“I fight for what I think is right.”
— Terrell Owens, Nov. 8, 2005
What a yahoo.
Fight? For what’s right? Your privilege as an American to act like a puddle-slurping, window-licking sweat sock of a human being? The right for a pampered multi-millionaire to metaphorically spit in the face of the teammates you’ve spilled blood with, the coaches who put you in a position to succeed and the fans who cheered your every move and rolled their coins to save up to buy a jersey with your name and number on it?
Look, don’t get me wrong. I’m a fan of arrogance. The only person I love as much as myself is that handsome devil staring back at me in the mirror every morning. I mean, he’s got such a clean-shaved head and those dreamy eyes ...
But I digress.
What I truly admire is confidence — that ability to walk with a certain swagger and command attention when one enters a room. It comes from within, and can light up an entire room with energy and hope. It is that quality of confidence that can separate two people of equal talent and drive in the field of competition, no matter the arena.
T.O. has that confidence. He knows he’s a supremely gifted athlete and he has worked hard on honing his craft and overcoming injuries to be the best he could possibly be. The only problem is he doesn’t always radiate that confidence as much as he seeps ignorance and selfishness. It can be a fine line, but T.O. quite definitively set the extreme boundary for one side.
On one side, you have Donovan McNabb, a gifted athlete who doesn’t throw his teammates under the bus during a controversy and instead chooses to use dignity and pride as a defense mechanism. On the other side, you have T.O. You’ll notice it’s just himself and that slimy agent he keeps in his back pocket on that side — the Sleazy Twosome.
Most of us reside in the middle.
This whole brouhaha between the Philadelphia Eagles (and the rest of civilized society) and Terrell Owens appears to have sprung from money. Despite signing a multi-year contract with the team last year, Owens decided he performed better than the numbers he agreed on with the team. Therefore, he should be paid more.
Fine. You thought you were underpaid. I’m not even going to dive back into that argument concerning how much money you make compared to the average working stiff who would have gone late with his electric payment to pick up your dinner tab if he saw you in a restaurant. Money is often seen as a measuring stick against contemporaries as much as a means to take care of one’s family in sports or entertainment.
However, I am going to get into the argument of self-responsibility.
Jeffri Chadiha, a columnist for SI.com, wrote earlier this week that Owens’ childish behavior was warranted — that the only recourse an athlete has to get out of his contract is to act out and get released by the team. I, on the other hand, have a different opinion.
Why doesn’t the athlete honor the contract he signed? Or, if the athlete isn’t happy with the terms, can’t he walk away from the negotiating table without signing the contract? And, if the market has changed and others in your position have had their contracts re-done by the teams they play with, don’t you pay that disgusting little agent of yours to get you more money?
What you don’t do is make it a public issue that divides your team. What you don’t do is take shots at your quarterback and publicly state that the team would be better off with someone else taking his position. What you don’t do is refuse to talk to your coaches, announce phantom injuries and basically suck your thumb and whine like the pampered, spoiled superstar you have allowed yourself to become.
All together now ... Shut up, T.O.
Want another example of the Sleazy Twosome in inaction? During Owens’ “apology” on Tuesday — only after he was suspended by the Eagles — the agent in question, Drew Rosenhaus, piped in and said, “There are players in the NFL that are arrested who violate the program when it comes to drugs and substance abuse and they are not punished as severely as [Owens].”
You know what, Rosenhaus? I know many people who have struggled with drug and substance abuse, and I’m not for a second going to give them a free pass on anything they’ve done in the past, nor would they accept one. That being said, many of them have gotten their lives back together and have contributed greatly to their respective communities. In short, they’re cured. That’s the difference.
I’ve still never heard of a treatment for morons.