NFL fans have gotten used to the drill by now: Terrell Owens, usually on his weekly radio show but sometimes elsewhere, will say something controversial, and the topic will dominate all sports media in Philly, and eventually nationally, until the following Sunday.
It's an interesting racket, one that's gotten TO, this season alone, to: Complain about his contract numerous times; rip teammates and/or coaches; say that he wouldn't have come back to play in last year's Super Bowl if he'd known he wouldn't be getting a new contract afterwards; defend his indefensible decision to wear a Cowboys jersey home from a game against the Cowboys; and, after a consensus had emerged that the Eagles' troubles were due mostly to their inability to run the ball, complain that he, TO, needed to start getting thrown the ball more. And I'm sure there are 3 or 4 more that I forgot about.
The latest flap, however, may be a new low. Asked by an ESPN reporter whether he agreed with Michael Irvin -really, the TO of his day- in his statement that the Eagles would be undefeated right now if Brett Favre were their quarterback, Owens replied:
"That's a good assessment, I would agree with that, just with what [Favre] brings to the table.Three major, major things wrong with what TO said: One, it's unconscionable to throw your own QB under the bus during the season. Especially since McNabb HAS played with injuries, all year long, and in other years too. Two, it's wrong on the facts: no, the Eagles would NOT be undefeated with Favre because, well, have you seen Favre this year? He's having the worst season of his career! And not only that, but even with Favre under center, Philly would still have their shaky running game, and it's unlikely Brett could've prevented Denver from scoring 49 points last week.
"A number of commentators will say he's a warrior, he's played with injuries. I feel like him being knowledgeable about the quarterback position, I feel like we'd probably be in a better situation."
And third, perhaps worst of all: Owens' comments -in implying that McNabb isn't a "warrior" or "knowledgable about the quarterback position," play into the stereotype, held by a fringe of Eagles fans that's considerably larger than any of us would like to admit, that McNabb isn't smart enough to quarterback the Eagles, that maybe they'd be better served by getting someone else in there, maybe someone who's... not as much of a scrambler, more of a "pure" quarterback... you know where I'm going here. It's the same attitude implicit in this insane theory among NFL pundits that Michael Vick can't win as a quarterback (even though it's all he's done in his entire career), as well as that blog comment I got last year suggesting Daunte Culpepper "doens't know what is best for the team," so they should try to go out and get Ken Dorsey to replace him. I'd have thought we were beyond this kind of thinking by now, but apparently not.
(Not to sound like Jason Whitlock or Scoop Jackson here- 'cause really, they're just as lazy and predictable as Frank Rich- instead of taking the #1 movie that week and relating it to why Bush is evil- like Rich does- Whitlock and Jackson merely take the biggest sports story of the week and boil it down to why it's really all about race. But I really do feel there's something to this attitude- and Owens spouting off in the way he did only serves to encourage it.)
Anyway, perhaps the strangest thing of all on this story is the reaction of normally mild-mannered Dave Spadaro, who edits the Eagles' website, is an employee of the team, and is generally known from his TV and radio appearances as one of the biggest Eagles homers in town. His reaction? A diatribe posted to the site that calls Owens out:
How dare Owens show such a lack of respect for his quarterback, the one whom he begged to play with last year, the one who helped Owens have one of his finest seasons, the one who looks for Owens 15 times a game and who never gets in Owens' face when he drops a pass, which, by the way, happens.Of course, if the Eagles can win at least two of their three upcoming games against divisional rivals Washington, Dallas, and New York, perhaps all this will fall away. But then, that's a very big if. Posted by Stephen Silver at November 4, 2005 03:30 PM
What can Owens possibly gain from such remarks? How does it benefit McNabb, who, yes, is not at the top of his game but who has played through a multitude of injuries this season -- hey, throughout his career.
Typical, I guess. Blame somebody else, even the hand that feeds you.