He's almost 36 years old. He's an adult. A grizzled vet, really.
But if you subscribe to Terrell Owens' Twitter page you might as well subscribe to one of these. T.O. continues to age in reverse, continues to embarrass himself tweet by tweet. By now, he's barely a teenager.
Crying foul. Playing the victim. Looking for attention. Looking for allies.
When the Bills signed Owens, they knew he'd bring the circus in tow. Three weeks in, the trapeze is ready to snap.
T.O. doesn't understand why the big, bad media asks him questions? Maybe because there is a stadium worth of fans that deserve his opinion. An entire fan base was rejuvenated by his arrival. Amid a nine-year playoff drought, fans stormed the ticket booth in droves when Buffalo signed this headache. Each and every one of them has the right to hear from Owens. They all bought stock in Owens via tickets, jerseys and hope. They all made him relevant again.
Considering 30 players have more catches than T.O., the least he can do is send his loyal group of stockholders a memo. You know, a reason he went bankrupt Sunday. That's all. Instead, the eccentric wide receiver hit a new low with his joke of a press conference and sorority-level Twitter jabs at NBC's Rodney Harrison.
For two weeks, Owens dodged the press. The NFL prodded the Bills to make Owens available and the egomaniac answered questions (sort of) after Buffalo's 27-7 loss to New Orleans last Sunday. Sporting the "lost European in America" look, T.O. was a useless, broken record. And then, he labeled justified questions as goading.
By now, you know the immature sequence.
Reporter: "Do you think you and Evans are being wasted?"
T.O.: "We're just going with the plays that are called."
Reporter: "You could say no, that you're not being wasted."
T.O.: "I'm just going with the plays that are called."
Reporter: "Do you like the plays that are called?"
T.O.: "Whether I like them or don't, just going with the plays that are called."
Reporter: "What about the decisions that are made (by Edwards) after the plays are called?"
T.O.: "I don't know. You have to ask him."
Reporter: "No, I'm asking you what you think."
T.O.: "Nah. I don't want to answer that."
Reporter: "I'll ask him when I'm done with you."
T.O.: "I don't want to answer that because whatever I say, you guys are going to turn it to however you want to say it."
Reporter: "We'll print exactly."
T.O.: "Well, I just answered you, sir."
All of these short, stubborn answers were then repackaged as a tool to shape his image. Remember the "T.O. Show?" Aside from VH1 stuffing money down its garbage disposal, this show also served as Owens' hip new way to win fans over. So self-conscious and so paranoid, he's still trying to tell you how to think of him. Or at least until his narcissistic core is finally exposed and you turn on him. Ask San Francisco, Philadelphia and Dallas fans how this process works.
Wasn't Owens the lovable new guy that created his own section of "T.O.'s Tweeters" at training camp? If Owens cared so much about his tweeters, he'd use a compound sentence.
But, no, the media is to blame for his 13 years of turmoil. Right.
Some lost analysts like Deion Sanders were "proud" of T.O. for ignoring the questions. Others rightfully called him out. NBC's Tony Dungy, a devout Christian that stuck his neck out for Michael Vick, spoke the truth.
"You really don't want that," Dungy said. "But I think you know that's what you get with Terrell Owens. When things aren't going well, you're going to get stuff like that. That's hard to coach."
And we all know how engrained Dungy is in that snarky, team-dividing media culture. Please. When Tony Dungy speaks, you listen. Kind of like the Allstate guy or that frightening Jillian girl from the Biggest Loser.
It's funny. Lee Evans, Fred Jackson, Trent Edwards and Alex Van Pelt had no problem fielding questions about Buffalo's offensive offense. They were just as bitter, just as upset, just as anxious to leave this game in the past, but they tried to explain the carnage. And T.O.? He was a restless kid with his mother at Wegmans. Before most of his teammates had even hit the showers, Owens was fully dressed at the podium. Ready to get in and get out.
Props to Buffalo News columnist Jerry Sullivan, who supported the Bills signing Owens way back in March. Sullivan simply wanted an answer to the question that was on every reporter's mind. Every fan's mind. Every coach's mind. Everybody's mind.
Why was the offense so bad?
This wasn't sparking controversy. This was Journalism 101. For the first time since 1996, Terrell Owens didn't have a catch. And for the upteenth time, the Bills offense struggled. This is the story. This warrants such follow-up questions. Owens was supposed to be the flashy new toy that'd Advil Buffalo's decade-long ills on offense. Yet here we were, zero points against an average defense. Owens needed to say something.
Western New Yorkers have been jerked around too much, too long for this nonsense.
Tyler Dunne is the Publisher of BuffaloFootballReport.com. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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