March 9, 2009
Being a San Francisco 49ers fan, I have always been immersed in their franchise. Don’t get me wrong: I am a Denver Bronco fan first and foremost, but San Francisco is always number two for me. My favorite football player of all time, Jerry Rice, played there, set records there, won championships there and became the greatest wide receiver of all time there.
When a young hotshot named Terrell Owens joined the team in the late ‘90s, I thought for sure that Rice would take him under his wing and Owens would become the next Rice for the Niners. Of course, it didn’t happen. Owens often disrespected Rice and quarterbacks Steve Young and Jeff Garcia and soon left the Niners. In fact, the guy has been a poison to every team he has ever played for, but his body of work can’t be argued with, and that’s what makes him so polarizing. Here’s a quick look at what Owens has done on the field.
San Francisco: eight seasons, average of 74 catches, 1,071 yards and 10 touchdowns a season.
Philadelphia: two seasons, only 21 games, 124 total catches, 1,963 total yards and 20 touchdowns. Plus he helped the Eagles reach the Super Bowl.
Dallas: three seasons, average of 78 catches, 1,200 yards and about 13 touchdowns a season.
Any wide receiver would love to put up numbers like that, and any team would love to have a player like that, except for the three teams above. It’s surprising that Owens lasted eight years in San Francisco and even more surprising that he was recently signed by the Buffalo Bills.
In a team sport, the guy is an atrocious teammate. He constantly whines about not getting the ball enough, even though he averages 73 catches a season and his quarterback forces throws to him to try and please him, and that’s not counting all of the dropped passes that he has. He might be one of the most physically intimidating receivers to ever play, but the guy will never have hands like a Jerry Rice or a Randy Moss.
He was run out of San Francisco. Then he only lasted one and a half seasons in Philadelphia. He constantly bashed on coaching and quarterback Donovan McNabb to the point that the Eagles kicked him off the team.
During these years, Owens was an over-the-top media seeker. His touchdown celebrations were premeditated circus acts, and his press conferences screamed “look at me!” It probably wasn’t the wisest move in NFL history for the Dallas Cowboys – “America’s Team” and the media’s darlings – to sign him.
Who in their right mind thought this would work out? Owens picked up in Dallas where he left off in San Francisco and Philadelphia. He often criticized his quarterback Tony Romo and then defended him after playoff loss with one of the worst fake crying performances ever seen. He overdosed on his pain medication, and I think we all remember him doing sit-ups in his driveway in front of cameras. The list goes on and on for the poisonous Owens. In fact, he is the MVP of my all-poison team, which includes, Barry Bonds and Stephon Marbury. So why did Buffalo sign him?
It was easily the best fit for the cancerous Owens. Buffalo is far removed from the media spotlight, they were in dire need of a receiver, and they only signed him for one year. So if he acts up, they can easily eat his contract and release him mid-season if they wish. It would basically end Owens’ career if that happened. Best case scenario? Well, it’s quite ironic if you think about it. The “me first” Owens will have to start thinking about his future sometime and realize that not getting his crap together will result in nobody, and I mean nobody, wanting to sign him a year from now. So he will hold his head up high and play an excellent season for the up and coming Bills without complaining once. He will respect his teammates and coaches, helping the Bills at least reach the playoffs. This will prompt people to think he has “changed” and spur a 60 Minutes report on how Owens has found Jesus and reformed himself.
The odds of this happening are about the same as me finding myself a slow cheetah as a pet. Owens is three for three in wearing out his welcome, and the fourth is soon to come. Owens is always reliable for scoring touchdowns and pissing people off, and Buffalo will be no different. Hopefully, the end is in sight for Owens, because pro sports needs a lot less people like him.