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T.O. Will Not Attend HOF Induction Ceremony

What it’s really about is TO getting more attention for TO.

June 08, 2018 - 11:55 am

So T.O. announced yesterday that he won’t be attending the induction ceremony for the Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2018 later this summer. He tweeted a statement that read in part: "While I am incredibly appreciative of this opportunity, I have made the decision to publicly decline my invitation to attend the induction ceremony in Canton…After visiting Canton earlier this year, I came to the realization that I wish to celebrate what will be one of the most memorable days of my life, elsewhere."

Uh, right, okay, whatever. You visited Canton and then realized that you didn’t want to be in Canton for when you go into Canton? Sure, that makes sense. Look, I know Canton might not be the coolest city ever, but what was it about your trip to the Hall of Fame that made you think, I don’t want to be at the Hall of Fame when I go into the Hall of Fame?

I wish I could say I was surprised, but I’m not. Nor will I be surprised when someone talks INTO GOING and he suddenly shows up day of. Because that’s who this dude. Because that's how he rolls. How else is TO going to get attention for TO from now until the induction ceremony.

Knowing him, I would've been surprised if there WASN’T a story like this. Surprised if he had just said, this is the best thing ever, I can’t wait to get to Canton. 

I am, however, shocked that TO is turning down a chance to talk about TO for an extended period of time. That ceremony is all about guys talking about themselves and they'll let you go for a while. That's right in TO's wheelhouse. He's better at that than catching footballs and he was damn good at catching footballs. He would be up there talking and there’s nothing to do to stop him. The next time he turns down an opportunity like that will be the first. 

Look, I don’t know what this is about and honestly, I don’t really care. What it’s really about is TO getting more attention for TO. Was he personally hurt by the fact that it took too long for him to be voted in? Maybe. Possibly. Probably. I don’t know and I don’t really care. 

Nor do I care if he’s at the ceremony or not. Just know this, TWO: the ceremony really is the thing. That’s when you give your speech, you get the jacket, and you see the bust. That is your day. After that, you’re just one of a few hundred guys in a building in Canton, Ohio. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a huge honor. But the day is the day. And celebrating it somewhere else is, well, weird. EVEN FOR YOU.

Again, maybe he’s still hurting from the snub and maybe getting in hasn’t healed that pain. But here’s the thin – you want to talk about a guy who handled a Hall of Fame snub with class? I give you Andre Rison.

Hell yes. I’m talking about Spiderman. 

When he was asked about his legacy in 2009, Andre Rison told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution: “Best receiver to ever play the game. I can’t show my highlights because I don’t own NFL Films, but all my coaches in college, in high school, in junior college, they all told me I could be the best. But they must’ve lied because that title was already given to Jerry Rice. Just because you have stats doesn’t mean you’re the best. Can’t nobody tell me that Andre Reed isn’t better than Jerry Rice. I’m seeing cornerbacks on the 75th anniversary team that I used to demolish. But I’m coming out with my own hall of fame.”

That’s how you do it. You won’t let me into your Hall of Fame? I’ll make my own Hall of Fame. That is how a legend responds to a challenge. 

And you can laugh at that quote all you want, but that is a Hall of Fame quote. That quote itself should get its own wing in the Andre Rison Hall of Fame. Because it is greatness from beginning to end, starting with “best receiver to ever play the game.” Bam! Have some. 

And then he chases that with a discussion of why he can’t show you his highlights “because I don’t own NFL films…” 

I hope that means that in the Andre Rison Hall of Fame, the highlights that they show are like the photos that they have of football players in TV ads – just generic guys wearing generic uniforms. No logos. No mascots, just Andre Rison wearing a white jersey and a black helmet taking on a team wearing a green jersey and green helmet. 

That is quality. And no, losers. The Andre Rison Hall of Fame was not burned down by Left Eye. Knock it off. Keep it classy. Because that’s what the Andre Rison Hall of Fame is all about. 

TO could learn a thing or two from AR. Because I guarantee Andre Rison did not bail on Andre Rison’s induction into the Andre Rison Hall of Fame.