Thread: T.O. suspended indefinitely
11-12-2005, 08:40 PM #81
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Re: T.O. suspended indefinitely
"Owens longs for attention he didn't get growing up
From The Arizona Republic
Nov. 11, 2005 12:00 AM
Is Terrell Owens a bad guy or a troubled guy? It's an important distinction, because one suggests hopelessness, the other, possibility.
The Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver is one of professional sports' most enigmatic figures. He is physically gifted and emotionally challenged. He has a rap but no rap sheet.
In the NFL, players with arrest records, performance-enhancing drugs and a propensity to drive under the influence receive more slack than Owens, whose greatest crime is an out-of-control need for attention that tugs at the fiber of a team.
Both kinds of offenses are suspension-worthy. Owens' indiscretions, however, demand more than a muzzle. They demand professional help.
In his 2004 book, Catch This! Going Deep with the NFL's Sharpest Weapon, Owens admits that his upbringing "made for underdeveloped social skills."
Coming out of the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga, a Division I-AA school, Owens was a hard-working, three-sport athlete, not a star.
"He wasn't anywhere, ego-wise, where he is now," former Chattanooga assistant coach Shane Montgomery told the Cincinnati Enquirer early this year.
Revelations in the book help explain - not excuse - some of Owens' indiscretions and what he has become.
Owens' great-grandmother disappeared when her daughter, Alice Black, was 11. It was never known if she was murdered or ran away. Black, who was Owens' primary caregiver in his youth, was "deeply protective of her family" and frequently whipped the children if they ventured out of her sight.
Their Alabama house was always kept dark, with the shades drawn and TV off. Owens was not allowed to leave the yard except to attend school and church. He often would peek out the window and cry as he saw children playing in the street. He was given a bike but not allowed to ride it past the end of the driveway.
He felt invisible to the world.
In 2000, the then-San Francisco receiver twice danced on the Dallas Cowboys' star logo at midfield after touchdowns. The second effort prompted a brawl, a fine and a suspension.
Two years later, on Monday Night Football, Owens pulled a Sharpie pen out of his sock after a touchdown, autographed the ball and tossed it into the stands.
He recently called the Eagles organization classless for not publicly recognizing his 100th career touchdown reception.
It was one more example of the player's desperate pursuit of attention.
Owens screams to be noticed.
Owens wrote in his book that the only time he could relax was when his grandmother "got depressed about her mother and started drinking." But, he said, "if she drank too much you might get another whipping." Her words were often cruel and derogatory. His brother, Victor, was horrified. He often sat in a corner afraid to move or make a sound.
At the 2001 Pro Bowl, Vikings wide receiver Cris Carter spotted Owens at the team hotel and went to congratulate him about his first Pro Bowl invitation. Owens ignored him and didn't react to Carter's extended hand.
Later, Owens explained that three years earlier, Carter had said that the Vikings defensive backs made a couple of mediocre 49ers receivers (Owens and J.J. Stokes) look like Pro Bowlers. Owens made a mental note of someone criticizing him.
When Owens was young, his mother refused to tell him anything about his father.
As a preteen in Alexander City, Ala., he developed a crush on a neighbor girl. He would sneak over to visit her, until her father said, "do not be interested in her" because she was Owens' half-sister.
"It took me awhile to understand that I was talking to my father," Owens wrote in the book.
When he asked his mother why she didn't tell him the truth, she said it wasn't necessary to explain everything.
For years he wondered why his father wanted nothing to do with him.
Owens' relationships with his professional coaches have been contentious.
He and former 49ers coach Steve Mariucci didn't speak for weeks during the 2001 season. Owens criticized Mariucci's play-calling and competitiveness. He demanded to be released from his contract.
The San Francisco front office called for a meeting with Owens after the season, then sent Mariucci to Owens' Atlanta home to make peace.
"I think he's the greatest guy in the world right now," Owens joked with reporters during training camp in 2002.
Once he landed with the Eagles, Owens tried to inject similar humor into his relationship with the ultra-serious and strict Andy Reid, correcting him when he mispronounced his name in his introductory news conference.
Owens reacted to Reid's practice dress code by betting the rather rotund coach he would score 15 touchdowns last season. If he had (he was stopped at 14), Reid would have sported spandex.
The polar-opposite personalities appeared to be coexisting, but Reid has suspended Owens twice, first in training camp and now, apparently, for good.
Owens' unpredictable life journey has taken another surprising turn. Thanks to his book, we have a better understanding why."
As the writer puts it his early years explain but don't excuse his antics.
11-12-2005, 08:48 PM #82
Re: T.O. suspended indefinitely
LOL.. Carter said Vikes DB's made mediocure WR's (Stokes and Owens) look like pro bowlers.. Thats kinda funny
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