-One has to wonder how long it will be until the kinder, gentler, media-friendly, Terrell Owens that we saw trotted out at the Dallas Cowboys press conference Saturday, turns back into the ego-maniacal, scowling, the-world-revolves-around-me, cancerous tumor of a person that we're used to.
It will take a little while. After all, there's a fairly good stretch before any mini-camps or official team workouts. But soon after Mr. Owens puts on a uniform in earnest once again, we'll be treated to the media circus, and "T.O. Show" to which we're accustomed.
What's amazing is that this guy keeps getting hired. If his antics in Philly aren't enough of a warning shot for the owners, what is? He went to work for a team that was Super Bowl caliber, with or without him, and turned it into a "steaming pile" sideshow with no hope of winning. If the guy weren't Spiderman in a football uniform, he would already be selling cars by now. But, he does have that kind of amazing ability, so there will always be an owner who thinks he can be "cured".
Of course, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones considers himself to be the top owner and sports executive of all time, so these two deserve each other. Jones believes that he, and his cadre of football coaches and executives can make T.O. see the light. So, he's rolling the dice. And make no mistake, Jones will deserve whatever he gets. He understands the risk, and stated so in the press conference. He is gambling that T.O. will finally take his team, and teammates, seriously for the first time in his life. He is gambling that Bill Parcells will be able to get Owens to check his ego at the locker room door. He is gambling that winning might finally mean more to the guy than all of the other little things that he has blown up into major problems in the past. He is simply gambling. But his odds aren't as good as he believes.
I would hope Jones was smart enough to include heavy protection for his team in the way the Owens contract was written. It seems to me that a "monkey business" clause is a must. Any kind of tomfoolery should be punishable by the harshest of fines and/or suspensions. If I were Jones, I would also have some provision stating that Owens' access to the media is limited to ten minute periods after games, and one minute after each practice. We all know, that the guy can't help himself when someone sticks a microphone in his face. And someone is always trying to. His "I am the greatest" personality kicks in and he invariably says something that gets the old fires burning again.
What would be really fun to hear now would be the conversations between Owens and his agent Drew Rosenhaus. Rosenhaus, for all his bluster and bombast, must be getting tired of baby-sitting his client. Sure, he'll make a ton of money off Owens' new deal, but not if he gets kicked off his team again. So, you have to believe that Rosenhaus has tried to hire Dr. Phil, or someone like him, to follow Owens around to keep his personality on an even keel. Can't you hear it?...."Now, Terrell, we mustn't put ourselves first in every situation... we must learn to put our team, and teammates, ahead of our own petty problems. We mustn't belittle our quarterback, or our receivers coach, or our head coach, or our".... well, you get the idea.
How long will it take? Owens is like a moth in the vicinity of a flame. It's just a matter of time...probably a short time...until he flies into it.