The latest reality show called T.O. Drama hijacks the airwaves in Cincinnati, beyond all the possible circumstances of dividing as a bonding core and plunging mightily at the earliest of September, becoming the epicenter of arguably the biggest tragicomedy in sports.
It’s a risky combination and the most perilous experiment in football, assembling together diva-like receivers with cancerous symptoms of dismantling a franchise’s morale and chemistry. As the most despised NFL star, Terrell Owens is the most controversial receiver with egomaniacal behavior, demanding the football and a tendency to cry when he’s not getting enough touches.
It’s baffling the Cincinnati Bengals are getting the popcorn ready, to watch the most dangerous reality show, to witness a temperamental receiver cause confrontation and isolate a franchise with his self-centered attitude. In the meantime, Owens and Chad Ochocinco’s relationship is unconditional love, of course, as neither has played their first game together, but are evidently close friends and have an amiable bond.
At some point, realizing that Terrible Owens is a curiosity in football either when he’s unemployed or emerging as the famous nuisance on reality shows, we can revisit the previous teams that corroded because of Owens’ dysfunction and development as a saboteur. It’s a marriage of controversy, a relationship expected to weaken early in the regular season as mood swings and infighting chaos are looming ever so quickly.
For all the abuse San Francisco, Philadelphia, Dallas, and somewhat Buffalo took, fans in any other town than Cincinnati are laughing at the clowns of the league for gambling on a dangerous and worthless S.O.B. Once, he was allowed numerous chances to enrich a miserable psyche and polish as the most talented wideout, gifted at running routes and physically bringing in an astonishing catch, but he’s a declining receiver with the knack to launch reality shows on VH1 and be represented as a celebrity bust, rather than a football bust.
So, it’s simple to discern that bringing in Terrible Owens are signs of trouble, and the most horrific blunder by reaching an agreement with a mischief maker. If you don’t think Owens agreeing to a one-year, $2 million contract with a potential $2 million more in incentives is crazy, well, you obviously haven’t seen him yelling at teammates or throwing hissy fits with coaches on the sideline or haven’t seen him generating tirades and blaming all his foolish stunts on the media.
When it comes to Terrible Owens, the arrival of an uncivilized star spells trouble. When it comes to Terrible Owens, reaching a deal is a warning sign of hazardous episodes and the demise of one troubled superstar, engulfed by publicity madness, drama, and baggage to downsize a team’s assurance. By now, we are burned out of Owens’ me-myself-and-I practices, irritating our consciousness and the way we perceive a petulant veteran who usually at times conduct himself as an inexperience rookie, as if he’s still finding his way in the league.
As usual, Owens will drain the executives, coaching staff, and teammates in the Bengals organization, particularly if the team doesn’t compromise within his stingy and greedy demands. Why is he worth the hassle? By entering his 15th NFL season, he has accomplished unforeseen feats, an explosive receiver with inconceivable agility and crafty footwork, ranking third in career receiving yards and touchdowns and sixth in receptions.
The good-case scenario is that he provides veteran leadership and performs at the highest level alongside teammate Ochocinco, to form a receiver tandem in limbo. But the worst-case scenario is that he tears down chemistry and spirit by initiating rampages and havoc inside the locker room for jealousy and insecurity of his peers and teammates, accumulating more touches or regards.
“It’s really, really interesting we can be on the same team and work together,” Ochocinco said Tuesday on ESPN’s SportsCenter .
To refresh everyone’s memory, he lasted two seasons in Philadelphia and always had heated feuds with quarterback Donovan McNabb by verbally attacking teammates and throwing tantrums on the sidelines. Remember, he cried and created a ruckus in Dallas, initiating tiring feuds that were advertised publicly when he feuded with quarterback Tony Romo, irritated because he wasn’t getting enough touches or participating in a high-powered offense.
Remember, his disturbing antics forced loyal owner Jerry Jones to release a problematic Owens, whose babyish disruptions were very ravaging within a franchise. Remember, he spent eight seasons with the San Francisco 49ers, exploding when he attacked Jeff Garcia and insulted his quarterback by calling him gay.
As a well-known diva, it was a risky move for the Bengals, who advanced to the playoffs last season and had enough talent and problems. It’s bad enough that owner Mike Brown is a dauntless businessman willing to take gambles and lobby for rebellious players. If anything, he’s not concerned with building a depleted franchise with unlawful players, but he prefers to win a significant amount of games and advance to the playoffs, having a troubled Larry Johnson and Matt Jones, including a mobile running back Cedric Benson, who benefited on the field while running into unlawful troubles off the field.
Without carefully considering, Brown accepts a mystic Terrible Owens and welcomes the wideout to the Bengals family, based on talent and not a poor reputation. All of which, quarterback Carson Palmer, who has worked with Owens and has been “highly impressed,” is the victim of T.O. attacks if he loses his mind and self-control.
It figures that Cincinnati is Owens' last franchise before he announces his retirement, with the aging receiver’s style suddenly declining and approaching the late stages of his disillusioning career. It’s a tremendous opportunity for T.O. to mellow as the innocent sports figure and prove to all the populace that he’s not such a villain or franchise suicide, garnering a sense the world revolves around Terrible Owens.
He must discard all the diva acts, an annoying trend needless within a franchise on a mission, so maybe it’s his last resort for avoiding unemployment and salvaging job security and maybe it’s his last resort at thriving with a championship-caliber team and winning a title.
Then again, maybe he’ll be the crybaby that will mope over the amount of touches and receptions. Then again, maybe at the end of the season Marvin Lewis, who is responsible for babysitting Terrible Owens, may have to stroll to the nearest Babies “R” Us and stick a pacifier in Owens’ mouth for weeping and bickering.
“Yes, people can make mistakes,” said Brown. “It doesn’t mean that they go on the rest of their lives making mistakes. They can get their ship pointed in the right direction. This is a 36-year-old man. He’s been through a lot. He’s proven as a player and as a person.”
He’s a little baby and cries out loud. It’s common that he’ll excel and blend in well at the beginning, but as time carries on, he could become the attention-seeker and create havoc, especially when the team is performing poorly and losing a critical amount of games.
Oftentimes, he has blamed ESPN for defaming a troubled reputation and exposing erroneous images. Now, it’s the worldwide leader in sports fault, if he acts like a foolish dimwit, unwilling and blinded by the truth. It’s the actions of Owens, not a television network or Internet source that he deeply targets and holds accountable.
“The teams I’ve been on, if you ask in that locker room how I’ve been as a teammate and as a person, it’s contradictory to what’s been displayed out there,” Owens said. “I’ve never been in any trouble. I know right from wrong. I try to make the right choices and judgments when I’m out in the public.
“It’s not like I can’t play. There is some type of influence that they’re making in the minds of teams and owners and GMs. I feel like I have enough talent to be a starter on any team. That’s what’s so frustrating.”
At anytime, he could lose his mind, throw a hissy fit, and verbally attack teammates. At anytime, Owens’, Ochocinco’s and Palmer’s egos may helplessly collide. With the poor character of Terrible Owens, anything is possible. You never know.
If you are tuning in to the latest reality show, your regularly scheduled program could be cancelled, allowing Terrible Owens to return to “The T.O. Show,” or even Oprah or Dr. Phil for some advice on how to avoid dysfunction. As we all know, Ochocinco appeared on “Dancing With the Stars” and currently starring in a dating show called “Ochocinco: The Ultimate Catch." It’s easy to postulate that they are obsessed with popularity and attention, but also have mental and personal issues.
There’s a reality show in Cincinnati. It’s called the "Team of Dysfunction."