"Remember to boo T.O. at Lehigh "
"Where is the booing? Why aren't you booing?
Yes, you, the guy with the green and white face paint and the green visor and the same Herschel Walker jersey you've been wearing since 1993. I know you. I get e-mails from you. I hear you call in to talk-radio shows. I knew you were going to be here, at Lehigh University, for Eagles training camp. And here it is, Tuesday, Aug. 2, and I just knew you wouldn't miss Terrell Owens' first day back with the Eagles.
But you're cheering him. T.O. just caught a long one from Donovan McNabb, pushed away Lito Sheppard's press coverage, blew past Brian Dawkins, pulled McNabb's pass from his fingertips to his chest, and you're clapping for him. You're screaming for him. You're cheering for him. Why are you cheering for him?
Look, you don't know me from Adam, but indulge me for a moment while T.O. stands there and flexes some more. Because this isn't about Terrell Owens. This is about you. This is about your anger over T.O. and his contract dispute and his selfishness and the way - in your words - he turned his back on his team, on his coach, on his quarterback and on Philadelphia. You said all that, and yet you're standing here at the practice fields near Goodman Stadium, and you and a few thousand people like you can't get enough of the guy.
Why aren't you booing?
Whoa, don't get outraged at me. I'm just asking a simple question. For four months now, the T.O. story has been stuck in the media spin cycle, and there's no denying that the vast majority of Eagles fans came down against Owens. And you're one of them. You're the one who called T.O. every name in the book. You're the one who backed Andy Reid and Jeffrey Lurie and Joe Banner from the beginning, from the moment Owens and his agent, Drew Rosenhaus, said they wanted to re-negotiate Owens' contract. You're the one who said, "Seven years, $49 million, and he wants a new contract? That %^&* can go straight to ..."
Well, you know what you said.
Now me, I wanted to the Eagles to re-work T.O.'s contract once the whole fiasco became public. Would have saved them a whole lot of trouble, and really, his performance in the Super Bowl, putting his career on the line like that, was something to behold. But I'll grant you, Owens and Rosenhaus didn't make the most eloquent arguments in defense of their position. Anyone in line to make $3.25 million in one year and says he needs more money "to take care of his family" is setting himself up for ridicule, and man, I saw Rosenhaus on HBO's "Real Sports," and I don't think even he believes his own rationalizations.
You took the opposite position, and I respect that. But given how adamant you were, I'm puzzled why you still haven't answered my question.
Why aren't you booing?
I just don't get it, is all. Philadelphia sports fans, Eagles fans in particular, have this well-earned reputation for being tough. They booed Ron Jaworski, even when he had a lousy offensive line. They've booed McNabb, even when he had below-average wide receivers. They boo their own mothers when the mashed potatoes are lumpy. So here's a player who, most Philadelphia fans seem to agree, put his own interests above the team's interests - a cardinal sin in these parts.
So why aren't you booing him? If you can't boo him today, seems to me you don't have the courage of your convictions. Seems to me you're a little hypocritical.
Hey, hold on. I'm talking about today, T.O.'s first day. That's all. I mean, come the start of the Eagles' regular season, I'll understand if you don't boo him. By then, it'll be time to let the grudge go. And I'd even understand your cheering today if Owens had apologized for being greedy and causing such a commotion.
But he hasn't apologized. And I've got news for you: He isn't going to. Oh, he'll go out there and catch his touchdowns and flap his arms and dance his dances, but if you think he's ever going to stand up and say, "You know, it was really silly of me to make such a fuss. It was a dumb thing to do, and I'm sorry to the Eagles organization and their fans," you're loonier than Gary Busey after four 7&7s.
All right, relax. It was just a joke. All I'm saying is, you've spent all this time ripping T.O., calling him disloyal and money-hungry and self-centered, saying that the Eagles don't need him to win the Super Bowl, and I'm just holding you to your words.
So, why aren't you booing him?
Because if you felt that way, you really should."