In the February issue of GQ, Terrell Owens was asked about his well-being and replied, “I’m in hell.” He goes on to say, “I don’t have no friends, I don’t want no friends. That’s how I feel.” If that isn’t a cry for help, I’m not sure what is. Although the swollen headed talk of T.O. never really registered with me, I realize this man has had a tumultuous run and he wasn’t left unscathed.
Last year the Cincinnati Bengals chose not to renew his one-year, $2 million contract and Owens discovered his financial advisers had been leading him to risky investments. The roughly $80 million he’s made over his 15 seasons with the NFL is almost all gone, and he was caught up in a risky financial venture in Alabama that ended up violating NFL gambling rules. Then the housing market tanked and he lost millions unloading property during the recession. Although my working class mind wants to remain indignant to the problems of millionaires, it doesn’t change the fact that getting screwed in a deal is horrible.
In the midst of the money trouble, he suffered a torn ACL and kept the injury secret until his surgery. And although he is known as a miraculous healer, not one team scout came to his televised workout on ESPN. It’s almost like everyone forgot that he is ranked No. 2 in the NFL for receiving yards. What they obviously didn’t forget was his lethal combination of cavalier virtuoso and showboating adolescent behavior. He may have kept a low profile while in Cincinnati but the damage he has done to teams across the league will haunt him.
Sadly, things on the home front aren’t looking too hot either. He owes a total of $44,600 in child support for his four children. Reports also surfaced that he missed a court date with the mother of his oldest child because he was attending a public tryout and ended up with a bench warrant issued for his arrest.
When you take the time to stack all this bad news side by side, and add in a few alleged suicide reports and a reality show on VH1, it’s a wonder the Owens is still venturing out of his house. But starting this year the six-time Pro Bowler will play and have an ownership stake in the Allen Wranglers of the Indoor Football League.
There’s a cynical part of most editorial writers that can’t help but paint this as a fall from grace type narrative. But I’m from Allen, TX and we live and breathe football. And I’ve lost money along the way and had to take jobs that I sometimes thought I was too good for. But bills have to be paid, and pride wasn’t helping me or my family at the time.
In the GQ interview Owens said, “I think people change, but the media, they never allowed me to change. They never allowed me to be a better person.” Well here at Blitz Weekly, everyone gets a fair shot. From now on, I’m going to move on from the past, let some things go and treat Owens as I would any other player. And I honestly hope Owens can continue to stay spirited and maybe some good fortune will come his way.