Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Hey Kids, It's Big Gay Al and the Terrible O Show

By now, Terrell Owens new reality show that apparently will air on VH1 is old news. I'm sure everyone has heard about it and formed his/her opinion already. Of course, that's not gonna stop me from weighing in. In case you haven't heard, the cameras will follow TO around with his two best gal pals as they try to find someone even less stable than Owens for the man-child to date.

Hmmm, I can just picture the lucky girl out there. She's all atwitter at the thought of finding true love with the mercurial wide receiver, just itching to get the straight jacket off.

As always seems to be the case with Terrell—where to begin, where to begin, oh, where to begin?

First, I love that this show is being billed as a way to give his fans a glimpse into his life away from football. That's a fantastic bit of salesmanship. Raise your hand if you think anyone—even his fans—need to know more about Owens' off-field antics. With the exception of the National Football League player-du-jour who finds himself in some sort of legal (or otherwise) scandal, Terrell Owens is the most over-exposed athlete in the League (not commercially, cough, Peyton Manning).

On-field and off-field. Regular season and off-season.

Second, am I the only one who thinks it's odd that TO's best friends are two females and he's broadcasting this fact? To me, that sounds like the crazy-but-hot chick everyone knows who has ZERO girlfriends because she's either too attractive or too insane for any other girl to deal with. Consequently, all her best friends are guys except they all are hanging around her in hopes of finding their way out of the friend-zone.

I always feel oddly sad when I see those girls and, yet, Terrell is advertising that he's a dude in this situation. Do you know how nuts a guy has to be before no other men want to associate with him? Whoa.

Third (and most importantly), what the &*$! are the Dallas Cowboys thinking?

Here is a team that almost every observer of the NFL agrees was one of the most talented—if not the most talented—squads in the League in 2008. Likewise, almost all observers agree that their locker room chemistry and lack of on-field focus combined to submarine the Cowpokes' campaign. There has been hew and cry about all the soap opera bullsh*t that follows the franchise like that stink could followed Pigpen in the old Peanuts cartoons.

So what do they do? Jerry Jones signs of on that Michael Irvin show where the winner will get a shot at making the Dallas roster. Then, Owens goes off and inks this Hindenburg of a deal.

I don't even like the Cowboys, and I still think ignoring Troy Aikman is a bad idea.

He put it perfectly when addressing Tony Romo's failures (thus far): "You better worry about perception, because it's a big part of making it through some very difficult times."

That's infinitely more true when you play under the microscope of huge media markets like Dallas (for football), New York, Boston, and the kind. It's not to say that you should be beholden to what people say and write about you. But it is to say that, when the rough times come a-callin' as they do for every player in every sport, it's an enormous asset to be able to fall back on the confidence that you have done everything possible to prepare and perfect your talent.

That confidence is a lot easier to maintain (for most everyone) when it isn't being called into question over and over. And over. And over.

So, think of the 2009 NFL regular season. Imagine we're getting down to the end, the public scrutiny is zeroing in on the contending teams, Dallas faces a couple staunch opponents in late November/early December (games that they shouldn't necessarily win), and the Cowboys lose one or two.

Maybe they were in one, even had the lead, and let it slip away.

What do you think the media's gonna do? What do you think the public response will be? How do you think Dallas will react?

Sure, it could all work out. These are professional athletes and adults after all. It shouldn't be impossible for them to shake off the distraction and vultures circling the organization as it starts to lose blood. It isn't impossible because we've seen teams do it before.

But we haven't seen Dallas do it recently. And the franchise has had a bunch of chances.

Thanks to Jerry Jones and Terrible Owens, the Dallas Cowboys seem destined for another.

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