As usual, the media couldn't resist the opportunity to blow another Terrell Owens quote out of proportion.
Hyperbole, look it up.
Right from the very beginning, the article stated unsubstantiated rumors as if they were factual.
"Owens was a popular cat with teammates, and when he openly complained about Tony Romo during the 2008 season—saying the quarterback was overly focused on tight end Jason Witten—it caused division in-house that contributed to T.O.'s exit."
This of course has never been substantiated because Owens' alleged criticisms have never been spoken publicly.
When Owens appeared as a guest on ESPN Dallas' radio station, he was asked to play a game of word association. When prompted by the name "Tony Romo," Owens responded by saying "OK, uh, next question."
The article then goes on to state that, "Naturally, he was prodded to say more. Naturally, he said more."
Uh, yeah. That's usually what happens when you're asked questions.
In reference to Romo, Owens stated the following:
"Man, that's a guy I shed tears for, I went to bat for. Then obviously, ultimately I'm not in Dallas anymore and I know he definitely had a hand in that. So, again, it's one of those things that you kind of just have to bite your tongue and keep moving on, you know what I mean?" [...]
"I just happened to be one of those guys that really voiced my opinion. I wasn't the only one who thought that way. There were games that other guys were open. I wasn’t saying that to get the ball thrown to me a lot more times. I wasn’t saying that to get the ball thrown to me a lot more times. I was all about winning."
Lets face the facts, Terrell Owens knows much more about what actually went down in Dallas than the fans do. It's easy to speculate, impossible to substantiate.
This is merely one man voicing his honest opinion after being prompted to do so.
I cannot emphasize that enough.
Terrell Owens did not bring up Tony Romo; Tony Romo was brought up to him.
Owens asked to move onto the "next question."
They insisted on pushing the issue and they received an honest response for their prodding.
For starters, who is to say that Owens is wrong anyway?
He mentioned that Romo "had a hand" in his departure from the Dallas Cowboys.
That could be as simple as the team's starting quarterback not making an effort to vocalize his desire to keep the most productive receiver in the history of the Dallas Cowboys with the Dallas Cowboys.
It's inevitable of course, the media is sure to rely on pure conjecture to break down a simple "had a hand" remark into something far more devious.
I promise you this much, Owens' quote stating "I was all about winning" will not make the headlines.
Instead, "T.O. Unleashes on Romo" must be in NFL.com's estimation, a more accurate portrayal of reality.
No sensationalism there, right?
The media has continued to blame Owens for craving the spotlight, yet the status quo remains, major media outlets continuing to poke and prod with leading questions to create hyperbolistic T.O. headlines.
It's sad to see one man's simple honest remarks exploited for the media's gain.
It's even sadder to know that some people actually buy into it.
Ryan Michael is a Senior Writer for Bleacher Report. Any questions, comments or professional inquiries can be directed to his email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Follow him on Twitter at: https://twitter.com/#!/theryanmichael