Saturday, November 19, 2005
What's the cost of blazing speed, great hands and a physical presence that can turn a marginal team into a contender and a contender into a champion?
That's what the Phila--del--phia Eagles and the National Foot--ball League are trying to figure out as they plot the future of one of football's most exciting, controversial stars.
There is no question Terrell Owens is one of the best wide receivers in the game, but having him on your team is like making Rice Krispies treats -- they can get a little sticky at times, but if you do everything right, they are going to be great.
I love Rice Krispies treats. But I'm pretty sure I will never develop a taste for Owens.
He represents just about everything I dislike about professional football.
He demands millions of dollars to play, he is the first to complain when things are not going well, and he is the first to take credit when things come together.
Sure, he is a playmaker, and his talents can make just about any team in the NFL better -- at least in the standings.
But his actions, on and off the field, have hurt the image of football. If any of my children ever act like him at a recreational soccer game, there wouldn't be a minivan fast enough to get our family out of town.
His actions are more embarrassing than walking around the office for an entire day with your pants zipper down.
Despite all that, I am one of the many people in Colorado who thinks Owens could help the Denver Broncos turn the corner and give them the edge they need to make it back to the Super Bowl.
This week, I couldn't help but ponder the idea of Owens trading the green and silver of an Eagles uniform for the blue and orange of the Broncos.
I'm sure football fans in cities across America were thinking the same thing about Owens and their teams. But that's the reason we shouldn't blame Owens for ruining professional football. It's the rest of us who should shoulder that blame -- fans like me, as well as the teams and owners who are willing to overlook everything Owens has done simply because he can help their football teams win Super Bowls.
It's our attitude, our willingness to forgive him at the drop of a hat for actions that should have forced him out of the game long ago that has allowed him to keep playing.
I often wonder why players in the NFL act the way Owens does. How did a guy like Bill Romanowski survive all those years, and why is Randy Moss still playing the game in Oakland?
Football fans should hate players like Owens, but we don't.
There is no doubt Owens will be playing NFL football again. Maybe not in Philadelphia, but for a team that is willing to sell out for a few more touchdowns and a sideshow that makes a circus look tame.