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Late for Work 6/8: Will Terrell Owens' Decision Overshadow Ray Lewis and Other Hall of Famers' Historic Day? 

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Will Terrell Owens’ Decision Overshadow Ray Lewis and Other Hall of Famers’ Historic Day?

Terrell Owens made the most Terrell Owens decision ever.

The Hall of Fame receiver announced Thursday that he won’t attend his own induction ceremony in Canton, Ohio on August 4, along with the seven other 2018 enshrinees, including Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis.

“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,” Owens said in a statement. “… 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. At a later date, I will announce where and when I will celebrate my induction.”

Owens didn’t give further explanation about why he declined the invite, but many have noted his heavy criticism of the selection committee for failing to vote him in during his first two years of eligibility.

Hall of Fame President & CEO David Baker said in a statement that he is “disappointed” in Owens’ “unprecedented” decision but respects it.

Baker is now focused on ensuring Owens’ absence doesn’t overshadow the historic weekend for the other inductees, who will participate in numerous events that nearly 5,000 volunteers try to make special and memorable.

“As we do not want to detract from this great honor being enjoyed by the seven other members of the Class of 2018 [Bobby Beathard, Robert Brazile, Brian Dawkins, Jerry Kramer, Ray Lewis, Randy Moss and Brian Urlacher], their family, friends, and fans; the Pro Football Hall of Fame will have no further comment on the decision made by Terrell Owens,” Baker said.

There is little doubt that instead of being able to solely celebrate his 17-year career, two Super Bowl wins and countless other accomplishments, Lewis, and the other Hall of Famers, will be frequently asked questions about Owens’ decision.

Lewis Added to 2019 College Football Hall of Fame Ballot

In other Hall of Fame news, it was announced earlier this week that Lewis was added to the College Football Hall of Fame ballot. He joins 76 players and six coaches from the FBS, and 100 players and 32 coaches from the divisional ranks on the ballot

Unlike his pro football enshrinement, Lewis isn’t considered a lock.

In a column discussing three different Maimi Hurricanes’ chances of being voted in, Miami Sports Tribune’s J.T. Wilcox wrote, “While all three have impressive, hall-of-fame-worthy football resumes – especially at the collegiate level – it’s [linebacker Dan] Morgan – not Lewis – that is probably the biggest veritable lock to earn the honor.

“While Morgan didn’t have the same professional success that Lewis enjoyed, he is in the conversation of the best college linebackers in modern history. … Lewis’ college career is nothing to scoff at, though.”

From 1993 to 1995, Lewis was a dominant player for the Hurricanes and helped guide his team to Fiesta and Orange Bowl appearances. He led the Big East in tackles twice and finished sixth all-time in Hurricanes history with 388 tackles. He was an All-American and runner-up for the Butkus Award as a junior.

The 2019 class will be announced on Jan. 7, 2019, in Santa Clara, Calif., prior to the College Football Playoff National Championship Game. Lewis is already a member of Miami’s Sports Hall of Fame.

Congrats to Caps on Stanley Cup Win ... Be Honest, Did It Take a Minute To Figure Out Ravens’ Twitter Change?

It took a long and arduous 44 years, but the Washington Capitals are finally Stanley Cup champions for the first time in club history.

In a back-and-forth Game 5, the Capitals ultimately beat the Vegas Golden Knights, 4-3. Team captain Alex Ovechkin had been waiting 13 years, 121 playoff games and 1,003 regular-season games for the glorious moment of lifting the Stanley Cup.

Watching his unbridled joy will put a smile on your face.

At the start of the game, the Ravens’ Twitter account made a change to its name as a sign of support for the beltway neighbors. But be honest, did it take you a minute to figure out the tweak?

I enjoyed fans who weren’t afraid to admit it took longer than they wanted, making me laugh at some of their confessions.

Will Ravens Go Over or Under Eight Wins?

The Ravens are returning all 11 of their Week 1 defensive starters, but the offense has been drastically changed, especially at wide receiver and tight end.

As such, there’s an air of mystery surrounding the team that makes it harder to predict what Baltimore’s record will be this season.

CBSSports.com’s Will Brinson is buying in because he believes the Ravens could be in a favorable position regardless of what happens at the quarterback position. He thinks Baltimore is a sleeper with Joe Flacco under center and a “sleeping giant” if Lamar Jackson takes over.

“I might be starting to like the Ravens as a sleeper this year, which is not my M.O.,” wrote Brinson. “It might depend on the offense and the team staying healthy – remember, they battled a crazy rash of injuries last year in training camp – but eight wins seems too low for a team with talent on both sides of the ball, a potentially strong defense and run game and the upside that's built in with Jackson.”

Who Will Be Ravens’ MVP in 2018?

In an ideal world, Flacco would be the Ravens’ most valuable player this season. If he is, it would likely mean a return to the playoffs for the first time in four years.

But if you ask NFL.com’s Dan Hanzas, who predicted all 32 teams’ MVPs, it will be kicker Justin Tucker.

“This is a guy coming off two of the greatest seasons a kicker's ever had,” Hanzas wrote. “Shame it's been wasted on a pair of middling Ravens teams, but we can see the brilliance tucked amidst mediocrity.

“Some Tucker facts: He's missed just four field-goal tries in the last two seasons. He went 10-for-10 from beyond 50 yards in 2016, a season in which his only miss came on a block. He's never missed an extra-point try in 205 attempts. He's a game-changing talent at the game's most underappreciated position. Justin Tucker will win multiple games for the Ravens in 2018.”

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