’s no need. Third all-time receiving yards with 14,951 (very soon to be second). Third all-time in receiving touchdowns with 144. Sixth all time in in receptions with 1,006. Maybe he is overrated. With those numbers, it doesn’t matter. Devalue them by 10% and it’s still not even debatable, at least within the realm of rationality.

His game is not flawless, of course, but diminishing the stats because he used speed and power more than hands and route running is kind of like saying Warren Beatty wouldn’t have gotten laid so much if he wasn’t a movie star. It’s like saying Nolan Ryan wouldn’t have been as good if he had an 85 mph fastball. Well of course, TO is a totally unprecedented case of a guy who is good at football because he is freakishly big, strong and fast, but they don’t give you less points for a touchdown because you are too strong.

As for the asinine, “if you play long enough,” argument, the guy is not exactly George Blanda. He’s had 14 seasons. It’s the same bullshit. “Well sure, Oscar De La Hoya fought in so many bouts, of course he would eventually win multiple world titles.” “Well sure, if you jot down enough figures, of course you will eventually come up with the theory of relativity.” And though nobody was smart enough to bring it up, you could point to the fact that passing is more prevalent in recent years, which inflates passing stats. But if this is true, it also means that receivers are more important.

But look, these are obviously just some jowly old guys who work for teams (we don’t know what their jobs are or if they involve much talent evaluation) and who have some kind of gripe with TO, which is pretty understandable. To dig up the small number of NFL people who are so sour on TO that they would make such stupid arguments, and to quote them exclusively, is dog shit reporting.

Whether the 44 media members who vote on the Hall of Fame agree with that one day remains to be seen. Owens enters his 15th season with his fifth team, an impressive résumé of stats and a bad reputation even he acknowledges.

And zero concern about whether the Hall is in his future.

I hate when hacks do this, and again, pretty much every sports hack does. Figure out some way to emphasize your point other than giving one sentence its own paragraph. For example, you could try writing a better, more persuasive article.

Fuck off, you moron.

“Even when I came [to the Hall] the first time, the second time, I never really thought about it,” Owens said Sunday. “Toward the end of my career with the numbers where they are now, people tend to say, ‘You’re going to be here some day.’ Of course, from a statistics standpoint, yeah, I’ll be here.

“But there are going to be a lot of things that factor into that, probably reputation and character and things of that nature. For me, honestly, I could really care less. When I started playing in this game, football wasn’t my first love. I didn’t have that passion the way some guys who grow up have that passion for the game of football. … If I get in, I get in. If I don’t, I don’t, it’s not a big deal.”


Back to reason 1. Man this shit drives me crazy. Jason Cole thinks that TO should be really into the Hall of Fame, and, because he is very good at football, TO should be a huge fan of football. But TO doesn’t have the outlook on things that Jason Cole thinks he should. What a fucking crime against humanity. It’s a wonder that all professional athletes don’t instantly turn into Barry Bonds. Can you imagine people routinely writing articles about what your personal priorities should be, down to how interested you should be in a particular museum? Is a great salesman less great if he doesn’t read books about P.T. Barnum?  You can have the lawyer who regales you with awestruck stories about Warren and Marshall. I’ll take the one who wins all of his cases.

Cole, raging hemorrhoid though he is, certainly knows that TO grew up in severe poverty and had a very repressive and moderately abusive childhood. Maybe that’s a factor in why he sees things kind of differently than people who were privileged enough to grow up regarding sports spectating as an issue of great importance. Perhaps this is enough to forgive him, just this once, for thinking out of lockstep with the mighty sage, Jason Cole. Let him have a second chance here. If we later find out that TO’s interest in collectible sports memorabilia is not exactly equal to Jason Cole’s, then I agree: obviously he should be kept out of the Hall Of Fame and possibly imprisoned.

The 36-year-old Owens, who has 1,006 receptions and 144 receiving touchdowns, backed that up with a nearly defiant attitude Saturday as the Bengals visited the Hall prior to their preseason game with Dallas on Sunday night in the Hall of Fame game.

Owens took about 30 steps to the top of the spiral walkway that opens to the Hall’s main floor. He then spent the better part of an hour leaning back on the rail at the top of the walkway, arms crossed and saying little. He didn’t look at any of the exhibits and never wandered anywhere close to the Hall’s best display, the room filled with the busts of all the inductees.

Almost every other Bengals player took it in. Left tackle Andrew Whitworth spent almost every moment researching the offensive tackles in the Hall, including Anthony Munoz, Gary Zimmerman and Jackie Slater. Wide receiver Chad Ochocinco walked around tweeting about the things he learned.

“This is sweet, really nice,” Ochocinco said with a genuine smile.

Linebacker Dhani Jones, who had been here four times before, walked around taking it all in again.

All the while, Owens struck a disaffected pose, like a teenager forced to see an art exhibit. He said he wants to wait, his body language edgy. He said his other visits have been the same. He has never walked the halls of football’s greatest shrine.

“I didn’t even walk around [Saturday],” Owens said. “It’s not a disrespect to the people who are in the Hall of Fame. I think that I’m going to leave that up to the day when I walk away from the game that I can bring my kids and experience it with them. I want to have a full experience.”


Let me expand on the point I made earlier. I’m pretty sure it is true of all museums, not just sports museums. How much you are interested with the museum should have nothing to do with whether you are in the museum. Like, if it is discovered that Goya didn’t like to go to art museums, should all of his stuff be pulled out of the Prado? So how is his “defiant attitude” (defiant of whom? Kim Jong Cole, I guess) “backing up” his stats in any sense whatsoever? There is no connection between his stats and his interest in this museum. The fact that Cole labels a thirty-seven year old man “defiant” says everything about the state of sports punditry.

Perhaps that’s believable,

WHAT? You just spewed like nine “paragraphs” taking him to task for not liking a museum and then you present his explanation, as if one were necessary and say “Perhaps that’s believable?” Good show.

but Owens is missing the bigger point, even as it came walking past him. As he stood in the front of the Hall, the Dallas Cowboys entered a little later. His last best team strolled past him. He gave hugs to some of his old buddies and ignored those who helped force his departure.

He continues to believe that his dismissal from the Cowboys after the 2008 season wasn’t his fault. He continues to deny that his pouting, distrusting, divisive attitude (which also helped hasten his departures from San Francisco and Philadelphia) is what hurt him.

“I think about it, but it is what it is at this point,” Owens said. “There’s no turning back at this point and I still stand by the things that I said and what was done and I know, honestly, it wasn’t my fault.”


Reason number three: Owens is kind of a dick and is a poor teammate. Most people would agree with this assertion and maybe for a borderline candidate, it could nudge them the wrong way. But even in backing up an assertion everyone agrees with, Cole is petty and stupid. Oh my fucking God, TO was warm with the teammates who were his friends, and not with those who shared a mutual dislike. I mean, suppose all of the co-workers from your last job came walking by. Wouldn’t you take a minute to say hello to your friends and politely ignore the people you had problems with? What else would you do?

And even though everybody agrees that TO seems like kind of an asshole, who cares? The hall is full of felons and genuinely nasty, mean-spirited people. Now all of the sudden we are going to keep people out, not for serious crimes, not for using performance-enhancing drugs, not for point-shaving, not for anything other than the fact that TO seems kind of dickish and is a poor teammate.

You know, it’s a shame. Maybe if, instead of pulling himself from a debilitating childhood into massive success, fame and wealth, though maintaining an abrasive personality, TO had followed Ray Lewis’ example. If only he were a really great teammate, who participated in a murder and let his buddies take the fall for it, maybe then he’d be deserving of a Hall of Morality spot.


As the saying goes, denial ain’t just a river in Egypt.

No! Bad hack! Nononono NO! You are not supposed to take money for regurgitating a horrible catch phrase you heard a drag queen spew on a five year old “Maury” rerun when you could have been learning some of the elementary aspects of football. Push that, and a bag of chips, out of your brain and instead try to absorb this fact: a touchdown gives you six points.

But it is the reason that Owens is now playing his home games on a riverfront. Owens has arrived in Cincinnati – the Ellis Island of the NFL – because nobody else wanted him. He was on the market for the better part of five months and the Bengals were the only team that showed real interest. St. Louis thought about it and the New York Jets rolled the idea around, but neither made a serious offer.

That seemingly shouldn’t happen to a guy such as Owens. Unlike the men who are in the Hall, Owens has let too many things get in the way. There are moments when he gets that point. He even admitted to showing great restraint last year while he played through chaos in Buffalo. Between weird coaching moves and numerous injuries to other players, Owens said he kept his mouth shut and his attitude positive.

I officially have a headache. Does Jason Cole know what Ellis Island is and/or was? Because I cannot think of any way that his analogy makes sense. Is he confusing Ellis Island with Alcatraz? Fuck. Let’s move on with some facts. TO is thirty-seven and obviously on the downside of his career. I wonder how many of the wide receivers currently in The Hall would have found a great market for their services at age thirty-seven. Almost none? Also, it’s not like, if the Bengals were not in the league, TO would have been forced into retirement this year. That’s how Cole makes it sound because he is a disingenuous piece of shit, but I don’t think anybody seriously believes that it is actually the case. Especially since, by Cole’s own admission, TO had a positive attitude last year to go with decent statistics.

Finally, TO is still a thirty-seven-year-old man. It is troubling and even borderline creepy how, in a short piece, Cole has compared him to a petulant teenager, attempted to assert what his priorities should be, called him “defiant,” wishes to tell him how he should interact with his ex-coworkers and is only willing to praise him when he “keeps his mouth shut.” This is totally normal in the world of sportswriting. Even though if you tell an average man, “keep your mouth shut,” you’d better have health and dental, there’s some weird swirl of homoeroticism, racism and envy in which it is commonplace for sports writers to say things like this.

That brings up the obvious question: why didn’t he do that before? Why not keep your mouth shut after making the Super Bowl for the first time in Philadelphia? Why not suck it up in Dallas when you had an owner who loved you and wanted to pay you?

Why not get it before you have to finish your career on a series of one-year deals with teams that build the way some people play craps. Take a bunch of long shots and hope it works.

I don’t know. None of your fucking business, maybe? Look, I’m not saying that TO isn’t a headcase. But he is a clear cut, first ballot, hall of fame headcase and it is fucking ridiculous and pathetic for some second tier sports writer to sit back and play Saint Peter on him.

Instead, Owens has created a has-been aura. It’s to the point that football people dismiss his once overwhelming skills.

This headache keeps getting worse. Of course Owens is a “has been.” He is several years past his prime. Technically, Jerry Rice is a “has been.” So what? In fact, you must be a “has been” to get into the Hall Of Fame, so it’s hardly a disqualifier.

“I just don’t see the talent,” the first executive said. “I see a big guy, who in his heyday did damage when with other weapons. Damn right you better deal with him. But all the accolades of the ‘One-man band’ and ‘You can’t stop him,’ I never bought any of that. Just stay on him, do your job and eventually he’ll self-destruct. He’ll drop balls, lose concentration, run a [bad] route, leave the quarterback out to dry. Not in a verbal way, in route running. All those things are what he is. Add it all up and he’s not in the conversation.”

When writing a terrible article, might as well conclude with a paragraph that just quotes some idiot. If he is saying you can leave TO isolated now, well no shit. He’s entering his fifteenth season. Otherwise, great plan. If someone would only have left a prime TO in isolation all game, in the course of racking up 250 receiving yards and scoring four touchdowns, he would have run a bad route at some point. Clearly he shouldn’t even be in the conversation for the Hall of Fame.



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