49ers Clubhouse 

Why is Terrell Owens the new 'Bad Boy' of the league?

November, 13, 2001

by Rob Baker
Clubhouse Writer and Draft Analyst

How many games have the 49ers lost this season? Two. How many has Terrell Owens been blamed for losing? Two. How many times has Terrell Owens been slaughtered by the media for showing his feelings? Two. It seems that every time this season the 49ers loose, the local media vent their anger at Owens.

CASE ONE: St. Louis: 26-30. Owens was blamed for this loss because he dropped three passes. But JJ Stokes dropped passes as well, why wasn’t it his fault? Why didn’t the media lay blame on the defence that failed to hold the Rams, especially Marshall Faulk? Terrell has one bad game, and he’s the worst guy in the history of the ball club. Yes, Terrell did play a shocker, and he was bitterly disappointed. So what was his reaction? Well, like most people who have just played what could only be described as the worst game of they’re career, he wanted to dig a hole and hide from the world. Now, how can anyone come out and viciously attack him for reacting in a way that would be fully expected? But the media did. For Owens ignoring media, he was called arrogant and childish, he was frowned upon for showing his emotions and for not speaking his mind.

Can’t the media see that he has just played the worst game of his career, which happened to be against one of the 49ers biggest rivals, and the best team in the NFL. If the niners win, not only do they beat their fierce rivals, they’d be considered actual contenders, and not just a team that has one games against easy teams. Anyone who’s just lost a game as big as that would be understandably distraught.

CASE TWO: Chicago: 31-37 OTThis time, we all heard how Owens tipped the pass for Mike Brown to return for a TD to win the game in OT. Why wasn’t the blame on the offence for allowing Chicago to score a safety? Why not Jeff Garcia for throwing the pass that was intercepted and returned for a TD? Or the defence for letting the A-Train run wild? But no, again it was ‘the pass that was intended for Owens’ that lost it for the niners. This time, seeing he got abused for showing his emotions and not talking to the media, he changed his tune and vented his anger at the coach. Seeing this happens week in and week out in the NFL, how could he go wrong? Well, he did according to the media. Last time he was called arrogant and childish for not talking to the media. Now, he’s arrogant and childish for talking to the media.

Again, this was another important game. The niners win, they’d be 5-1 and be the lone contender for ‘The Cinderella Award’ for 2001 and one win away from sitting pretty on top of the NFC West. But because of conservative play, it gave the Bears a sniff, and eventually a win. Jeff Garcia also criticised Steve Mariucci’s play calling, didn’t hear too much about that did we?

The result? Now it’s reported that Mooch and TO hate each other passionately, and there has even been claims that the superstar Wide Receiver could be traded or even the coach that can’t control his ‘bad boy’ receiver will be looking for a new job come the off season. It’s been up scaled to a national debate, recently ESPN.com having several major articles on his behaviour. It’s even overshadowed Bill’s Rookie Travis Henry’s run in with the law, or how Michael Strahan’s on track to break the single season sacks record. Terrell Owen’s reputation is loosing its shine.

What I’d like to find out is why do the San Francisco media hate Terrell Owens so much, the guy that took ‘The Catch II’, has an NFL record of 20 receptions in a game, who week in and week out produces, the man who’s won numerous games for the niners and is filling the shoes of the greatest wide receiver in history perfectly. I could understand clearly if he was like a Cris Carter or a Randy Moss, whose constantly complaining about how they should be getting the ball more, throwing on field tantrums and arguing on the sidelines make life hell for the coaches. Or an R. Jay Soward, who’s constantly breaking the NFL’s substance abuse policy.

Sure, Owens occasionally has a complaint about the coaching or something else not going his way, so did Jerry Rice and thousands of other past and present NFL players. So why are Owens’ outbursts so wrong? Why are his outbursts seen as the worst by any NFL player?

All I can see is that it stems back to his Dallas behaviour. Now, I’m the first to say that that was completely inappropriate, and the punishment fit the crime. But it’s time to forgive and forget. He’s hopefully learnt his lesson, so why can’t he be given a break and allowed to go out and play football, instead of worrying about what he says and whom he’ll offend?

I’m just glad I don’t have a Randy Moss crying because he’s the best player and he controls this team and he should get the ball all the time and he should be the highest payed player in the league because he’s the best and he should be calling the plays and he’s the leader of the team and he should be earning more money and he should ..........(insert complaint here)

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