Crack Me Up.


Dec 29, 2004
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The Eagles' reluctant receiver is reaching for the sky, invoking Jesus in his contract squabble.

By Phil Sheridan

Inquirer Columnist

And here we thought Terrell Owens' role model was Jerry Rice.


Owens - or should we call him Terrell H. Owens now? - has set his sights even higher than the greatest wide receiver of all time. That "J" on Owens' "WWJD" bracelet is not for Jerry. It's for Jesus.

That's not a major surprise. The fact that T.O. sees himself and J.C. as peers? That was a major surprise.

But that's the message in Owens' comments in The Inquirer on Sunday. Asked about his contract problem with the Eagles, Owens didn't invoke the name of Curt Flood or even NFL free-agency pioneer Reggie White.

He went right over their heads. Waaaay over.

"At the end of the day," Owens told the Miami Herald's Jason Cole, "I don't have to worry about what people think of me, whether they hate me or not. People hated on Jesus. They threw stones at him and tried to kill him, so how can I complain or worry about what people think?"

While there is no mention in the King James version of the Bible of people who "hated on Jesus," you get the point. There's a direct correlation between the man the New Testament says died for the sins of all mankind and T.O., who wants a new contract from the Eagles.

At first it seems absurd. But mull it over for a little while, reflect on the story of Jesus a bit, and there is more common ground than you think.

Jesus was born in Bethlehem. Owens' Eagles career began at training camp in Bethlehem, Pa.

Jesus fed the multitudes with loaves and fishes. Owens wants more bread and thinks there was something fishy about his original deal.

Jesus walked on water. Owens reminds people of Ricky Watters.

Jesus rose from the dead after just three days. Owens came back from a broken ankle in just five weeks to play in the Super Bowl.

Jesus made wine from water. Owens made whine from a $49 million contract.

So you see, they are more alike than it first appears. And it makes perfect sense for Owens to compare reaction to his holdout to the persecution of Jesus.

Well, in T.O.'s mind, at least.

(Can we rewind back to this "hated on" thing? This is a really common, really despicable conceit, that you either adore and worship everything an athlete does or you're somehow "a hater." Criticizing Owens' course of action over the last few months is reasonable and fair and has nothing to do with hatred, OK? This self-serving use of the word by athletes is an insult to everyone who has been the victim of actual hatred. End of sermon.)

Look, the only real issues are whether Owens will wind up playing football for the Eagles this fall and whether any of his ill-advised remarks will create lasting problems for him, his teammates and the fans. That's it. Nobody really cares what Owens gets paid. If they did, they would be much more concerned with what Brian Westbrook's new $1.43 million contract looks like.

So we analyze these little T.O. appearances for clues to what will happen next.

That's why the Web and radio waves crackled over the last few days with speculation about Owens' reportedly chilly encounter with Donovan McNabb at ESPN's ESPY Awards last week. The two apparently didn't speak, even though they were in the same room for a long time.

That's why, when Owens starts comparing his plight to that of Jesus, we break out the old Concordance and try to puzzle out what his words reveal about his state of mind.

This one could go either way.

If Owens sees himself as a martyr, there's no telling how long he might be willing to hold out to make his point. If he feels his suffering is somehow truly noble, he could sit out the whole season.

If, on the other hand, Owens really thinks of Jesus as his role model, then he could well rise above these material concerns, stop coveting his neighbor's contract and put an end to this whole debacle.

Somehow, that doesn't seem very likely. Not when Owens went on to say, "Really, you've got to look at who the villain really is in this thing."

Presumably, he wasn't referring to Pontius Pilate, or to agent Drew Rosenhaus. If Owens thinks the Eagles are somehow villains, he really does have a persecution complex. That means it might take a miracle to get Owens to camp.

Fortunately, he's just the right guy to perform one.

carol k

Jun 6, 2005
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wrenshall, mn
Very good article. I guess some of these players--not only TO--think that they have a bond with Jesus. Maybe they should read their Bibles a little bit better to see what Jesus was really like. Jesus took care of the poor--not the rich.


Apr 23, 2005
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Allentown, PA
Phil Sheridan is one of the more straight forward guys from the Philly sports press, I like reading him...yeah public sentiment around here is really really turning against T.O...especially in the last few weeks now that we're approaching camp season


Dec 15, 2004
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Lambeau Midwest
I haven't seen what Javon's off season workout ethic is like,
but it's common knowledge what Terrell Owens work ethic is....

AF Lion

Jul 15, 2005
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PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- Terrell Owens says he will report to the Philadelphia Eagles training camp even though he is hinting that he would agree to a trade because of a contract dispute.

Owens told the Philadelphia Inquirer Friday for a story on its Web site that he would report to training camp, though he won't be happy if fails to get a new deal.

"I'll be there," Owens said. "I mean, the bottom line is that I still believe I deserve a new contract. I still believe I deserve more than what they've given me. But I'm not stupid. I'm not about to miss training camp, get fined every day and give them even more reasons to keep from paying me."

Drew Rosenhaus, Owens' agent said Friday he just wants a fair-market deal for Owens.

"We hope it's something we can work out with the Philadelphia Eagles," Rosenhaus told The Associated Press, adding he had talked recently with the Eagles. "If it's something we can work out with another team, that is not something we are opposed to."

He added:

"At this time, the Eagles have said to me they are not interested in trading him and we have not received permission to seek a trade."

Responding to comments made by Eagles president Joe Banner in Thursday's Philadelphia Daily News that Owens and Rosenhaus "don't think in commonsense terms," Owens told Comcast SportsNet Southeast in Atlanta that the Eagles could just trade him.

Banner was on vacation and unavailable for comment Friday.

"If he feels that way, then get rid of me," Owens said Thursday. "He wants to talk about Drew and I. If we're problems, then... trade me, release me. And we can just part ways like adults.

"What it all boils down to is I'm going to do what's best for my family. I don't even have to play for the Eagles, to be honest. I can go play with any other team and still be productive."

Owens, who helped the Eagles reach the Super Bowl in his first season in Philadelphia after eight years with San Francisco, is asking for a new contract a year into a seven-year deal worth almost $49 million.

Rosenhaus said earlier this week that Owens was "50-50" about reporting to training camp and no decision would be made until the start of camp. Owens, though, has already made his decision.

"I'll be there. But I won't be happy, I can tell you that much," Owens told the Inquirer. "Take from that whatever you want."

Veterans are scheduled to report to Eagles camp on Aug. 1 at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pa.

The Eagles have said they won't redo Owens' contract.

Banner told the Daily News he hoped Owens would report on time.

"If we were dealing with somebody who was looking at this logically and was going to come to a commonsense conclusion, you'd say [he would report]," Banners said. "But you're dealing with two people here who, frankly, don't think in commonsense terms. Anything can happen. They're not going to necessarily do what makes sense."

Owens defied his doctor's advice by returning to the starting lineup against New England just 6 1/2 weeks after ankle surgery, and was Philadelphia's best player on offense. He caught nine passes for 122 yards in the Eagles' 24-21 loss to the Patriots.

His outrageous personality, flashy touchdown celebrations and deep-ball ability made Owens an instant fan favorite in notoriously-fickle Philadelphia. Public sentiment has turned against him, though, with fans flooding talk radio that he's gotten greedy and that the Eagles could win a Super Bowl without him.

Rosenhaus defended his client, saying fans should not have any ill-will toward Owens because the renegotiation process was strictly a business decision.

"This is something that is of great urgency and importance to Terrell," he said. "He hasn't looked to offend anybody. The last faction he want to offend is the Philadelphia Eagles fans. This is not personal.

"I'm confident once we get this resolved, he will go back to the status he previously enjoyed."

Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


Dec 31, 2004
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I will be going up to the Eagles camp again this yea,once or twice.I'll let you know how it looks. It is only about 15 miles from where I live.(wish the Peackers were that close) :kickcan:

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