Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Why Terrell Owens is Good for the NFL

There are two sides to every story. Unfortunately, this T.O. saga has its upside.

The NFL is in pre-season mode. Starters are only on the field for the first quarter – if even that long. The rest is just training camp news and injury updates. The most compelling reason to watch a pre-season game is to see if one of the big name players gets hurt. Not exactly the most exciting time to be watching football. Plus, there are plenty of other good sporting events going on right now.

The Major Leagues are starting to close in on the pennant and wild-card races, Rafael Palmeiro has just come back from his steroid suspension, Phil Mickelson just won the PGA Championship and Tony Stewart is tearing up NASCAR. Yet, what is everyone talking (and writing) about? Terrell Owens.

Aside from the approximately four months when the NFL players aren’t suiting up at all, mini-camp and training camp has to be the least interesting time of the year. We can only hear so much about two-a-days and wind sprints and whose hammy is feeling a little sore. T.O. has changed that. He’s engineered a very public (see my previous post) and acrimonious hold out that has everyone watching. He has single-handedly taken the spotlight from every other sport and turned it upon him and therefore the NFL. People are looking for every little bit of T.O. info and then they end up sticking around for some of the other training camp reports. Don’t think this won’t carry over into the regular season. I’ll be willing to bet that the Eagles games (especially the opening Monday night game) will be some of the highest rated games of the season. Why? Everyone wants to see what he’ll do next. Will he scream at Andy Reid on the sidelines? Will he pull a poster of himself out of his pants and dance with it for his latest touchdown celebration? Will he finally talk McNabb in to punching him in the face?

No matter what you might hear from NFL management about how T.O. is a nuisance who is giving the game a bad name, there are managers in NFL headquarters saying, “Hey, our ratings our up. Let Pepsi know it’s going to be $20 million a minute for a Super Bowl ad this year. Twice that if Owens is playing.”

Paul Tagliabue (and the rest of the NFL management) has got it made right now. The fans are on his side. He can come out and say that Terrell Owens is a low-class doofus and the fans will cheer. Meanwhile, he gets to enjoy the benefits of the publicity the low-class doofus is bringing to the league. Pretty good gig if you can get it.


  1. I see where you are coming from with that. However, the trade off is not worth it.

    The Eagles are now a playoff caliber team. As one writer posed it, having T.O. on this kind of team is like driving a car with a time bomb on it.

    Look at the Sixers playoff run of 2001. They got to the finals because Iverson held his ego in check and he and Larry Brown met half way for the betterment of the team.

    T.O. clearly can't spell and if something is not done about him he will ruin it for the team and a for the fans. If he is not knocked off his high horse and back to earth, he's going to be the rookie that could but never did because he was too damn cocky to humble himself in order to become one of the leagues best. So it doesn't add up for him in the long run either.

    As a Philadelphian all the attention given to the NFL for his shenanigans means didly squat when compared to another super bowl appearance by the birds. That's what I want to see in '06.

  2. I completely agree. T.O. brings publicity to the NFL, but is hurting the Eagles in the process.

    If he checks himself, the Eagles should be in for another Super Bowl run. Hopefully, they'll face off against the Colts this time.