Let me start off by saying that Calvin Johnson is indeed a Hall of Fame worthy wide receiver. He was hands down one of the absolute best in his era. One of the best in the game period. Honestly there may not have been a more physically gifted player in the NFL who did what he did. With all of that being said, I don’t think he was a first ballot hall of famer. And before any of you get mad at me for saying this, hell, he didn’t think so either. He was quoted as saying “I don’t expect to get in on the first ballot,” he says. “But I do expect to get in eventually. I got 11,000 yards—but if that’s not enough, it’s not enough. If I don’t make it, I’m not gonna stop living life.”
At the time of his early, and for me, shocking retirement, Megatron had set nearly every major Lions’ all-time records along with 15 NFL records. Those records include the most receiving yards in a single-season with 1,964 in 2012. His career numbers weren’t gaudy but considering he only played nine years and through a myriad of injuries, they were dynamic, kind of like Terrell Davis of the Broncos. As it stands today, Johnson is 22nd in career TD catches with 83, 32nd with 11,619 career receiving yards and 47th with 731 career receptions. He was also a six-time Pro Bowler, and was named to four All-Pro teams. Again, Hall of Fame worthy.
But to my point. His induction today really shows how flawed and honestly how shitty the whole Hall of Fame process is. It also showed that Terrell Owens was absolutely correct in his assessment on how ridiculous and how bias the whole process is. There is absolutely no way T.O. should not have been a first ballot inductee. There is absolutely no way T.O. should have been snubbed his second year of eligibility. But he was. And in my humble opinion, it was strictly because those voters had a personal ax to grind with him. It was a show of supremacy to a guy who didn’t fall in line to what they felt he should have done. He wasn’t a media darling or some lackey that bowed to the media. He was himself and that was honestly enough. Many talked about him being a diva or a locker room cancer, but may players raved about him and his work ethic. Some also tried to question his character, but he was never in any trouble. It was all bogus excuses. And looking back, he isn’t the only one who was on the receiving end of the committee’s nonsense. Former Los Angeles Ram and current Hall of Famer Eric Dickerson once famously said that a writer once told him that he was kept from being a unanimous first ballot Hall of Famer because of his contract negotiations. All because he held out during negotiations. But we are supposed to believe that it is unbiased. And if im being honest, I believe race and feelings of superiority plays a small part in this. Being that six of the 48 media members who make up the voting committee of Pro Football Hall Of Fame, are Black, it would not surprise me in the least bit that it somehow plays a factor. The key holders to Canton, in a sport that’s 70 percent Black, is over 85 percent white. With such little diversity, it is fair to question why some of the white members didn’t have to wait as long as the Black ones.
But back to Owens. When he retired he had the second most receiving yards in NFL history and the third most receiving touchdowns. T.O. also finished his career eighth on the all-time receptions list after a 15-year career that saw him play for the 49ers, Cowboys, Eagles, Bills and Bengals.
Now compare his numbers and accolades to the six first ballot wide receivers in the history of the NFL and ONLY JERRY RICE would be unilaterally named greater than Owens without a debate happening. There is a problem with this system that needs to be addressed, so we can avoid another black eye for the Hall of Fame and also another Terrell Owens type of unjustified snub.
Tyrus Kennedy is a full time content creator for Black With No Chaser and the MFer in charge of Black With No Chaser Sports. He is currently in an entanglement between writing, video content creating and podcasting. Needless to say that he gets around.