Imagine a world without the controversial Eagles WR
Posted: Thursday June 16, 2005 5:23PM; Updated: Friday June 17, 2005 9:39AM
Every time Terrell Owens catches a pass, an angel gets his wings.
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Imagine there's no T.O., It's easy if you try. No Drew Rosenhaus either, For NFL owners nothing but blue sky.
Well, even John Lennon couldn't imagine an NFL without Drew Rosenhaus. At the rate the super-agent is stealing clients, he'll represent 83 percent of the league by 2008 and holdouts will be so common, teams won't even bother with training camp.
But a world without Terrell Owens isn't as far-fetched. If T.O. and coach AndyReid's recent quotes are any indication, that's exactly what will happen in Philadelphia.
Owens is threatening to hold out of training camp because he wants to renegotiate the seven-year, $49 million contract he signed in March, 2004. The Eagles will not talk to Owens' agent, Rosenhaus, about re-doing the deal.
"Can we plug somebody else in there and still win Super Bowls?" Reid said. "Yeah, absolutely, we feel that way."
"I don't have to play football," Owens countered in a television interview. "I don't have to play for the Eagles."
Owens' threats got me thinking, what would the NFL look like if Owens never had come along? Say he focused on basketball at Tennessee-Chattanooga and made it to the NBA. Reid says the Eagles would be fine without him, but would the league?
A little Capra-esque fantasy might go a long way in helping Owens realize the folly of his ways. T.O., I hope you're using your extra free time to read this, because it might make you realize the NFL is a better place with you in it.
THE NFL WITHOUT TERRELL OWENS
1996: With Owens unavailable, the 49ers are forced to select a different small-college receiver at the end of the third round. They settle with Joe Horn, out of Itawamba CC (Horn actually was picked by the Chiefs 46 picks later). In a non-T.O. world, the Niners basically trade a Sharpie for a cell phone.
In a world without T.O., Joe Horn would have been making his infamous cell-phone call from the Bay Area.
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1998: Owens isn't there to catch the game-winning TD in the '98 wild-card showdown between the Packers and 49ers. Steve Young instead fires the ball to wide-open J.J. Stokes, who drops it, giving Green Bay the win. The Packers beat the Falcons and Vikings in the NFC playoffs, setting up a rematch with the Broncos in Super Bowl XXXIII. This time Favre out-duels Elway. A two-time champ, Favre decides he's accomplished enough and retires, while Elway comes back for a shot at another ring. The world is robbed of at least six more years of Favre and Elway suffers a Joe Theisman-like injury in '99 and is robbed of his graceful exit from the game.
2000: Owens doesn't stand on the Cowboys star after a touchdown and kick off his stint as the game's most controversial touchdown celebrator. With the lack of fines collected from Owens and the illegal celebrations he inspired, the league declares financial hardship and is forced to triple the already stiff penalty for wearing socks too high. The NFLPA protests, causing a work stoppage that leaves the door wide open for the maverick XFL to become the nation's premiere football league. "He Hate Me" becomes the No. 1-selling jersey and families no longer feel comfortable going to a game with X-rated cheerleaders. Within a few years, football loses its status as America's most popular sport to televised poker.