Terrell Owens, you have a friend in me

April 8, 2009

A true star

A true star


Last month the infamous T.O. was unceremoniously released from the Dallas Cowboys after 3 seasons. He wasn’t released due to lack of production. T.O. produced 38 touchdowns. He had 235 receptions. He also played in 47 out of a possible 48 regular season games. In his final year in Dallas he had 69 receptions for 1052 yards. He didn’t suffer any career threatening injury, and yet he was released. Did the Cowboys mistakingly send the notice to Terrell when it was meant for Patrick Crayton? Unfortunately, no.

T.O. is still a big time receiver with years left to play at a high level. He has been cut by 2 teams in the last 5 years. He has not been arrested during his time in the league. There are no off the field legal issues. In fact, T.O. is a big mommas boy, and very family oriented. Yet he is called a cancer in the locker room.

That label of being a “cancer” has been unfairly thrust upon him. This man has brought teams to levels they would not have reached without him, and he is named the problem? Something isn’t right. While everyone else will have you believe that T.O. is the devil reincarnate I’m going to bring you the truth.

In order to find that truth, you don’t need to look very far. The problem has not been T.O. He wants the ball, that much is known, but why is that a problem? He gives his team the best chance to win with the ball in his hands because he is not afraid of making the big play. He is not afraid to carry the weight of a team on his shoulders. The problem has been the quarterbacks he plays with, who are afraid of carrying that weight. Both Donovan Mcnabb and Tony Romo have fragile egos which have been documented in one way or another.

For Mcnabb, look no further than the Superbowl vs. the New England Patriots. The same Superbowl that Terrell Owens fought back from a broken leg, against doctors recommendations, to play in and help his team. But I digress, the part of that game that I am talking about is when Mcnabb was in the huddle calling plays, and vomited on the field. A professional football player puking on the field is generally sad in it’s own right. However, a professional football player, who happens to be the qb of a team enthralled in the biggest game of their careers, that is downright pathetic. He couldn’t handle the pressure, and he folded.

Always a brides maid and never the bride
Always a brides maid and never the bride

Mcnabb enjoyed the best season of his career with a wide receiver that is a “cancer” in the locker room. During the 2004 season, which was Terrell’s only full season with the Eagles, Mcnabb completed 5.1 percent more of his passes than his career average. Relative to his pass attempts he held a 2.1% better td to pass ratio than his career average. He also threw 6 more touchdowns that season than his next best season. Oh, did I mention they reached the Superbowl? Quite the cancerous effect T.O. had on his stats.

Let’s move on to Romo. Tony Romo has to be somewhere at the top of my “most over-rated QB’s” list. Above even the ridiculously average Eli Manning. Tony Romo has had the distinct pleasure of playing alongside Mr. Owens for the duration of his career as a starter. I do look forward to seeing him struggle mightily without T.O. to bail him out on his poor throws, or having T.O. wide open due to his crisp route running and ability to get off the line.

With the Cowboys down 21-20 to the Seahawks with 1:19 left in the ’07 playoffs, the Cowboys had driven themselves into easy field goal range. The snap came and the rest is history. Romo took a perfect snap and couldn’t hold onto it. Sealing the Cowboys fate that year. To be fair, Romo admitted responsibilty for the loss but he still blew it. He couldn’t handle the pressure and he folded.

Who would have guessed Tony Romo isn't good with balls?  Not me.
Who would have guessed Tony Romo isn’t good with balls? Not me.

Romo has since continued to wilt under big game pressure. I can’t imagine there is a single Cowboys fan that doesn’t cringe everytime their team needs a big play to save a game, and they wait for a snap to Romo. Rarely do those opportunities result in anything other than a strip fumble, an interception, or a fumbled snap.

Mcnabb has done nothing since the days of Terrell Owens to dispel his critics who question his toughness and ability. His stats have suffered since the days of T.O. He has even been benched this past season due to his struggles, and there was speculation he was going to be traded at the end of the year.

These quarterbacks needed T.O. They needed him to be a scapegoat for their own lack of mental toughness. They needed someone to blame when things didn’t go right. There was no one better to blame for their own problems, then the loudmouthed yet ultra talented Terrell Owens. Now both have been and will be exposed as creampuffs who ultimately struggle with their duties of leading their teams to playoff success.

Here’s hoping Trent Edwards lets T.O. be T.O. and lead his quarterbacking career to unbelievable levels. Or he’ll just become another QB who played the blame game, and pushed away perhaps the best wide receiver to ever play the game, and sank his own career


Carebear’s Top Five Sports Movies

April 8, 2009

#5 The Big Lebowski

Walter Sobchak: I told those fucks down at the league office a thousand times that I don’t roll on Shabbos!
Donny: What’s Shabbos?
Walter Sobchak: Saturday, Donny, is Shabbos, the Jewish day of rest. That means that I don’t work, I don’t get in a car, I don’t fucking ride in a car, I don’t pick up the phone, I don’t turn on the oven, and I sure as shit
Walter Sobchak: don’t fucking roll! Shomer shabbos!

You may not call this a sports movie, but this film revolves around bowling.  The Big L is a cult classic.  The people that own it have seen it literally, thousands of times.  It is one of those films that always seemed to be on in my college dorm room.  John Torturro plays one of the greatest bit roles in any movie as the Jesus, the pedophile, flamboyant dancing bowler, who’s partner Liam and him will fuck you in the ass on wednesday instead.  John Goodman, Steve Buscemi, Philip Seymour Hoffman, and Jeff Bridges are all perfectly cast.  I don’t even know if Tara Reid (pre boob job) knows she was acting in this film.  Anyways, great film.  The grown up Sandlot of bowling.

#4 Rocky 4

[Addressing the Soviet Union]
Rocky: I guess what I’m trying to say is, if I can change, and you can change, everybody can change.

Some will argue that this movie is awful and not even the best Rocky film.  I agree completely, but its entertaining as hell, and so stupidly inspiring that I had to include it.   The workout montage in the foot deep snow of Siberia is maybe the most motivating scene in movie history.  The fact that a boxing match pretty much ends the Cold War made it an irresistible choice.  You disagree, but change the channel next time it comes on FX at 3 am.  You can’t do it.

#3 A League of their Own

[Jimmy has just signed a baseball for a little boy]
Little Boy: [reading] Avoid the clap, Jimmy Dugan.
Jimmy Dugan: Hey, that’s good advice!

People argue with me about this one all the time.  Tom Hanks, as Jimmy Duggan (Foxx) makes this film.  He plays a drunken retired ballplayer who is forced to manage a women’s team.  Despite the fact that its a comedy, this movie got baseball right, and without looking like they were trying too hard.  The ending still pisses me off a little, but its one of few sports movies with kind of an unhappy ending.  Geena Davis drops the ball, on purpose? we don’t know, and then quits baseball.  Its like the Empire Strikes Back of comedy sports films except without Darth Vader cutting Davis’ hand off.  This film also marks the last time Rosie O’Donnel and Madonna were tolerable, and the last time Geena Davis was remotely attractive.

#2 Happy Gilmore

Chubbs: They wouldn’t let me play on the Pro Tour anymore.
Happy Gilmore: Ah, I’m sorry. Because you’re black?
Chubbs: Hell no! Damned alligator BIT my hand off!

Happy Gilmore did not try to get golf right.  There are no cut lines, the tourneys are one day long, and Happy’s gotta approach Subway for sponsorship money.  Despite the fact that its a horribly reviewed, far from factual film, I know every line from beginning to end.  I could watch it four times today and still giggle when Virginia Vennet yells, “Happy. look ooout!,” and he gets hit by a Volkswagen on the fairway.  Shooter McGavin is the ultimate sports movie villain.  He buys Happy’s grandma’s house to get back at him.  Its all so stupid, but so great.   Also, Bob Barker (vampire) beats the shit out of happy in a pro-am.  Spectacular film.

#1 The Sandlot

Ham Porter: Is that your sister out there in left field, naked? She’s naked?
Phillips: [swings and misses again] SHUT UP PORTER!
Ham Porter: Hey, hey, hey, I’m just trying to start a friendly conversation, come on.
Ham Porter: [two seconds later] Think she’ll go out with me?

The Sandlot is more about growing up than baseball.  There is no championship.  They actually only play one real game, but everybody can relate to this kids playing with their friends pretending they’re Babe Ruth. Its really a coming of age story.  Every scene is classic: the tobacco at the carnival, the hunt for the lost ball, and the public swimming pool.   This is another film that gets baseball right.  For most people, baseball is about growing up and this movie captures that better than any other.  Agree or disagree, Sandlot is #1.

Honorable Mention: Caddyshack, The Greatest Game Ever Played, Miracle, Mystery Alaska, Field of Dreams, Major League, Kingpin, Little Giants, Shaolin Soccer (added), The Natural (added).