The drama that unfolded between Donovan McNabb and Terrell Owens in Philadelphia is hardly a secret. Someday, there will surely be a “30 for 30” about it airing on ESPN. Knowing Owens, he may be the one to produce it.
McNabb and Owens finished their nasty divorce as teammates for the Eagles in 2006, but one half of the bitter pair was happy to stoke the flames once more. Earlier this week, Owens was approached in the Los Angeles airport by an intrepid TMZ reporter who asked the mercurial wide receiver a straight-forward question: “Do you think McNabb belongs in the Hall of Fame?”
Owens, sensing he could hijack an easy headline, took the bait and retorted back: “Who???”
The reporter asked the question again, this time spelling out McNabb’s first and last name.
To which Owens snidely replied: “Who???”
The details of the McNabb-Owens breakup played out in the most public manner possible, with Owens sitting in the driveway of his New Jersey home and doing sit-ups while fielding questions from the Philadelphia media. It was showmanship at its ultimate best, something that Owens may have done better than anyone else in the history of the NFL.
Owens was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame last August and used the opportunity to make a mockery of the NFL’s process for election. The six-time Pro Bowl selection skipped the official ceremony in Canton, choosing instead to host his own press conference at his alma mater, the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. According to Owens, he felt the sportswriters had slighted him and cited a “flaw in the system.”
“I don’t expect everyone to agree with me,” Owens told ESPN. “But again, obviously the criteria and the system put in place for the Hall of Fame in order for guys like myself to be inducted, there are guidelines that the writers, the sportswriters, are supposed to adhere to. It’s not, not being inducted the first or second ballot, but it’s about the process in which guys are nominated and ultimately inducted. There’s a flaw in the system.”
McNabb Sounds Off on TMZ, Says He Deserves Gold Jacket
The latest comments from Owens came on the heels of McNabb stating that he believes the NFL should be fitting a Gold Jacket for him in Canton. McNabb sounded off earlier this month to TMZ Sports, saying he firmly believes he belongs in the Pro Football Hall of Fame and argued that his stats are better than those of former Cowboys signal-caller Troy Aikman.
“My numbers are better than Troy Aikman,” McNabb told TMZ Sports. “I’m not hesitating on that. I am a Hall of Famer. My numbers speak for themselves.”
For the record, McNabb has a point. Sort of. His numbers are better than Aikman: McNabb has 4,334 more passing yards (37,276) and 69 additional passing touchdowns (234). Of course, that doesn’t take into account Aikman’s three Super Bowl rings. The former Eagles quarterback never got to raise the Lombardi Trophy, falling short (and puking) in his only appearance. However, he did lead the Eagles to five NFC Championship Games.
No worries. McNabb had an answer cued up for that, too.
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“When they look at my numbers, yeah, but then they always want to add other stuff into it,” McNabb said. “‘Was he an All-Pro? Was he this? How many Super Bowl opportunities?’ But, people don’t realize how hard it is to get to the NFC Championship and to get there five times, and then make it to a Super Bowl? It’s tough.”
The Twitter reaction was par for the course from McNabb, a guy who irritated both the fans and media with his frustratingly passive-aggressive answers in Philadelphia. He accomplished a lot and was the Eagles’ franchise quarterback for 11 seasons, qualifying for six Pro Bowls and making eight playoff appearances, before riding off unceremoniously into the sunset. Fair or not, he’ll best be remembered for the one thing he never delivered: a Super Bowl victory.