FINALLY: Terrell Owens inducted into NFL Hall of Fame at UTC
CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WDEF) — Legendary NFL wide receiver and former UTC Moc Terrell Owens put on that coveted gold Hall of Fame jacket Saturday — not in Canton, but here at McKenzie Arena. And it only took him three nominations to get there.
It was an emotional day for Terrell Owens and the some 2,000 fans from across the nation that joined in on the Hall of Fame celebration.
“Two days from now, it will be a year since my mom passed away. And we were both big, big T.O. fans. She was a cowboys fan. She loved him to death. I love him to death,” said Kegan Arriangton, who drove six hours from Virginia to see the ceremony.
“I love football. My son loves football. And he’s going to be one of the next hall of fame inductees so he’s got to get that experience early,” Terrence Simmons said.
And TO made it clear that this speech and event were for the fans.
“I made my first trip back here to homecoming, and walked around the campus and saw and I felt the love and the impact that I had made over all these years, unbeknownst to me. I didn’t realize what I was doing,” Owens said. “So for me I know that I’ve made an impact not only in this community, at this university, but a lot of fans and football players an aspiring athletes across the country.”
With close to 16,000 career receiving yards in more than 1,000 receptions, Terrell Owens broke multiple NFL records during his 15-year career.
But some thought his antics after the whistle overshadowed his playmaking.
Owens didn’t shy away from making his opinions on that matter heard.
“Many of you may be wondering why we’re here instead of Canton,” Owens said. “It’s not because of how many times it took for me to be voted into the hall. It’s about the mere fact that the sportswriters are not in alignment with the mission and core values of the Hall of Fame.”
Owens says a trip to Canton is somewhere in the future — but he has no regrets.
“For people to say that I’m missing something special, if they weren’t here today, I can equally say that they missed something special today,” Owens said.