Ex-49ers star Terrell Owens always welcomed at Pro Football Hall of Fame

Ex-49ers star Terrell Owens always welcomed at Pro Football Hall of Fame

CANTON, Ohio – The Pro Football Hall of Fame will always have its doors open to Terrell Owens, who did not take part in the annual induction ceremony last summer.

David Baker, the president of the Hall of Fame, said on The 49ers Insider Podcast that he only wishes Owens had an opportunity to experience the grandeur and the appreciation with which inductees are showered when their bronze bust is unveiled. Owens participated in his own ceremony in Chattanooga, Tennessee, where he played college football at UT-Chattanooga.

“It was a hard call to receive when he said he didn’t want to come,” Baker said. “He’s a complex guy and it’s not for me to judge what’s inside of him.”

Baker said he was not disappointed by Owens’ decision.

“I was really disappointed for him,” he said.

Baker added, “He is always welcomed here. Whether he comes or not, he is always welcomed here. His bronze bust is here, and we will guard his legacy here. If he would’ve come, the irony is he would’ve gotten the adulation and the love that he thought was being denied by not being a first-ballot Hall of Famer.”

Owens, who ranks No. 3 all-time with 15,934 receiving yards, was unhappy he was not among the five-person modern-era induction classes in his first two years of Hall of Fame eligibility. Baker pointed out that Green Bay Packers guard Jerry Kramer, who was named to the NFL’s all-50th anniversary team in 1969, waited 45 years to go into the Hall of Fame in that same class of 2018.

Owens, who played his first eight NFL seasons with the 49ers, is part of a new team of 326 players, coaches and contributors elected into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, as the NFL begins its 100th season. Baker presented Owens with his Hall of Fame ring in a ceremony at Levi's Stadium last season.

Owens will be inducted into the 49ers Hall of Fame  in Week 3 after the club returns home to face the Pittsburgh Steelers. Owens remains a part of the 49ers family. Last year, he attended Dwight Clark's memorial service and the dedication of the statues outside Levi's Stadium that commemorates The Catch.

Baker reflected on how he believes the 49ers fit into the fabric of pro football -- and into the larger picture of what he wants to shine through at the Hall of Fame. He credits former owner Edward J. DeBartolo Jr. and former team president Carmen Policy for instilling the values of family within the organization.

“When I think of the 49ers, I think of family. A lot of teams talk about family, but this is a family,” Baker said. “And a lot of that goes to Eddie DeBartolo. He treated it as a family, and to this day, he takes care of players that played for him. That is an enormous statement of how people then want to turn around and play for you.

“What happened to Dwight Clark, they getting together, they’re laughing, they’re getting together one more time. They’re family.”

As Clark battled ALS, many of his former 49ers teammates and many staff members, reunited with him. Nearly every member of the 49ers’ first Super Bowl team attended Dwight Clark Day at Levi’s Stadium during the 2017 season. Clark passed away on June 4, 2018.

[RELATED: Why Kittle was thankful for 49ers' defense after Week 1 win]

“We lost Dwight way too young,” Baker said. “All of us hated to see him go. But it was also a wonderful lesson of a life well=lived. This guy loved, laughed, lived well. And everybody who knows him knows that tinkle in his eye and how he got such a kick out of other people laughing, too.

“And I think the game itself, the competition, the fight, the battle for excellence, there are so many things we can learn. The game itself is bigger than football. It teaches us how to be a part of a family.”

Russell Wilson's trolling of Tom Brady's 'The Match' outing backfires

Russell Wilson's trolling of Tom Brady's 'The Match' outing backfires

49ers fans love to hate Russell Wilson, and he gave them another reason to give him grief Sunday.

A few hours before Tiger Woods teamed up with Peyton Manning to take on Phil Mickelson and Bay Area native Tom Brady in "The Match: Champions for Charity," Wilson took a Twitter shot at Brady.

When Brady got off to an awful start to "The Match," Wilson went at Brady again.

There are a few problems with Wilson's jabs at Brady.

[49ERS INSIDER PODCAST: Listen to the latest episode]

First, Wilson lost to Brady and the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLIX. Instead, Seattle's quarterback should have been trolling Manning, whom the Seahawks beat in Super Bowl XLVIII.

Second, Brady redeemed himself and made Wilson look silly when he sank an incredible birdie on hole No. 7.

Yes, Brady is out of his element on the golf course, but Wilson should have known who he was messing with.

[RELATED: 49ers fans love to hate Wilson]

49ers fans certainly won't miss the chance to let Wilson hear about this.

Watch Tom Brady get trolled by Samuel L. Jackson in 'The Match' intros


Watch Tom Brady get trolled by Samuel L. Jackson in 'The Match' intros

Who would you want to narrate any portion of your life? Samuel L. Jackson could be a top pick for any occasion, especially when some of the greatest athletes of our generation hit the greens.

But he’s not holding back -- not even for charity.

The Match: Champions for Charity debuted on Sunday with golf pros Tiger Woods facing Phil Mickelson in a highly-anticipated event. Woods teamed up with NFL legend Peyton Manning with another NFL superstar, Tom Brady, paired with Mickelson.

During the introductions, being narrated by Jackson, the Bay Area native received a funny quip from Jackson:

“Why do old people always move to Florida?” Jackson said.

We knew the trash talk would happen, but wow. 

Brady, of course, just signed a two-year, $60 million contract with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in March after spending the entirety of his 20-year career with the New England Patriots. And at 42-years-old, Jackson took quite the dig at the three-time MVP quarterback.

[RELATED: Kyle Shanahan discusses 49ers' pursuit of Brady]

But if you’re going to get trolled by anyone, it might as well be done by someone with as epic of a voice as Jackson.

The entertainment was worth the burn.