Friday, December 16, 2005

T.O. on T.O. and how T.O. was wronged

by BH

I've been sick for a few days, with little energy to post anything. I tried yesterday after reading story after story on's MLB page about the two teams in the Holy City, er, I mean, New York (by the way, a graphic on ESPN news called Jeter, A-Rod, and Garciaparra "The Holy Trinity"), but I couldn't. Today I found a story about an interview Terrell Owens did with GQ prior to being set down for the season by the Eagles. There's nothing like an old faithful to get me back in the game.

A few words about how I feel about T.O before we begin. I don't hate the guy. I don't even know him. All I know about Owens is what the media tells all of us. I generally try not to pay too much attention to anything on which anyone reports other than what's going to happen on the field. If I had to make a guess about Owens' personality, I'd suggest that he seems to be a emotionally imature. I don't think he's a bad guy. He may be or he may not be. I don't know. Neither do most of the hacks who write about him. Having expresseed all that, I couldn't pass up an evaluation of what he told GQ.

"A lot of people, they doubted me," Owens said in the January issue of GQ. "Some of my teammates didn't want to see me come back, but I came back.
This is the kind of quote for which T.O. is famous. Since he was in San Francisco, the guy has been a marvel at selling these things about others that can't be substantiated. I know some other people who are good at that. They're the kindergarteners I teach. They'll say crazy things about so and so doing this or that. Somtimes they'll do it as some sort of defense for whatever trangression they unleashed on a classmate. Other times, they just want to screw other kids into getting in trouble.

"That's why I felt so ultimately disrespected, because I knew how hard I worked to get back on that field to help them. Had I not played, who knows, we probably would've gotten beat worse."
Yeah, the Eagles may have "gotten beat worse," but maybe not. We'll never know, but neither will T.O. He did have a good game, that's for sure.

"When I was rehabbing, they called me selfish for trying to get on the field to play," he explained. "I said, 'You guys are labeling me selfish for rehabbing, trying to play in the biggest game of the year?' If Brett Favre had done it, you would've said he was a hero, would've given him an 'ironman' award or something like that.
I don't remember anyone calling him selfish, but who knows. I can't watch every broadcast or hear every sports talk show in the country. This guy has an amazing ability to weed through all of the news he hears and grab on to the most negative thing he can find. I totally agree that the national sports media goes a little too nuts over Favre, but the guy has started 250-something games in a row. If there were an ironman award, Favre would probably get it. Maybe T.O. should have picked someone a little less deserving.

"But me? For whatever reason, I was selfish. And for the life of me, I just don't understand."
Again, I never heard them call him selfish. As I kept hearing about T.O.'s efforts to get back for the playoffs or Super Bowl, all I thought was that he was trying to help the Eagles win the games in which he played. I mean, he's a player. They pay him to play. They pay him to help them win. Seems to be the standard relationship in professional sports. It didn't cross my mind that the guy was coming back for selfish reasons.

Owens told the magazine he felt "used" by the Eagles.
To get back at an old flame?

"One of the main reasons they brought me to Philadelphia was to get to the Super Bowl, so it's just like, I feel used all of a sudden," he said. "You all used me to win a lot of games, and then once I got hurt last year before the playoffs, it was, 'Yeah, we really don't need T.O.'"
The only person I can see really being hampered by Owens' efforts to be healthy for the Super Bowl is Freddie Mitchell. We didn't know anything about the guy until he made some catches down the stretch and in the playoffs. So maybe that's who he's talking about. Who knows. Maybe he's talking about his imaginary teammate, Johnny Farnhorst. He's got good hands, but runs bad routes. Johnny doesn't play much, but he's always there to tell you what the other guy said. This must be who told T.O. that others said he was selfish. Seems as plausible as anything else Owens has said.

Owens wonders if the media is out to get him.
Well, he is entertaining. I mean, here I am writing about him.

"The things that I've done in the past, like celebrate in the end zone, they're making a fanfare out of it now with [Bengals wide receiver] Chad Johnson," Owens said. "With all the celebrations that he's done, they're like congratulating him for it. But if it was me, they'd be like, 'Oh, we don't need this in football, this is not good for football.' Not that Chad is doing something wrong, it's not his fault, but you kind of wonder, do they have it out for me?"
This seems like it might make sense, for a second. The key difference between the Johnson celebrations and the T.O. celebrations has been that Johnson seems to be doing it to actually show that he's having a good time, whereas Owens' was always about showing the other guy up. I mean the dude stood on the star in Dallas, twice. The guy pulled a sharpie out of his sock, signed the ball with which he just scored a touchdown, and gave it to the financial adviser of the player who was covering him.

Owens feels he doesn't get equal treatment from the media.
Really? I didn't get that impression.

"I went down to the Houston Astrodome after [Hurricane] Katrina, but nobody made a big deal about it," he said. "But you saw Peyton Manning and his brother, they made a big deal about that. I did it on my own. I didn't do it for publicity."
Even though he didn't do it for publicity, he had to tell someone that they should have noticed. Hmmm. "I didn't do it for publicity, but I wish someone would have paid attention."

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