We all remember that epic scene in Old School.
Frank Ricard appears to have changed. He's married, he's calm, he's composed. But it all changes when he's back in his element. One night at a fraternity party, "Frank the Tank" resurfaces. Sure, Terrell Owens had that visit to Home Depot planned with Trent Edwards the next morning.
But did you really think Frank the Tank could be harnessed all season? Maybe the T.O.-is-always-a-model-citizen-in-the-first-year-of-his-contract apologists will finally stop gushing a tad.
Owens couldn't last a month. Like he has his whole career, T.O. said he isn't coming to his team's voluntary workouts. You know, that period of time when a new receiver should begin meeting his teammates and meshing with his new quarterback? Yeah, T.O. is busy. Nevermind the fact that the Bills gave Owens his 498th chance at redemption. Nevermind that the entire city is ready to embrace him more than Baby Joe Mesi.
Owens might as well of held the beer bong like Frank and said, "Once it hits your mouth it's so good!"
"I talked to Coach (Dick) Jauron prior to the start of workouts about that," Owens told the USA Today. "Right now, if there's nothing mandatory that I have to be a part of, then I won't intend to be there."
And so it's begun. Mount T.O. is beginning to boil. Spend that $80 you had saved for a No. 81 jersey on something more useful. Stop the love affair. Stop the Super Bowl fantasies. Terrell Owens hasn't changed a bit. A one-year contract is an eternity. The carnage is just beginning.
T.O. says he might try to stop by sometime in mid-May while he's filming his reality show.
"If I'm in the area, I tend to stop by the facilities and work out with the guys," Owens said. "You know, I'm looking forward to that type of stuff."
What a guy. Owens brushes off the snub as something he's done his whole career – he's always worked with a personal trainer. Well, maybe that's the problem. Every offseason, Owens alienates his teammates by working out alone. The gap between T.O. and the team widens like the San Andreas Fault…eventually splitting into an earthquake. Again. And again.
Looking for a common denominator to the 35-year-old Owens' catastrophic career? It's the weight room. Don't overcomplicate this. T.O. could have earned respect – and, uh, friends – by simply spotting for his teammates in the weight room. Instead, he sculpts his Ivan Drago-like physique alone.
The debate isn't that Owens doesn't work hard. He is arguably the most ungodly physical specimen in the modern game. If Zeus gave birth to a football player, it'd be T.O. But Owens' complete disregard for team chemistry always trumps his talent. Go ahead, hop into the ‘Niners, Eagles and Cowboys, forums on the Scout.com network. Any fan will tell you that Owens' innate ability to set an entire franchise back is unmatched. He's a fungus that lingers.
Don't expect this individualism to appear overly terminal on the outside.
Trent Edwards said that he hasn't been in contact with Owens and isn't bothered by his absence. An admirable public face. Any comment to the contrary would be like throwing a rock at Cyclops. Any speck of criticism sets T.O. off. It'd be foolish for Edwards, or any other player, to open up that can of worms.
Instead, this team tumor will build. Anger, suppressed.
The real Buffalo Bills are working out together right now. They're finding ways to recapture the magic of last September. More than 40 players conglomerated at the team facilities for workouts, including Edwards, Paul Posluszny, Terrence McGee and Kawika Mitchell. Some newbies came too. Ryan Fitzpatrick told the team website that he's "excited to meet and bond with the guys." The team's answer for 3-4 defenses, Geoff Hangartner, was in attendance.
Strength and conditioning coordinator J.T. Allaire said there is a lot of "excitement in the weight room" – a perfect environment for Terrell Owens to reconstruct his image.
When no other team would, the Bills gave T.O. an opportunity to play football. Joining them in line at the bod pod to test body fat and in morale-building power cleans could have a gone a long way in redefining himself with his fourth team.
Instead, Owens is hinting at what's in store all season.
Instead, all T.O. did was put the bag of Orville Redenbacher into the microwave and set it for "Team Obliteration."
Tyler Dunne is the Publisher of BuffaloFootballReport.com and also writes for the Packer Report. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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