Posted: Tuesday February 1, 2005 7:30PM; Updated: Tuesday February 1, 2005 7:30PM
Now, if Terrell Owens stopped talking -- that would be a miracle.
JACKSONVILLE -- It's always a fine line between the relevant and the ridiculous on Super Bowl media day, and by my count Terrell Owens had one foot in both camps for most of his hour-long session with the huddled journalistic masses on Tuesday morning at Alltel Stadium.
To wit: Owens says his broken right leg is good enough to go and he'll definitely play Sunday against New England in Super Bowl XXXIX. Good to know. A relevant topic if there ever was one for the Philadelphia Eagles' star receiver.
And then there was this: Owens also said his injury in mid-December was all part of God's plan to give him an even bigger platform during Super Bowl week than he otherwise would have had, thus proving God's greatness.
Uh, check, please. Don't mean to break it to him, but Owens playing in the Super Bowl will not register as a modern-day miracle. I have no problem with athletes who speak of the power of prayer, or healing, or things of a spiritual nature. It is their right and it's an intensely personal issue that no one can be the ultimate judge of. I myself believe in divine intervention.
But let's keep things in perspective. The normal recovery time for Owens' ankle injury was put at eight to 10 weeks. If he returns Sunday, it'll be seven weeks since Owens last played, and about 6½ weeks since his surgery. Impressive, and perhaps courageous? You bet. But miraculous? Even if you're willing to stretch, it's not really going to give the whole turning water into wine thing a run for its money.
Or did I misconstrue Owens' comments? Or take them out of context? You decide:
"I think God put me on this stage for a certain reason,'' Owens said. "I got hurt for a reason. I understand that. A lot of people don't. A lot of people are questioning my ability and probably the risk that I take playing this game 6½ weeks after surgery. But it doesn't really matter what people say about me, I know what I can do. I know how my ankle feels and that's all that matters.''
When asked the reasoning behind his injury, Owens went on to say: "I think God is using me [and] put me on a platform to really show the world how great he is. God has put me in the position, and I'm welcoming that challenge. Just by the timing of me getting hurt, he had to sit me down and put things into perspective for me. And that's what he's done. He put me on the biggest stage of my life to show people how great he is.''
At that exact moment, and I'm not making this up, a voice boomed over the Alltel Stadium loudspeaker announcing that only 30 minutes remained in the Eagles' media day. It sounded like a league PR type to me, but I must admit the words "voice of God'' flashed through my head.