Saturday, November 12, 2005

Terrell Owens and his unbearable lightness of being

I never really liked T.O. because he was a 49er, and the only Niner I ever liked was Joe Montana. But seriously, I never liked him until he made the big catch during the playoffs against the Packers. And I especially didn’t like him after he spiked a football in the middle of the Cowboys logo, 50 yards from the endzone.

However, I have always enjoyed his outrageous antics, and usually I see them for nothing more than what they are, antics. Despite all of the brashness and loudness in pro football, the outrageous antics are at a minimum. T.O. gives the league that nice dash of controversy that every pro league in America needs.

When he went to Philadelphia, I wasn’t a bit more pleased. The reason being because I was raised in Dallas, and I’m a very serious Cowboy fan. So, the news that the league’s top receiver was moving to our division, the NFC East, didn’t make things easier.

I watched last season with pride however when he and Donovan McNabb worked together and made it to the Super Bowl. Despite several attempts, there have only been three African American quarterbacks to start a Super Bowl, and currently, their record is 1-2. So imagine the pride that I felt when McNabb and Owens advanced and played tough throughout the game, despite the loss.

Now, on to the current situation…T.O. has acted a plum fool. There is no explanation that I can see as to why someone would act the way he has. Maybe he was just kidding around when he was talking about not talking to his qb, McNabb.

Maybe he was just kidding around when he said that the Eagles didn’t recognize his 100th touchdown catch (a feat that the Raiders stopped a game for 15 minutes to recognize for Tim Brown, when his fellow wide receiver Jerry Rice had nearly doubled that amount). Maybe there was a good reason that he fought Hugh Douglas, a retired player. And maybe there was even an explanation for not apologizing to his teammates, his coaches, the Eagles organization, Philadelphia, and his mother for acting like a plum fool. But he didn’t. And now, he’s out of work, and for what? For a payday increase that he’ll never see again. Because, once you show your whole ass, then everyone else knows what you’re capable of, and knows the warning signs or possible outcomes of your outbursts.

T.O. is a sad commentary on the athlete whose skills make him so infinitely superior to all others around him that he starts to believe that he truly is above reproach. Nothing could be further from the truth. His skills make him great, but they make him great only on the field. Off the field, he’s a normal human being, who lives life and pays bills. On the field, he’s the best at what he does. However, somewhere in the confusion between the field and real life, T.O. started to blur the two, and what’s left in the wake is the utter confusion and calamity that he has caused.

The only advice that I can give T.O. is to remember the humbling feeling of being out of work. Look back on good times, savor the positive memories, and act right. Stand up straight. Walk tall. Say it and mean it, and let petty stuff go. They didn’t recognize your 100th td, so what? The history books will. You don’t feel that you’re getting your love? You’re getting paid millions of dollars to play football. That in and of itself is crazy. Shut up and play. Be a man. In any case, be something else that what you have been, because brother, it’s not working right now…and come to think of it, neither are you.

I’m Joe and that’s how I see it.


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