In one of the worst sports arguments I’ve read in a long time, Spike Eskin of the WIP / CBS3 connection wrote that Terrell Owens should be remembered as an Eagle.
The wide receiver was cut on Sunday from the Seattle Seahawks, his most recent “last chance” to play in the NFL. Conjecture is that this really will be the last time we see the controversial wide receiver in an NFL uniform. In the past, Owens’ obnoxious personality has cost him a roster spot while this time it appears he just isn’t good enough to play anymore.
Regardless, the idea that Owens’ career should be remembered for his days in an Eagles uniform doesn’t hold up to any scrutiny. Even the younger Eskin, son of Howard, realizes Owens played eight seasons in San Francisco after which he went to 4 different teams – not counting his brief stint in something called the Indoor Football League or his summer with Seattle. Not to be confused with an Arena Football League team, Owens’ IFL team released him midseason after he failed to make a public appearance for the team. In what was supposed to be his attempt to show the NFL he could still play, the receiver helped make it clear that even the IFL wasn’t impressed with his talent but had some interest in his marketability.
Quite frankly, his IFL experience followed by being waived by a Seattle team that is by no means deep at receiver would be a fitting end for Owens’ playing career.
Spike Eskin hints at the baseball idea of going into the Hall of Fame (which he’s convinced Owens will do) as a member of a specific team. Since the football Hall of Fame doesn’t have that concept, he suggested the idea that “maybe Owens should sign one of those one-day contracts and retire an Eagle,” which he credits to Al Morganti.
Besides the fact that it will never happen with Jeff Lurie at the helm of the Eagles, it never should happen.
The argument is based on the classic Philadelphia-centric attitude and emotion more acceptable among fans. He writes, “To this day, in the Donovan McNabb vs. T.O. spat that eventually ended his career as an Eagle, many fans still side with Owens. His driveway antics that included in sit ups, pickup basketball, and a ridiculous impromptu press conference are looked back on with a smile, not a grimace.”
Plus, Eskin’s statement that “Terrell Owens owned Philadelphia for 2004 and much of 2005” is wrong. He only played 7 games in ’05 because he was a petulant pain in the ass. And as great as he was in ’04, he missed the last 2+ regular season games due to injury, and made the Eagles’ Super Bowl run all about his eventual return in the final game. Ironically – I certainly don’t question the season he had, the amazing recovery to return for the Super Bowl, or even his performance in final game – the fact is that the Eagles lost the only playoff game he played in for the team. And when it’s considered that he did all of that just so he could use it as leverage for a new contract one year into his original deal and destroyed the Eagles’ next season in the process, it takes more than a little luster off the heroics.
Owens shouldn’t be remembered for his days in Eagle green, at least not fondly, nor will he be remembered in any sort of official capacity by the organization. Instead, he’ll be remembered as a guy with a ton of talent who simply never understood what it really took to truly be one of the best ever.
Spike should follow his father’s famous advice on this one and get a clue.