First and foremost, let's make one thing clear. What I am about to say is in no way an endorsement of the high horse, morally superior bullshit spewed by predominantly old, white analysts whose "expertise" in their field is marked by the "stats" they pad when they are 100% wrong. I'm willing to hear both sides of the argument, but we are talking about a spot in a museum full of stalls dedicated to the individuals whose personal accomplishments far exceeded those of their peers. Since I have never seen an entire roster immortalized in bronzed headshots, I think that the 'Hall Of Me' would be a pretty fucking accurate - though less complimentary - description of the 'Hall Of Fame'...
That being said, it's important to recognize that the previous train of thought still exists. The final destination might be worlds away from a place called common sense, but it just kept the man with the 2nd most receiving yards and 3rd most receiving touchdowns of all time from forever shacking up amongst the game's best so it's undoubtedly still in motion.
Personally? I would have voted Terrell Owens into the 'Hall Of Fame' on the first go around. In fact, I'm so confident in that opinion that I would say it's a crime that he was passed over. I just think it's one of those crimes that feels far less egregious because of who the victim is. Getting mad at the supposedly "unbiased" parties who made a mockery of their vote by ignoring the on-field impact of an insufferable narcissist simply because he was an insufferable narcissist is like getting mad at the guy who bloodied the belligerent drunk into a coma after he grabbed his girlfriend's ass. I guess what I am saying is that Terrell Owens brought this obvious snub upon himself.
It's 2017 and now - more than ever - the general public is just as concerned with an athlete's personality as it is with his/her talent. It's the same reason you've seen more negative stories about Odell Beckham than you did positive stories, despite the fact that he was taking chain moving slant routes to the house on a seemingly weekly basis. Even as someone who rolls their eyes at the theatrics of prima donna wide receivers, I truly believe the defining moment of Terrell Owens career was when he absolutely dominated the Super Bowl - albeit in defeat - on one and half legs. However, I can't - in good conscience say that I have watched those highlights more than the video of him leveraging his finances by doing shirtless sit-ups in front of countless television cameras.
As dominant as TO was in his prime, I have a clearer memory of him yelling at teammates and crying in press conferences than I do of him effortlessly blowing by cornerbacks that looked like middle schoolers in his shadow. You have to have some pretty shitty hindsight to let a couple extravagant TD celebrations and a handful of sideline tantrums blind you from seeing Terrell Owens as the extraordinary, generational talent that he was, but we are talking about stuffy, stick-in-the-mud media members whose outdated vision is probably beyond repair. I don't think we should excuse it for being a bit blurry, but I think we can understand why it is.