Terrell Davis was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame this past week, and Davis, it seems, was the only person surprised by this. In fact, he was so pessimistic about his chances that, while awaiting confirmation, he had his wife prepare a tweet – something along the lines of, I’m obviously disappointed that I didn’t make it, but congratulations to the guys who were selected.
“She had that (ready) to send and tweet out,” Davis said on CBS Sports Radio’s The Doug Gottlieb Show. “But the longer I stayed in the room, I started to think, ‘Wait a minute. This is different from the last couple of years.’ (Hall of Fame President David Baker) normally came in around 4:30 or 5. This time, it was probably like 5:20, 5:30, and we still hadn’t heard anything. So I was thinking, ‘Man, this feels different. Maybe that’s a good sign, and maybe it’s not – but there’s something different about this year.’”
As it turns out, there was. Davis, who was sitting in a hotel room with his family, heard a loud knock on the door. He grabbed his daughter, took her to the door and opened it. It was Baker – along with a camera crew.
Davis, 44, was in.
“I just fell over,” he said. “All of those emotions, they run through you and you’re just overcome by all this stuff. Pure joy and just elation and relief and all that stuff just came pouring out. It was a fantastic moment. It’s on camera, which is great. And what’s crazy is I still don’t believe it. It’s only been a few days. It’s going to take some time for this to really set in.”
Davis spent his entire seven-year career in Denver, from 1995-2001. Because of his short career, relatively speaking, his numbers do not compare favorably to other all-time greats. From 1996-98, however, Davis was about as dominant as a running back can be. He was a three-time All-Pro, led the Broncos to two Super Bowl titles, and was Super Bowl XXXII MVP.
“The Hall of Fame isn’t just about longevity; it’s about impact,” Davis said. “When you play the game, how did you play when you were available? I’ve always taken pride in being there for my teammates. I hope that everybody I played for (would say), ‘We could count on TD.’ That’s what I sort of fed off of. You can count on me to show up in big moments and big games. . . . I needed every single ounce of stats and career accomplishments to get to this point. Obviously I had no room for error. I had to have a lot more on my resume than somebody who had a longer career, so the postseason numbers (were important). As a matter of fact, I was told by a selector who said that those postseason numbers were the ones that put me over the top, in his mind. I’m okay with that. I’m okay with that.”
Davis also weighed in on Terrell Owens, who was snubbed for the second straight year.
“For me, he should have been in last year,” Davis said. “There’s no question in my mind that last year, first year eligible, he should have been in. What I have learned over the last four years is the process is . . . not as easy as yes and no because you’re only dealing with five people every year. It’s like this line. Theres a line (of people waiting to get in), and then you have the VIP line, which says you can come from the back of the line and come right up. Unfortunately, anytime you have something that deals with humans, which the selectors are, that has to factor into it. A lot of this stuff is how his relationships were with them, and maybe it’s how his relationships were, in their minds, with his teammates. . . . I don’t know. That’s the argument that some of the selectors are using. But we all know that T.O. will get in. It’s just a matter of what year and how long are they going to make him wait? (Those), to me, are the only questions.”