Jordan's Rants
2/13/12: Response to Clark Judge's article
CBS Sports.com's Clark Judge recently wrote an article excoriating Terrell Owens. I say "excoriating" because it's a word Judge chooses in a transparent attempt to differentiate a generic, cliche anti-Owens article from the rest of the pack. It didn't work, and now it's my turn to respond to this drivel.

Judge Writes:

"It must be good to be Terrell Owens because being Terrell Owens means never having to admit you're wrong.

Before he was dismissed from San Francisco, he said quarterback Jeff Garcia wasn't as talented as he was. Before he was dismissed from Philadelphia, he said quarterback Donovan McNabb couldn't get him the football. Before he was dismissed in Dallas, he said quarterback Tony Romo played favorites, starting with tight end Jason Witten."


Before he was "dismissed" from San Francisco? You mean, before his agent bungled the paperwork when he had one foot out the door to Philadelphia and he was traded to Baltimore? Sorry, he wasn't "dismissed." Jeff Garcia was "dismissed" when he was released that off-season. Garrison Hearst, Derrick Deese, and Ron Stone were "dismissed." Terrell Owens requested a trade and was granted one...just not to the team he had in mind.

Note Judge never expounds on his reference to Owens saying Garcia wasn't "as talented as he (Owens) was." Where did this quote come from, and when? I'll tell you, since I know - it came from Owens's message board in 2004, when Owens had one foot out the door to Philadelphia, in response to a fan asking him if he'd be open to returning to San Francisco. In other words, Owens was mentally "done" with San Francisco at that point, and knew that one way or the other, he would never be playing with Garcia again.

Kind of changes the significance when provided the context, doesn't it? Had their roles been reversed and Garcia said something similar on his website at the same point in time, would he have drawn Judge's ire? It's laughable to even suggest such a thing, because the innocent, in-no-way-responsible-for-any-of-this media wasn't out to get Garcia. Garcia never stood on the star in the middle of Texas Stadium, nor did he autograph a football with a Sharpie. You know, the real reason they targeted Owens in the first place. The stuff that was a huge deal back then and made him a horrible person at the time that nobody ever talks about now?

I don't recall Owens saying anything about McNabb not being able to get him the football, and I've seen just about every Owens quote there is. I remember a quote responding to the Michael Irvin-fueled notion of the Eagles being undefeated with Brett Favre as their quarterback. I remember a quote throwing the "hypocrite" accusation back at McNabb before the year started. I remember the "I wasn't the guy who got tired in the Super Bowl" line. But I don't remember a word about McNabb "not being able to get him the ball." That wasn't even part of the equation. But who would ever think to call Judge on "creative" memory? This is T.O., "the bad guy," we're talking about here.

Finally, we have the good 'ole "he accused Romo of playing favorites and throwing too much to Witten" myth I've debunked numerous times. The truth is, if Terrell Owens thought Romo was playing favorites with Witten, he never said anything about it to the press. He kept it behind closed doors, which is what an athlete is supposed to do. There are players on every team in the league who get frustrated with their role at times, and the unwritten rule is that the player is to keep it in house. That's the way it's always worked.

The issue arose when an "anonymous source" (cited as someone who "spoke regularly with Owens's teammates," which indicates it was likely not even a member of the Cowboys roster, but probably a member of the media) told ESPN's Ed Werder that Owens believed Tony Romo was favoring Jason Witten too much in the passing game, even to the point of thinking they were drawing up "secret plays."

Owens never publicly said any such thing, yet the likes of Judge imply he did. If Owens had said that, there would be a quote of him saying that. It would be very easy to find. But the only quote we have is Owens denying the story after it came out, saying he didn't have a problem with Witten or Romo, and he merely talked to Jason Garrett in private about Romo reading the whole play and hitting whoever was open. The only reason we have this quote is the firestorm the Werder piece set off.

But because an anonymous member of the media (this may have even been Werder citing himself in his own article), along with a solitary player from the Cowboys who dislikes Owens, spoke "for" Owens anonymously and perhaps leaked something along the lines of what Owens had said in private to Garrett, Owens is "the bad guy," not the cowardly player who ripped his own teammate under the condition of anonymity. Funny how that works; if Owens were to say anything about a teammate of his in a less-than-flattering light, he would be lambasted until the cows came home. But if someone says something negative about Owens...Owens is lambasted until the cows come home.

All of this, of course, has absolutely nothing to do with the media whatsoever. No way did Ed "next question" Werder poke around the Cowboys locker room every week, trying to find a player who never liked Owens personally who would dish some dirt on him so he could write a controversial story. That did not happen.

"So now that he's out of the NFL, Owens has found someone else to blame. Only this time it's the media that chronicled his career, with Owens charging that the press made him into "a fall guy" and persuaded teams not to sign him last season.

"A lot of general managers bought into the fact that the media thinks I'm this bad guy, this rebel guy, this disruptive guy that divides and messes up team chemistry," he told KESN 103.3 in Dallas. "They won't allow me to turn over a new leaf. Why don't I get a pass?"

Well, maybe it's because he got one for most of his career and, well, now people are just tired of dealing with Terrell Owens ... whoever he is.

All I know is that Terrell Owens is someone who never, ever, ever can admit he's at fault for something that went awry. I mean, this is the guy who once claimed he was misquoted in his own autobiography, for crying out loud. In Terrell Owens' world, when everything is good, it's good because of T.O., and when everything is not he finds the most convenient scapegoat."


Never, ever, ever? Never, ever, ever, say, "never, ever, ever"...especially when it's an outright lie.

I have never, ever, ever seen a player admit fault on more occasions than Terrell Owens has. Nobody else has needed to, because nobody else has been blamed for as much as him. Here are just a few examples of Owens admitting fault:

"Crazy?" Owens responded when asked what it was like to play in Sunday's crazy game. "What's crazy is the fact that we're just terrible. That's just plain and simple. When I say we, that's me included. Let me look you in the eyes and emphasize -- we are terrible. Terrible. I have no answers for you. I have no sound bytes for you. All I know is, right now, we are terrible." (http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/g/a/2010/11/22/fanhouseterrellowensonbengal.DTL)


"That's commendable for Carson to come in and shoulder the load, but it's not all his fault. This is something that we have to share together. He's making his read based on how we practice. And again, I messed it up. I messed it up on the interception, and I didn't get the ball on the long ball. So blame it on me. I'll take the blame. I know I'm working hard and trying to do the best I can do. That's about all I can do." (http://www.cincyjungle.com/2010/11/16/1817322/terrell-owens-takes-blame-for-loss-against-the-colts)



Although a wild series of events at the end resulted in the Redskins' victory, it likely would not have come to that if Owens held onto a heave from Romo that would've been a 74-yard touchdown and a 26-22 lead."

"That's a play that I should make and I didn't make it and I feel bad," Owens said. "I honestly feel like I let the team down. I feel like this loss is on my shoulders.

"From here on out, I'll be a different person," Owens later added. "I won't be standing here no more during the season saying I've lost the game. ... I promise you that. (http://abclocal.go.com/wpvi/story?section=news/sports&id;=4743993)


'I CAN HONESTLY SAY I LOST THAT GAME FOR THIS TEAM,' (Link).


``I let the team down,'' Owens said. "I was horrible." (NL News Bank)


As for the "autobiography"...Owens had a co-writer named Jason Rosenhaus. This co-writer wasn't there just because he's a fast typist. For anyone interested in actually learning the truth of the matter, Owens merely took issue with Rosenhaus's use of the word "heroic" in a sentence about Owens's return from the ankle injury to play in Super Bowl XXXIX.

But Judge doesn't care about an honest analysis, he's just out to..."excoriate."

"In San Francisco, that was Garcia, the Pro Bowl quarterback Owens claimed wasn't up to his standards. When he became a free agent in 2004 he said he might consider re-signing with the club "if the Niners can get a quarterback to match my skills as a receiver" -- and this after he caught a then-NFL-record 20 passes from Garcia in a 2000 defeat of Chicago.

The 49ers suspended him for a week."


WOAH...what? I realize "The 49ers suspended him for a week" was on the next line with the mention of the suspension with the Eagles, but there is nothing indicating that the suspension had absolutely nothing to do with the preceding sentences. The suspension took place during the 2000 season, and was the result of his two celebrations in Dallas where he went to the star.

Then again, the line, "and this after he caught a then-NFL-record 20 passes from Garcia in a 2000 defeat of Chicago" had nothing to do with the sentences before that, either, as Owens's 20-catch game against the Bears was over 3 years before his message board post on Garcia (Jan. 2004).

The "Pro Bowl quarterback" apparently wasn't up to the 49ers' standards, either. They released him. It may have had something to do with the fact that he was out-perfomed by backup Tim Rattay during the 2003 season. It may have had to do with the fact he set the all-time franchise record LOW mark for yards per pass completion in 2002, with under 10.2. Perhaps his atrocious mechanics and skittishness in the pocket were also factors. After all, this "Pro Bowl quarterback" was subsequently released by both the Browns and the Lions, and then, despite "good" play with the Eagles, was not retained after one season with them. After a "good" season with the Bucs in 2007, Jon Gruden attempted to trade for Brett Favre to replace him, and benched him in the middle of the 2008 season.


"His next employer, the Philadelphia Eagles, suspended him, too ... for a season. Then they cut him. His next employer, Dallas, didn't suspend him. The Cowboys just let him walk. So did Buffalo after one year. Cincinnati did the same.

Now he's out of the NFL, but apparently not out of excuses. So he turns on the media, and why not? He's guaranteed to make headlines, even though he's buried with the Allen Wranglers of the IFL. Owens is all about attention, and this time he's turning on an audience that has become indifferent to the guy -- hoping to generate something, anything, that makes him relevant again."


Oh, the irony in this statement is beautiful. Judge, in a nice long, anti-Owens rant, accuses Owens of trying to draw headlines.

Oh, also: If Owens wanted to draw headlines, it would be rather easy to do so. It doesn't take much effort. If the media is so indifferent to him, why was one of the leading stories on ESPN.com the other day a Jeff Chadiha article on him? Why is he brought up on NFL Network just about every day? He hasn't played football in over a year, yet they're still talking about him. TMZ follows him around every chance they get. That doesn't sound "indifferent" to me. It doesn't sound like he's "irrelevant" to me.

"Well, it worked. I'm writing about him. But it's more an observation of how far this guy has fallen and how someone, anyone, needs to tell him to confront reality ... even if reality bites. And the reality is that he's a 38-year-old wide receiver who will turn 39 next season, who had a serious knee operation last year, who has diminished skills and who, at the top of his career, was turned out by three teams (San Francisco, Philadelphia and Dallas) who tired of his me-first antics."

Well, at least he admits it.

You know, in order to "fall far," you have to be pretty high up to begin with. But where is he really falling, exactly, and from what? He's 38 years old and trying to get back in the NFL. If he doesn't, he will still have had a 15-year NFL career, one of the longest of any receiver to ever play the game. How far has Jerry Rice fallen? His last year in the NFL featured him trying to make the Denver Broncos and being forced to retire after Mike Shanahan told him he wouldn't be any better than a 4th receiver. Now he's an "analyst" on ESPN. I'm sure that avenue will be open to Owens, too, someday. Call it a hunch.

"Owens says he is not a divisive guy, yet that's precisely how he was described by a coach who worked with him the past five years. In fact, that coach said Owens was "the most divisive" player he's been around in his coaching career, which, considering the time he spent in the game, is an accomplishment. That dovetails nicely with a description of another of his coaches, who once called Owens "the most disrespectful human being I've been around." Hmmm, sounds just like a guy you want to hire, huh?"

A coach who has worked with him the past five years? One small problem here, Clark. Owens hasn't played on one team the past five years. He didn't play last year, he was a member of the Bengals in 2010, a member of the Bills in 2009, and a member of the Cowboys in 2006-2008. So that's literally impossible.

Now, if what you meant to say is a coach who was with him within the past five years, it's very easy to narrow it down to your guy, even though in the article in which you talked about him last year, you mistakenly referred to him as an "offensive coordinator."

http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/story/15212759/moss-to-or-burress-one-play-caller-says-safest-bet-burress/rss

Owens's offensive coordinator with the Bills in 2009 was Alex Van Pelt, a young, first year offensive coordinator who replaced Turk Schonert prior to the start of the regular season.

Owens's offensive coordinator with the Cowboys in 2007-2008 was Jason Garrett, who was a head coach at the time you wrote your article. Garrett is another young coach, who has only been in coaching dating back to 2005.

Owens didn't really have an offensive coordinator in 2006; the Cowboys' play calling was divided up between Todd Haley and Tony Sparano, two men who were head coaches at the time you wrote the piece.

This leaves Bob Bratkowski, whom you referred to as an offensive coordinator, even though he had recently been fired by the Cincinnati Bengals and was the Falcons quarterbacks coach at the time you wrote the piece.

So Bratkowski used buzzwords like "divisive" and "backstabber," and proceeded to criticize everything and anything about his play on the field. Yet he apparently never gave any specifics about how he was "divisive" or a "backstabber." A much-maligned offensive coordinator who was fired after many years with the Bengals is blaming Owens for what went wrong in Cincinnati. Seems awfully convenient, doesn't it?

Note how Bratkowski only spoke under the condition of anonymity.

Of course, it's entirely possible you just made all this up and Bratkowski never said any of this. But I'll just operate under the assumption that you're telling the truth, and the Bengals offensive coordinator who was fired after the season copped to the "Owens was divisive and affected all the players on my offense, and there was nothing I could do, it wasn't my fault, it was T.O.'s" line of reasoning. Thanks for telling us. Too bad the guy couldn't just say it himself.

I also notice your other quote came from an "anonymous coach." What are the odds? Tell me something, why is it that every negative quote about Owens comes from someone "anonymous," whereas there are tons of quotes from people who actually attach their name to them saying he's a good teammate and a good guy?

Sticking with the coach theme, Ravens coach John Harbaugh, who was on the Eagles' coaching staff while he was there, had this to say before the Ravens faced the Bills in 2009:

"All I can say about T.O. is this -- I'm going to jump out a limb here -- I've got a lot of respect for T.O., OK? Always have," Harbaugh said. "He's a football player, he practices hard. I think he's got a really good heart, always have. We have a good relationship."

And while we're at it, here's what Bill Parcells said about Owens after he'd retired from Dallas:

"He's a pleasant enough kid," Parcells said. "He's not mean-spirited; he's not vulgar. He's really OK in that respect."


But why the anonymity for the detractors? Are they afraid that if they criticize the most criticized man in sports, they're going to be looked down upon for it?

Yeah, right.

"But in Owens' world he's not that way because ... well, because he says he's not that way. So who are you going to trust -- the media or him? He says that NFL teams listened to a media that steered them away from Owens, and that's a juicy plot line ... except, if that's the case, why does someone like Adam "Pacman" Jones or Albert Haynesworth keep getting opportunities? They're not exactly media darlings, but last time I checked they were employed by the NFL."

Comparing the media scrutiny Haynesworth and Jones received to that of Owens is like comparing an earthquake to Armageddon.

"Owens is not, and he can't understand why. It might have something to do with his age. It might have something to do with his skills. It might have something to do with that surgically-repaired knee. My guess? It has something to do with all of that, but it has more to do with just who Terrell Owens is ... and Terrell Owens is not someone I'd want within a hundred miles of my locker room."

Yes, your guess. And like many guesses, yours is incorrect. It actually has to do with the fact that people like you affect the perceptions of others, including those who make decisions.

"So he's talented. Terrific. He's also disruptive ... even though he insists he's not. He's entitled to his opinion, and we're entitled to ours, and just one question: What kind of good teammate excoriates his quarterbacks, all of whom were Pro Bowl performers? The answer: Not a very good one."

Yes, you're entitled to your opinion, no matter how wrong it is.

We've talked about what a "Pro Bowl performer" Jeff Garcia is. We could also talk about the other quarterback he's gotten into it with, Donovan McNabb, but that's neither here nor there. Owens got into it with McNabb not because of his play, but because of a personal conflict brought about by constant media pressure put on both of them from day one that wore on them. They were the "it" couple of the NFL. And like most "it" couples, things didn't end well.

"Hey, after his greatest moment in Philadelphia -- when he overcame a severely sprained ankle and fractured fibula to catch a team-high nine passes for 122 yards in Super Bowl XXXIX -- Owens found a way to turn good into bad by making a contract demand, boycotting the opening of training camp, then torching coaches and McNabb until coach Andy Reid decided to cut his losses."

"Contract demand." "Boycotted" the opening of training camp. For other players, we refer to this as "holding out."

And even after all that "torching," Owens would have remained on the team if he had apologized to McNabb as he was asked to. How bad could he have really been if they were willing to keep him if he'd just done the damage control they were asking him to do?

"Reid not only released Owens ... he let him go to arch-rival Dallas, and that should tell you something. It should also tell you something that when the Cowboys held a news conference to announce his signing, it was owner Jerry Jones who presided. Then-coach Bill Parcells was nowhere to be found, and form your own conclusions."

Let him go to Dallas? Um, Owens was an unrestricted free agent after they released him. Reid had no say in where Owens wound up. So no, it tells us absolutely nothing, Clark.

Maybe it should tell you something that Parcells, after leaving Dallas, called Owens a "pleasant kid" who was "not mean-spirited, not vulgar"...but you're not really interested in hearing any of that.

"Terrell Owens was a productive wide receiver, but he was not a very good teammate. And in a team game that can't be tolerated. Only now, Terrell Owens has found out.

Unfortunately, he still doesn't get it."


Funny, but that doesn't square with what about 3 dozen or so players have publicly said about him. Irrelevant people like Kevan Barlow, Fred Beasley, J.J. Stokes, Derrick Deese, Ron Stone, Bryant Young, Julian Peterson, Tony Parrish, Brian Westbrook, Greg Lewis, Todd Pinkston, L.J. Smith, Jevon Kearse, Sheldon Brown, Lito Sheppard, Jeremiah Trotter, Marion Barber, Tashard Choice, Patrick Crayton, Roy Williams, Sam Hurd, Chris Canty, Jay Ratliff, DeMarcus Ware, Greg Ellis, Bradie James, Anthony Henry, Terrence Newman, Ken Hamlin, Donte Whitner, Ryan Fitzpatrick, and Chad Ochocinco. What do they know? Clearly not as much as a number of players you can count on one hand, and a few "anonymous sources."

And how can he "get" what was never true to begin with?
13 Comments
Posted on Feb 14 2012 by Jordan Taber
by DCFanatic @ 14 Feb 2012 04:43 am
This is easily the saddest website in the entire universe. lol.

Besides the fact that no one cares enough about Terrell Owens anymore to even attempt to read this 18,000 word shitfest the actual fuctionality of the article is retarded.

How is the reader supposed to know when the parts from Judge's article begin and end? lol. Instead of quoting them and indenting them you just have them written in to the main body.

Honestly. Never seen a bigger waste of time in my entire life.

LMBO.
by Jordan @ 14 Feb 2012 05:15 am
There, is that better? Now people like you who don't understand how quotes work will be able to understand the blog.
by Cavs @ 14 Feb 2012 08:05 am
Great read. The hate for Owens(who I consider the 2nd best WR all-time), has been ridiculous over the years.

Was enjoyable to read someomes blog who actually gets "it", as the dumbass writer who hates Owens puts "it".
by John @ 14 Feb 2012 09:39 am
First, good read. Second, I've been yelling where I can on cbs message board for awhile about this, but nobody will hear it. In a MUCH smaller degree. I can't recall what team he was on, but I remember TO trying to "change" but only in the eyes of the media. Not give those damning soundbites. And the reporters would try to lure him with questions designed to make him lose it. Analysts would say "Its only a matter of time, the old TO is coming" So I agree with him (TO) 100%, he wasn't allowed to change. But this hatchet article by Judge was another unneeded knife in the back. How can he write that, and then claim the media is not holding Owens back? shameful
by ericka woodside @ 14 Feb 2012 02:55 pm
wink
by Brian M @ 14 Feb 2012 03:18 pm
I'll say a few things about this article coming from a guy who has been on both sides of the Love/Hate for TO. One, nobody can deny the guy is a dedicated ball player. He busts his butt on the field to be the best player he can for his teammates and himself. His recovery for the Super Bowl is clear indication of this. Another thing that really confuses me about TO is the media attention he gets, yet he's never really done anything legally wrong. In an age of the NFL where every second player is getting nailed with a DUI, Drug Charge, ect; when have any claims like that been associated with TO? To me a guy that is passionate in the locker room and speaks his mind often (yes, at times, to a fault) should get off WAY easier with the media than the aforementioned criminals. Bottom line, to me, TO is just a guy that is outspoken, passionate, and has a desire to be the best player he can be. Maybe instead of focussing on the athletes that have a problem biting their tongue at times, the media should focus on the guys who have a problem following basic laws.

Jordan, I enjoyed the article. I get in a lot of "discussions" with other football fans or sports fans in general about TO. I appreciate your perspective on this
by Ryan @ 14 Feb 2012 03:34 pm
Terrell Owens will always be my favorite player of all time. He is not the same young buck he was in Philly or San Fran and he deserves one more year to play the game he loves. I really hope I have the privelage of seeing him play one more season in the NFL. You're the man T.O. nice article Jordan
by Killa @ 14 Feb 2012 03:51 pm
Enjoyed the read. Always been a fan of T.O. , I hope he gets a shot in 2012. If not, I think he deserves to be a HOFer 1st ballot.

As for CBS's online writers like Judge, Prisco, Freeman, etc. They are all crap and try way too hard to start a controversy.

Best of Luck to Terrell in whatever comes next in life.

P.S. I'm a Steelers fan!
by Jermaine @ 14 Feb 2012 04:20 pm
Great article. I enjoyed the style you chose to use. The way they treat T.O. really turns my stomach, but I honestly think that the people who watch these shows and read these articles are smart enough to not put too much stake in the things the writers and talking heads say. Point blank.... T.O. is the best Wide Receiver of all times and he will solidify that with 2 more years of playing. He can be productive because he is very smart and he knows the game. He will win 95% of his 1 on 1 match ups. And that's something every team needs especially on 3rd down. I think we need a voice to be able to get our opinions out there, because I think that only simple people who want to hate T.O. in the first place are the only ones who agree with people like this writer. They are scared of T.O.
by Cathy @ 14 Feb 2012 06:02 pm
Every Cowboy fan I know was hoping Dallas would sign T.O. this past season. If he wasn't such a good football player, the press wouldn't pay any attention to him. Terrell is an amazing wide receiver - one of the best in football history!
by ross @ 14 Feb 2012 11:39 pm
Great read man.... I always wondered everything u wrote for years. its sad he gets treated the way he does but I think in the end he'll get the last laugh in the HOF
by Noni @ 15 Feb 2012 07:04 am
smile
Althought the articule seemed lengthy it was interesting. Always been a huge suppoter of TO, and I wholeheartly agree with Killa-HOF for TO. Good-luck next year. You have some followers!
by Diana @ 15 Feb 2012 10:39 am
smile and sad
He has to much potential to be playing arena football. After reading this blog I realize why I continue to support him & why he's still my fave all time WR. I love this man..through good & bad times.
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