In Defense of T.O.

July 23, 2006 at 12:44 pm | Posted in clif, football (american) | Leave a comment

For those of you who haven’t paid any attention to the National Football League over the last year and a half, let me introduce you to Terrell Owens. T.O., as he has so cleverly been dubbed, is one of the leagues top wide receivers. Part of being a receiver is being a jack-ass–I believe it’s in the job description–and Owens is the biggest.

Here are some facts(actually, more like evidence): In just over two years, Owens has seriously damaged three franchises (San Francisco, Baltimore and Philadelphia), seriously insulted two quarterbacks (Garcia and McNabb) and seriously worked out during a press conference (sit-ups in his driveway after being suspended from the Eagles…seriously). In the process, he has become the villain of the league, hated by fans nationwide and subjected to endless articles by enraged sports writers.

So, the league must hate this guy, right? I doubt it. In the era of steroids and headbutts (see articles below) T.O.’s transgressions are relatively mild. If the NFL PR department’s biggest worries are the antics of a selfish receiver, they can breathe easy. I wouldn’t be surprised if they are encouraging his actions. Not directly, of course, but through media direction.

Here are some more facts: In the past two drafts, the Cinicinnati Bengals have taken five players who have been arrested no fewer than eight times for such things as spousal abuse, assault, robbery, vandalism, drugs and so on (plus, I just found this). This story was featured on sports sites for about a day until T.O. came out and said he was misquoted in his autobiography. Owens regains the spotlight. Funny, but convenient. Just when a real problem rears it’s head, in steps Owens to attract all the negative attention to himself. Now, let’s get some perspective. Terrell is a terrible teammate (and person, probably), but he’s never committed a serious crime (that’s been reported). So, if the league isn’t pushing the T.O. story, then he must’ve insulted each and every writer to have earned such ire.

Terrell Owens is a douche-bag, there’s no way around it. But is he the Darth Vader (as I believe he stated is his reputation in his book) of football? I guess that depends on your perspective. He is, after all, a “role model for America’s youth.” And you could certainly say he’s teaching children such negative traits as showing off (remember the sit-ups?) and blaming their problems on others (and the book?) Or, you could say he’s encouraging physical fitness and creative expression. Perspective.


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