MINNEAPOLIS — We think about the careers of Randy Moss and Terrell Owens in phenomenal highlight clips and memorable sound bytes.
There weren’t any words for Moss or Owens to properly describe being voted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame on Saturday. When Hall of Fame president David Baker knocked on Moss’ hotel room door and gave him the news, Moss said he broke down in tears.
“All the emotions caught the best of me, because it has been a long journey,” Moss said. “It was just tears of joy. When you play this game and you put your heart and soul into this game, to be rewarded with that gold jacket, it’s speaks volumes. Actually, I’m speechless.”
Owens’ reaction to finally being elected is mostly a mystery. He tweeted his excitement over getting in, but he left Minneapolis before the vote was official. He said he had to go play in a basketball game in Los Angeles on Saturday. The pain of the last two years, when he was a finalist but not voted in despite a resume that was clearly deserving, didn’t sit well with him. But that road finally ended with him getting the phone call from Baker that he deserved.
“He was very calm, but very respectful, I would even say kind of humbled,” Baker said.
Brian Dawkins, who was Owens’ teammate with the Philadelphia Eagles and also was voted into the Hall of Fame on Saturday, said he hoped Owens can let go of the grudges that were building when he got passed over.
“I’m happy for him, I really am,” Dawkins said. “I hope he can take this and just enjoy it, and I guess call off the dogs a little bit.”
Owens had a classic response when asked by Clarence Hill of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram for comment about making the Hall of Fame.
Terrell Owens to me via text when I asked him for HOF quote: Can’t. Headed to basketball game. Plus Nothing else to say.
— Clarence Hill Jr (@clarencehilljr) February 3, 2018
Moss was a controversial figure at times during his career, but was always entertaining. He was one of the most electrifying players in NFL history and was an easy first-ballot selection. That’s rare at his position. According to Paul Hembekides of ESPN Stats and Info, Moss is the sixth modern-era receiver to get in on the first ballot, and just the third since 1983. Since then, the only first-ballot Hall of Famers at receiver are Jerry Rice, Steve Largent and Moss.
“I don’t really think it’s dawned on me yet, to be honest with you,” Moss said. “I watched Steve Largent, and I don’t think I can say enough good words about Jerry Rice and what he meant to the game.
“I know it is a hard process to be able to elect guys every year to represent every year’s class, for me to be a first-ballot Hall of Famer, I don’t think it has really set in. I just love the game.”
The careers of Moss and Owens paralleled each other in many ways. They might not have had much to say on Saturday as they reached the pinnacle of the football world, but it’s probably a good bet that their speeches in August will be as legendary as their careers.
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