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Terrell Owens: I didn’t play the game to get into Hall of Fame

Pittsburgh Steelers v San Francisco 49ers

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The NFL will welcome the Class of 2015 into the Hall of Fame on August 8 and then it will be time to start thinking about who will be joining them in Canton come 2016.

The top two first-timers on the ballot are Brett Favre and Terrell Owens and there’s little doubt that Favre will sail into the Hall on his first try. There’s also little doubt that Owens’s 1,078 catches, 15,934 yards and 153 touchdowns make him worthy of enshrinement, but there’s a chance that his flair for operatic levels of off-field drama could cause voters to look in other directions before stamping Owens’s ticket. If so, Owens says he won’t be too bothered by their call.

“I understand what I’ve done on the field and it’s probably well deserving of that, but I’m being honest, it really doesn’t bother me whether I get in or not,” Owens said on the Rich Eisen Show. “I know a lot of people have had that conversation and said ‘Dude, stop saying that.’ I guess from a standpoint of a legacy or what my kids can really see what I’ve done, the body of work and appreciate it, then yeah, and my family. But me, personally, it really doesn’t do anything for me because I never played the game for that. I played it because I was competitive. I played it to the point that I realized my talent and I became pretty good at it. That was my motivation. I wanted to win at all costs.”

Owens, who last played for the Bengals in 2010, also said he thought he could still play, something that would restart the clock on his eligibility for the Hall. It seems unlikely anyone will be reaching out to him in that capacity, but that statistical record (if not always his personal one) means it shouldn’t be long before someone is giving him a call to get fitted for a yellow blazer.