Tonight, The Pro Football Hall of Fame’s Selection Committee met in Houston to finalize its selections for the 2017 class of Hall of Famers, and just made its announcement:
The Class of 2017 consists of kicker Morten Andersen; running back Terrell Davis; safety Kenny Easley; owner, president and general manager Jerry Jones; defensive end Jason Taylor; running back LaDainian Tomlinson; and quarterback Kurt Warner.
A deserving class, with Tomlinson and Taylor the first-ballot headliners.
As Gregg Rosenthal writes at NFL.com, it’s an eclectic class, too, with a range of stories (including Warner’s famous quest from the Arena League to Europe to finally breaking through as a starter when he was 28).
The most noticeably absent name, once again, is Terrell Owens. A finalist twice now, with a clear first-ballot Hall of Fame stat sheet, T.O. will have to wait another year. Owens is second in NFL history (Jerry Rice) in receiving yards, and third in NFL history (Rice, Randy Moss) in touchdowns. Owens was not only one of the greatest wide receivers in the game’s history, but one of the most impactful offensive players. He’s a Hall of Famer on paper.
Clearly, though, other considerations are, for now, keeping T.O. out, and it’s not a stretch to presume that it is related to his outsized personality, and demonstrative behavior. I can’t speak to the “unwritten rules” of football, but I always thought he was fun to watch.
Maybe next year the electors will decide they’ve made their point – whatever it is.
This year’s class will be formally enshrined into the Pro Football Hall of Fame on Saturday, August 5 in Canton, Ohio.