In the electronic age, what begins as idle chatter on message boards can quickly become news worthy debate on prime time television. Therefore I’d like to toss my two cents in on this notion of Terrell Owens becoming a Raider before Wilbon and Kornheiser have a chance to trade pithy dialogue on the topic.
I’ve heard the gossip. I’ve scoured through posts on message boards. I’ve read The Landry Hat. This story has been floating out there for some time now and is finally beginning to simmer a little. The rumors of T.O. departing the Cowboys are gaining momentum like Obama in Iowa. Then comes the knuckleball: T.O. will become a Raider upon his exit from Dallas.
To begin, I am not speaking on behalf of the Oakland Raiders. Nor am I presenting myself as the voice of Raider fans worldwide. This is but one fan’s humble opinion. Take it for what it is.
I find it laughable that anytime there is a head case out there in search of a new job that the first franchise floated out is always Oakland. Yes, I know why and where the reputation comes from, but the idea that every castoff misfit in the sporting world is somehow Oakland Raider material is a mockery of the business of professional football. I’m just waiting for the “Michael Phelps in talks with Oakland” headlines to be the next wave of trashy journalism to scroll across the lower third of ESPN News during the 35,000th rebroadcast of the A-Rod interview.
From a professional standpoint, there are several reasons why this can’t happen: 1) Cap space – Last off season Al Davis went on a $200 million dollar spending spree. 2) Free agency – The lone two Raider Pro Bowlers (Shane Lechler and Nnamdi Asomugha) are set to hit the market. One of these two will get the franchise tag. 3) Javon Walker - Mr. Davis dropped $50 mil into this guy last year, and unless he retires I’m willing to bet he’ll come back to get all of his coin.
From a personal standpoint, I find T.O. to be a sham and a fraud. He represents everything that is poisoning the sports world. His “me first” attitude has sent him on an odyssey of destroying franchises at a rate that not even Isiah Thomas could aspire to. The man can ball, but in my Sports Bible, character counts.
That is why I want to say that having Terrell Owens appear in Silver and Black would be enough to make me root for the 49ers next season. Yeah, I said it!
My hope is that this is just all sizzle and no steak and that this story will remain a theory better left to be debated in pool halls and not ever to be spoke of between team owners.
The Raiders have a young team, adding a volatile personality like Owens to the mix would be like tossing Robert Downey Jr. into a halfway house for recovering addicts.
I don’t even want to think what would happen the first time that JaMarcus Russell floats one just outside of the reach of Owens. I’ve seen this story before and know exactly how it ends: a young talent, the number one overall pick ,who is subjected to constant verbal abuse from an aging superstar. Sound familiar? To Washington Wizard fans it rings loud and clear. Right Kwame?
Before I get too carried away with what is, for now, just a topic to pass the time between now and the combine, I will leave with this last thought. Winning is everything, but how you win defines your place in history. To date, the cities of San Francisco, Baltimore (even though he never suited up), Philadelphia and Dallas have learned this lesson. I don’t want Oakland to be next.