Oh, how winning can do so many things to a man. Why must you conflict us, Mr. Victory? With your great feeling and wonderful accomplishment.
You can make you feel things we've never felt before. You can make us believe things that we probably wouldn’t believe. And of course, you make us say things that we may or may not say otherwise.
You see, when things are going well, one is on top of the world, dancing on cloud nine, laughing, smiling and enjoying their success.
However, when things are going bad then a whole new side emerges. The one that gets nasty, ugly, frustrated, and insulting. The one that not only makes the headlines, but makes every journalist's job for a couple days as they all try to be the one to break and complete the story.
Yes, Mr. Victory, you can certainly do many things to a man.
NASCAR’s Kyle Busch and the NFL’s Terrell Owens have been the headline makers for their respective teams in 2008.
Kyle Busch found boat loads of success in 2008 when he joined Joe Gibbs Racing. It took four races, at Atlanta in March, to find victory lane. After that he kept winning and winning and winning. By season's end in November, he had 21 wins between all three of NASCAR’s top Series.
But it wasn’t the winning that Kyle encountered problems with. It was when he started to take on the fans that things went downhill. He was viewed as having a cocky and arrogant attitude, and every time he won, he loved to egg on the fans with the celebrations he thought of.
He would bow; put his hand to his ear encouraging them to make noise and many more. During the pre-race introductions, he was always booed (his mother was even booed at Darlington) and he smiled about it and even stuck his tongue out at fans.
You never knew what he might say when giving interviews, but you almost always knew how we would react and what he was going to say if and when he lost.
He lashed out at everyone and everything around him and never took blame for a mistake or problem that might have occurred.
When involved in a wreck with a teammate during a Nationwide Series race, Busch told the TV viewers that “I just have a teammate who can’t stand to be No. 2,” almost insinuating that he is the No. 1 driver and everyone else should follow him.
When later asked if he thought his teammate had been racing him too hard, Busch replied, “Duh.”
Although it’s fair to say that by the end of the season, it appeared that Busch had matured and clammed down just a little bit. Maybe it was because he was no longer contending for a championship, his ego was batted down.
Either way, it should also be pointed out that while Busch has problems being the good boy on the track he does plenty of things off it.
He donated money to an ailing star of the Nationwide Series after tying the man's single season wins record, and he regularly contributes to charities and makes many trips to participate in events. But somewhere between there and the race track he changes personalities.
He’s the T.O. of NASCAR. So what about the T.O. of the NFL?
Owens, just like Busch, has created his own celebrations for when he scores a touchdown. He’s used the football as a pillow, autographed it and occasionally spiked it.
Last season, in wake of the New England Patriots “Spy Gate” he hid behind the goal post and used the football as a camera and as entertaining as it was, he would later be fined for his actions.
He once danced with a cheerleader’s pom-poms and dumped popcorn in his face. But everyone remembers when he ran out to the Dallas Cowboys star not once but twice while playing for the San Francisco 49ers.
The second time he was knocked on his ass by a Cowboys player. It's one of the most viewed and popular clips on YouTube.
Owens had accomplished what he set out to do: get a reaction.
And just like Busch and many other athletes, he doesn’t take well to losing. And you can count on the fact that Owens will always seem to make it about him.
He calls out his quarterback and teammates, saying if he gets the ball then they’ll win. After being knocked out of the playoffs in 2007 he attempted to cry while talking to reporters.
However, those were fake tears and he played it up as much as he could by wearing Elvis-like sunglasses…inside.
Sure, he was probably upset, but he milked it for all it's worth.
Once again, he was looking for a story, and he wanted to be the headline.
Just as he’s doing this season by running his mouth on the side-line and accusing people of stiffing him. He must not realize they’re other players out on the field.
Ironically, off the field he too contributes to charity, and is an entirely different person then the one whom charges through the tunnel each game day.
That’s the similarities between these two, they could have been separated at birth...or maybe not. They’re too young, too rich and too fast and they want too much attention.
They demonstrate how some people just don’t know how to handle all of that. That comes from being egotistical, “ME” attitude athletes.
“I’ll watch the highlights every now and then but, as far as watching the game, I feel like I am the game,” Owens says.
If they’re always looking to put on a show then they should go into the entertainment business. If they enjoy the drama and being the center of attention then they need to join the Soap Operas.
If none of those sound appealing then shut up and play the game. Do your job as a professional athlete, and hey, while you’re at it, act like a professional. You’ve got plenty of examples, good ones, around you who can teach you how to be one.
It certainly is interesting that athletes can have two different personalities. Says Owens, “A lot of people think I’m stuck up. Pretty much that I’m arrogant. I only do that when on the field.”
Why? Why is it so hard to carry one over into the other?
Some will say that they get competitive on the field and they’re just being who they are but it just seems hard to believe that they can’t find a way to be the good guy, the one easy to root for.
Or maybe they don’t want fans? Or do they feel the need to live up to a reputation and act a certain way?
Either way, they make it hard for us to look at all the good things they do when they’re constantly writing headlines with the bad.