Terrell Owens: Completely Misunderstood

Laura BrownContributor IAugust 6, 2010

LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 06:  NFL wide receiver Terrell Owens attends  Game Two of the 2010 NBA Finals between the Boston Celtics and the Los Angeles Lakers at Staples Center on June 6, 2010 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

     Terrell Owens has been dealing with negativity in the media almost since he first started in the NFL.  Every move he makes is controversial.  Every thing he says has to have ulterior meaning.  He is watched constantly and criticized even more.  Why?

     One of the best reasons I can think of for this is because he was supposed to replace the great Jerry Rice in San Francisco.  Jerry Rice was a classy guy.  Very seldom did he say anything controversial.  T.O. was taught to be like that.  He was taught to stand up for himself.  Rice didn't make a spectacle of himself with elaborate touchdown celebrations.  I think it made it more fun.  I love Jerry Rice, don't get me wrong, he is one of the reasons I am a 49ers fan, but him and Terrell are two different people and Terrell shouldn't have had to change who he is to be more like Jerry. 

    When people think about T.O. they think about the "locker room cancer" that he has become known as.  When Owens came to the 49ers they were one of the best teams in the NFL. 

    It had to be exciting for a young guy fresh out of college going to play pro football for the Super Bowl Champions.  The dynamics of the team changed though.  Steve Young left.  Jerry Rice left.  The Niners started having 7-9 and 4-12 seasons.  That had to be disappointing.  Any player who is passionate about the game would have been frustrated. 

   Maybe T.O. could've handled things a little differently, but at the same time, the 49ers were not being supportive of their best offensive weapon.  They threw him under the bus several times when they should have stood behind him (like Marvin Lewis does Ocho).  As much as I love my 49ers I learned the hard way with Montana that they do not show a whole lot of loyalty to people who help them succeed. 

    In Philly, everything blew up because of an interview T.O. did saying that he wasn't the one who got tired in the Super Bowl.  He never said "Donovan did".  He even specified he wasn't talking about Donovan.  But of course, the media swore that is what he did.  This is a free country with the right to free speech.  If he had of said "Donovan did", it shouldn't have mattered.  How many times did I hear last year about Randy Moss's teammates saying he quit playing.  They haven't been called locker room cancers. Calling it like you see it does not make you a problem.

     Dallas was a new start for Terrell and he did good there for a few years but then came the problem with Romo and Witten.  T.O. had issues with Romo throwing the ball to Witten when he was open.  Once again, he could've handled it a little differently maybe, but he was right.  When Romo felt pressured, he automatically went to Witten.  That is a learning process Romo needed to go through.  As a quarterback that is what you are supposed to do.  As a wide receiver though, you want to score touchdowns to help your team win and if the quarterback don't throw you the ball, you can't score touchdowns.

     In Buffalo last year, Terrell was on his best behavior on a horrible team.  His quarterbacks weren't great, his offensive line was bad.  Poor Fitzpatrick and Edwards spent most of their time running for thier lives.  Every Bills game I watched seemed like all there was was sack after sack.  People want to say his play has diminished because of his numbers last year.  The lack of help around him has to be taken into consideration.

     The bottom line is this:  Terrell Owens wants to win.  It is a fact that when he is given the ball, good things happen.  He should be applauded for his intensity and love of the game, not criticized at every turn.  People should be glad that he tells it like it is instead of lying.  He doesn't get in trouble with the law (if he did he would be a hero).  He does a lot of charity work.  He is a great football player and that is what he should be judged on.  The media needs to get off his back and let him be.