Posted: Monday November 7, 2005 9:42AM; Updated: Monday November 7, 2005 7:51PM
The Eagles announced Monday that Terrell Owens will not return to the team this season.
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LANDOVER, Md. -- You know, before Sunday night I was convinced if Terrell Owens issued one of those two-faced apologies about Donovan McNabb, he'd be back on the Eagles. Now I'm not so sure.
You know the basic tenets of what followed Owens' latest firebombing of the Eagles and McNabb, and you've heard about the fight Owens had with team ambassador Hugh Douglas. (Funny, I always thought "ambassador'' meant "doer of good will.'' Guess I was wrong. But you know what Douglas calls his role? "Bad-assador.'' In jest, of course. He's a community do-gooder, plus he's still a guy head coach Andy Reid can use in the locker room to keep things loose. Douglas always has been a great locker-room guy.)
Well, what was reported yesterday all over TV, essentially, was right. Owens got into fisticuffs with Douglas. The fight was kept under wraps until the Trenton Times broke the story on Sunday. FOX's Jay Glazer reported it was because Douglas accused Owens of faking a sprained ankle. But there was more, as you know. After Owens ripped the Eagles' public relations staff and the organization for not recognizing his 100th career touchdown reception right after it happened, and after he agreed with an interviewer that Michael Irvin was right when he said the Eagles would probably be unbeaten if Brett Favre was their quarterback, Reid wanted Owens to apologize to the team, to the organization and to McNabb personally. T.O. issued one of those lukewarm, two-faced jobs to the organization on Friday, but had several chances on Friday and Saturday to make things right with McNabb and refused.
I'm told Owens even had the McNabb apology written underneath the one he gave to the press Friday, but refused to read it.
Not to digress, but Owens has this problem. He just can't admit he's wrong, and he has a hard time forgiving people. In short, he will never forgive someone whom he feels crossed him. Never. (I know that. As does my colleague Cris Collinsworth. Not to put words in Collinsworth's mouth, but we both think Owens is the worst kind of teammate ever put on the planet. Owens knows we feel that way and he has little use for either of us. I shouldn't say little. I should say no. And just a little note here to Irvin. I know he's your friend -- now -- and I know you're loyal, but be careful. You're in the quasi-journalism business now, and you're looking pretty silly blindly sticking up for a guy who would have thrown you out of the Cowboys locker room in a heartbeat 15 years ago.) And last winter, when Owens was out with an injured ankle, McNabb went in front of the cameras and basically said he hoped Owens would be back sometime during the playoffs because he was such a good player. But if he didn't make it back, the Eagles were a good enough team to win without him.
What was McNabb supposed to say? That all is lost and we'll never win again and boo-hoo-hoo? No, he's supposed to put on the stiff upper lip and carry on and convince the team that it can win with Owens' understudy in the game. And the Eagles did get to the Super Bowl without Owens. But Owens, starting with his infamous I'm-not-the-one-who-got-tired criticism of McNabb the week after the game, has been a burr in McNabb's saddle ever since.