Setting the Tables Straight on the "T.O. in B-Lo" Controversy
It is now Tuesday and many people have already spoken about Terrell Owens signing with the Buffalo Bills. I am going to give you as fresh of a perspective as anyone can on this touchy subject to us inhabitants of Buffalo, N.Y.
Everybody outside of this situation—non-Bills fans—throws us the same generic garbage about Owens and his past issues with the 49ers, Eagles, and Cowboys. This seems to be the popular thing to do when covering Owens on any subject.
What do I mean by generic garbage? I think ESPN’s Jim Rome summed it up quite well when he said, "This is going to be an awesome train-wreck." Why did he say this? Rome said it because T.O. is a “big city” and “big lights” type of personality who begs for attention.
If attention is what he wants, that's exactly what he will get here in Buffalo. His jersey sales will far exceed those of his past teams because this is the biggest thing that has happened to Buffalo sports since the Bills’ 90s runs to the Super Bowl.
But I digress because this is not what I want to focus on.
It is easy for outsiders to look at this and say it will only be detrimental to the integrity of our team because of the way he has been viewed as a cancer in the locker room and a quarterback killer.
But this has been the case in big market teams. T.O. has yet to enter the locker room of a blue-collar, small market team like the Bills. This will have a significant psychological effect on both parties here.
Owens has always had to compete for attention in his past few teams, and this led to the "ego-wars" that we are accustomed to witnessing on television shows every week. In Buffalo, we, and by we I mean the team, will allow him to be the star of the show.
It’s because our team just wants to win, as does the city. Owens is the player to do that. Beyond the drama, he is still one of the premier athletes in this league, physically and in heart.
Also, I want to point out that bringing drama to the locker room, despite what all outsiders want to believe, is not something new to the Bills. This has happened on many occasions, including the Rob Johnson-Doug Flutie quarterback debacle.
Players that were there, including Marcellus Wiley, will tell you that there was a great amount of decent players in the locker room at that time, and being a blue-collar town, we were able to find a way over that hump.
I keep using the term blue-collar for a reason. When you think blue-collar, you should be thinking of the hard-working ethic that is attached to the term. There is rarely an occasion where one individual will attempt to outshine his peers in a blue-collar crowd, as long as everyone on the whole is content.
White-collar ethic, however, in this case representing the large market teams like the Dallas Cowboys, individuals are always trying to be the standout on the team (or as the term insinuates, in the office).
Without competition for popularity, Owens will be able to focus on football, which is after all, the reason the team signed him. Owens was brought to Buffalo to catch the deep ball and bring the explosive abilities he embodies to this football team that needed that one last piece to be successful.
Lets not forget Owens is a veteran, who also brings leadership to a team that seems to have lacked it for too long now.
Regardless, there may be some drama, but I think on an exclusively football level, Buffalo, "Get out your popcorn!"
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