I know a lot of football fans may be having a hearty laugh right now at the expense of Terrell Owens who was let go on Sunday by the Seattle Seahawks.

But I say drop the jokes.  So he was cut, big deal.  He’s 38 years old, and will be 39 before the season ends. That’s very old for a guy trying to catch a football – any football player actually. Everyone gets cut eventually.  How long was T.O. supposed to play?

I didn’t hear or read about anyone making fun of the Pittsburgh Steelers  wide receiver Hines Ward when he was forced into retirement at the end of last season.   No problem, he moved on and so did we.   And Ward is two years younger than T.O.

I suppose I’m just tired of the media and fans piling on T.O.  He was good enough to be known simply by his initials.   That ought to tell you something about Terrell Owens.

But oh no, the moment his skills started to decline, the wolves couldn’t wait to try and feast on him and find fault.

Okay, yes, I know he is a Diva.  Lots of wide receivers are.  They can make a mediocre quarterback look good but get just a fraction of the pay.  Reason enough to make any pass catcher act-out.  And for more than ten years, T.O. was probably the NFL’s number one Diva.

Who can forget the whiney “tears” he shed in support of a then inexperienced and beleaguered Tony Romo, after a particularly tough game.  “He’s my quarterback, he’s my quarterback”  T.O. wept to the cameras.

And remember the time he did sit-ups in his driveway as the cameras rolled in order to showcase his perfect six-pack.

Or the time he salaciously insinuated that Jeff Garcia was gay, saying,“If it quacks like a duck….”

Or the time he claimed that Donovan McNabb panicked and hyperventilated, in the closing minutes of the Super Bowl.

Or the time he mocked the Dallas Cowboys by clowning on the painted star in the middle of Texas Stadium.

Or the time he grabbed the Pom Poms from the cheerleaders to celebrate his touchdown.

Or the time he boasted: “Get your popcorn ready.”

I could go on but you get the point.  Okay, he could be a jerk sometimes.  Still, our consolation for tolerating his excesses was that he gave us plenty of T.O. moments.

But the guy really could play football.

We can shake our heads about his character and bemoan how he sometimes cruelly treated teammates and coaches, but he gave all he had every time he suited up.  He also played through severe injuries and rarely complained.

Further, he is not a man without credentials.  Facts: T.O. is second on the NFL’s all-time pass receiving yards list.  And only three players in history ever scored more career touchdowns.

In his prime T.O. was big, fast, and always in shape, and whether you like him or not, he is one of the best receivers to ever play in the NFL.   No doubt he’ll get into the Hall of Fame.

It may be that his preseason tryout with the Seattle Seahawks is the last time we ever see him play, if so I say thanks for the memories.  In all fairness to football’s supreme Diva, he was one hell of a football player, and from time to time he was also an obnoxious ass.

There is only one T.O.

 

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