Why TO and Buffalo Are a Match Made in Heaven: Imagine the Interview

John HowellAnalyst IMay 25, 2009

TAMPA, FL - JANUARY 30:  Dallas Cowboys Wide Receiver Terrell Owens arrives for the Maxim Magazine Super Bowl XLIII party at The Ritz Ybor on January 30, 2009 in Tampa, Florida.  (Photo by Tim Boyles/Getty Images)

Conventional wisdom doesn't play well in Buffalo. That's why, when the rest of the world was laughing at the Bills' decision to sign TO to a one year contract, most Buffalo fans were celebrating.

It's true that TO has been a toxic asset for all his former teams. It could be said he's all about himself, not a team player, divisive, uncoachable. But that was then. This is Buffalo.

Buffalo is the kind of town that sends thousands to the airport to welcome the new star on his first trip back to the Niagara Region after inking the deal. Already, TO realizes he's not in Dallas any more, or Philly, or Miami, or...

It's true that TO's ego is too big to coexist with another marquee player—especially an offensive one. So Buffalo could be just what the doctor ordered.

Or the match-maker.

If it's true that for every person on this earth, there's at least one person out there who will be their one true love, then for every professional athlete, there's at least one city in the league that will love them almost as much as they love themselves.

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As Terrell Owens realized before getting out of Buffalo Niagara International Airport last week, at long last, he has found his true love.

All he has to do is catch the ball or distract defenders so Reed or Evans can catch it, and he'll end up with his name on the Wall of Fame at Ralph Wilson Stadium.

That's right. Even if his wide receiver counterparts end up catching more passes because he's drawing double coverage, the fans will be explicit and effusive with their worship, and TO will forget he's not getting as many balls as he wants. There's one thing he needs more than passes—praises.   

If there is any city in the NFL where TO can last more than one season without melting down, it is Buffalo. But success for him is not a given. He will have to reciprocate the adulation or eventually the fans will turn.

If we had the opportunity, we'd ask him a few questions to determine how well he understands this.

Terrell, have you had your Buffalo Wings yet? Have you eaten Beef on Weck? (You know, Beef on Weck. Like Philly Beef with salt on the buns and horseradish where the cheese would be.)  

Terrell, have you bought a house yet? Did you know most of the guys on the Wall were owners? Not renters. Year-round residents. Many of them stayed after they played. You know, like Jim Kelly? You've heard of him, right?

Terrell, have you done any (brace yourself now, I realize this is strong language) introspection? Do you have any insight as to why you've had difficulty in all your previous stops in the NFL? Do you have any ideas about how to avoid repeating that history? 

Terrell, what do you know about Andre Reed, James Lofton, Don Beebe, Bob Chandler, J.D. Hill, Elbert Dubenion? These are the footprints you'll be following in.

Terrell, talk to me about Trent Edwards? What do I mean? I mean tell me how things will be different with him than they were with, oh, I don't know, Donovan McNabb, Tony Romo?

Terrell, do you ever think about Canton, Ohio? Can you reflect on what role Buffalo might play in getting you there?

Terrell, is this your last best opportunity?

As I said, a match made in heaven.