By Daniel Segraves
By Daniel Segraves
If you do not know who Terrell Owens is, you are not only living under a rock, you are better off being there.
Owens is the most controversial player in the NFL today, with a mouth bigger than the Oakland Raiders losing streak.
He began his career with the San Francisco 49ers, and has been making headlines ever since, unfortunately.
Owens got his start for the 49ers in 1997 after Jerry Rice, an actually talented player, went down for the season with an injury.
For the next four years, Owens made headlines with his team due to the teams success. Owens’ reasonable nature was short-lived of course.
After a not-so-acceptable year, Owens decided he did not want to play with his teammates anymore.
Instead of playing the role of “mature adult looking for a change,” Owens decided to throw a fit to the NFL Players Union, even going so far as to call the 49ers quarterback Jeff Garcia a “homosexual.” The 49ers wised up and transferred Owens to the Philadelphia Eagles.
However, “T.O.” is not just prone to professional stupidity. He just might be illiterate.
In the fall of 2004, Owens released his autobiography, chronicling all thirty years of his life.
The next year, Owens admitted that he had hired a ghostwriter and had not even read his own book.
Do not feel bad, Terrell. The rest of the world chose not to read it either.
Of all of Owens’ follies, none was more attention grabbing than his loudmouth antics after the Eagles lost the 2004 Super Bowl against the New England Patriots. Owens had decided to go against the Eagles’ medical advice and play in the game. While he had a good game, the Patriots beat the Eagles 24-21.
Owens, being the class act that he is, later told reporters that he “wasn’t the guy who got tired in the Super Bowl,” reffering to quarterback Donovan McNabb.
The next season Owens began a new ordeal involving his contract, demanding renegotiations with the Eagles. Bad timing aside, Owens obviously realized he could make more money for being a pain in Philadelphia’s side than he was currently making.
In his typical fashion, Owens used his trademark childish tactics, threatening to not attend training camp. He ended up reporting to camp on time.
I guess he finished his children’s book and his line of “exotic popcorns” ahead of time. (Blueberry popcorn is not exotic. It is a mistake.)
As Owens suffered through another year of his seven-year/$49 million contract, he decided to let sparks, and his ego, fly free.
In August 2005, Owens had accumulated the NFL wrap sheet that most players would be ashamed of: a week suspension for an altercation with Eagles head coach Andy Reid and an official Notice of Unsatisfactory Performance for being, well, Terrell Owens.
Not surprisingly, Owens still failed to get the hint and grow up a bit. The 2005 season was plagued with complaining from the wide receiver.
Finally, the Eagles made the best decision of the year, giving Owens a four-game suspension followed by a deactivation for the year.
Owens eventually got his contract change. He went from his $49 million contract with Philidelphia to a $25 million contract with the Dallas Cowboys.
That’s a $24 million dollar drop for simply refusing to be mature.
Nothing much has changed for Owens recently. He still can’t stop talking. He still gets injured and grandstands when he recovers (I would be impressed if he played with a broken rib, not a slightly injured finger).
He even continues to place blame on athletes far superior to himself.
After the highly anticipated Eagles-Cowboys game this season where Eagles fans led a lively chant of “O.D.”, (refferring to Owens’ accidental overdose on pain killers earlier in the year) Owens blamed Cowboys quaterback Drew Bledsoe for the loss.
Reports also allege that Owens screamed at his teammates after the game, asking why they even bothered signing him.
Good question. Why did you bother signing him, Dallas?
Owens will forever be the epitome of everything an athlete should not be: untalented, egotistical, abrasive, destructive, childish and despicable. It seems like every game, Owens is looking to further his image and not his skills.
Let’s all hope that this is not the future of athletes or sportsmanship in general. If today’s youth comes into a sport idolizing characters like Owens, the era of sports that gave birth to great men will be dead.