Marvin Harrison, who waited patiently to be selected into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, spoke out this week against Terrell Owens, who was not quiet about not getting elected on the first ballot.
Harrison, speaking nationally on the Talk of Fame Network for the first time since his election into the Hall of Fame on the eve of Super Bowl 50, said he was not concerned about splitting the vote with Owens, a fellow wide receiver. Hall of Fame voters Ron Borges, Rick Gosselin and Clark Judge conducted the interview with Harrison, who was selected on his third year of eligibility.
“The person who was supposed to get in got in. And that was me,” Harrison said. “If he didn’t get in, that’s his problem. He can talk all that other bull-(expletive) like he’s been doing. That’s on him. But I’m in. My jacket is gold. I will look in the rear view for nobody.
“So he can get his ass in whenever he gets in … if he gets in. If he doesn’t get in, too bad. The hell with him.’’
Both Harrison and Owens indisputably have Hall-of-Fame statistics. The major knock on Owens is that multiple teams that had him during the prime of his career ended up trading or releasing him.
Harrison ranks third in NFL history with 1,102 receptions. Owens is sixth at 1,078. Harrison played his entire 13-year career with the Indianapolis Colts. Owens played for five teams in his 15-year career.
Owens ranks second in NFL history with 15,934 receiving yards. Harrison is seventh at 14,580. But Harrison’s 76.7 yards receiving per game is second among non-active players, while Owens’ 72.8 yards per game ranks sixth.
Owens is No. 3 all-time with 153 receiving touchdowns, while Harrison is fifth at 128. Harris made the Pro Bowl eight times, compared to Owens’ six selections. But Owens was a five-time first-team All-Pro, with Harrison earning that honor three times. Harrison played on a Super Bowl-winning team; Owens did not.
When asked if Owens was a Hall of Famer, Harrison listed others who deserved the honor without mentioning Owens.
“If it was up to me, Isaac Bruce, Reggie Wayne … I can go and list … Moss … Randy Moss … can all get in,” Harrison said. “They got a lot of class with them. If they didn’t get in the same time I got in they’d have had a better approach about it as opposed to this guy.”
The week after the 2016 Hall of Fame Class was announced, Owens said he felt the voting system was flawed and he felt “disrespected.”
"I wasn't too much surprised, I probably would have been more surprised had I made it,” Owens said in an interview on ESPN. “But I understand the process. And so for me, if you look on the surface of everything and take away what they call character issues off the table then I was an automatic shoe-in.
"But if you think about a number of guys that are in and some of the guys have those off the field issues, and even some of the guys that got inducted, there are some issues there.”