Tom­lin­son, Warner in T.O.-less Hall of Fame class

Owens tweets votes against him ‘a to­tal joke’

The Hamilton Spectator - - SPORTS - MARK MASKE The Wash­ing­ton Post

HOUSTON — Vot­ers for the Pro Foot­ball Hall of Fame again turned away the sec­ond-most­pro­duc­tive re­ceiver in Na­tional Foot­ball League his­tory, Ter­rell Owens, but elected a seven-mem­ber class Satur­day that in­cludes run­ning back LaDainian Tom­lin­son and quar­ter­back Kurt Warner.

Run­ning back Ter­rell Davis, de­fen­sive end Ja­son Tay­lor and kicker Morten An­der­sen also were cho­sen from among the mod­ern era fi­nal­ists for en­shrine­ment in Can­ton, Ohio. Dal­las Cow­boys owner Jerry Jones was elected as a con­trib­u­tor and for­mer Seat­tle Sea­hawks safety Kenny Easley was cho­sen as the nom­i­nee of the se­niors com­mit­tee.

The class might be more no­table for who wasn’t elected than for who was. Owens ranks sec­ond in league his­tory in ca­reer re­ceiv­ing yards. He trails only Jerry Rice in that cat­e­gory. Yet Owens was passed over by the vot­ers for a sec­ond straight year, ap­par­ently be­cause of his his­tory of clash­ing with his teams and, on oc­ca­sion, team­mates.

Owens wrote on Twit­ter that the Hall of Fame “is a to­tal joke. Hon­estly, doesn’t mean any­thing to me to get in be­yond this point.”

Tom­lin­son and Tay­lor were elected in their first year of el­i­gi­bil­ity. Tom­lin­son, who spent most of his ca­reer with the San Diego Charg­ers, ranks fifth on the NFL’s ca­reer rush­ing list and was re­garded as the clos­est thing to a lock in this year’s class.

Warner was a two-time league MVP for the St. Louis Rams and started Su­per Bowls for two dif­fer­ent teams, the Rams and Ari­zona Car­di­nals.

Tay­lor was a su­perb pass rusher over 15 sea­sons with the Mi­ami Dol­phins, Wash­ing­ton Red­skins and New York Jets. He amassed 139½ ca­reer sacks, sev­enth-best in league his­tory.

An­der­sen be­comes the sec­ond full-time kicker cho­sen for the Hall of Fame, join­ing Jan Stenerud. Hall of Famers Ge­orge Blanda and Lou Groza were kick­ers who also played other po­si­tions.

Davis was elected as a run­ner who was ex­tremely dom­i­nant, but for an ex­tremely brief span. He had four straight 1,000-yard sea­sons at the out­set of his ca­reer with the Den­ver Bron­cos. He topped 1,500 yards in each of the fi­nal three of those sea­sons, in­clud­ing a 2,008-yard sea­son in 1998. But he never again reached even 800 rush­ing yards in a sea­son.

Jones owned the Cow­boys for three Su­per Bowl ti­tles in the 1990s and has been one of the key fig­ures in the game’s fi­nan­cial growth.

For­mer NFL com­mis­sioner Paul Tagli­abue, nom­i­nated as a con­trib­u­tor, wasn’t elected. He presided over a pe­riod of labour peace, es­ca­lat­ing pop­u­lar­ity and eco­nomic pros­per­ity. But some vot­ers seemed to take is­sue with his han­dling of the sport’s con­cus­sion is­sue.

Also fail­ing to get in were Tony Boselli, Isaac Bruce, Don Co­ryell, Brian Dawkins, Alan Faneca, Joe Ja­coby, Ty Law, John Lynch and Kevin Mawae.

GETTY IM­AGES FILE PHOTO

Ter­rell Owens: not elected

TORONTO STAR FILE PHOTO

Ter­rell Davis: elected

TRI­BUNE NEWS SER­VICE FILE PHOTO

LaDainian Tom­lin­son: elected

BOB LEVEY, GETTY IM­AGES

Kurt Warner: elected

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