Terrell Owens: “I’m even hungrier to get back on top and do the things the way I should have been doing it.”February 13, 2012 – 7:00 am by Steven Cuce
Terrell Owens was never granted another shot in the NFL. After tearing his ACL in the off-season last year, the mercurial Owens believed if he rehabbed fast enough one team would eventually give him another shot mid-way through the 2011 season. He even held a private workout to showcase his skills after being healthy enough to workout. Obviously his staged work out didn’t yield the job offer he was expecting.
As has been documented here at SRI, Owens is signing on with Drew Pearson and the Allen Wranglers of the Indoor Football League in an attempt to prove that he’s willing to do whatever is possible to prove he can still play in the NFL. While he goes about trying to showcase his ability to play, T.O. will have a stake in his team’s business success as a co-owner of the south Texas based franchise. T.O. elaborated candidly in the following interview.
Terrell Owens joined ESPN Dallas with Ben & Skin to discuss whether he thinks people should at all feel sorry for him about his financial situation, what he thinks the likelihood is of the Cowboys winning a Super Bowl with Tony Romo as their quarterback, why he is playing for the Allen Wranglers as he attempts to return to the NFL, and what fans can expect from him when he debuts later this month for the Wranglers.
Do you think people should be sorry for you due to your financial issues?
Absolutely not. As far as my situation? The thought that I’ve lost $80 million dollars? That’s a little bit skewed considering like you said if you look at the years and the contracts that I have had and me not actually completing a couple of those contracts in their entirety. Again no matter what, I have lost money. It’s partially my fault because I didn’t manage and I wasn’t on top of my financial people as I should have. Again who’s to say how much I lost? Have I lost money? Yeah. Was it $80 million? I doubt it. But at the same time I feel like this is a situation for me to go out and speak and let a lot of guys know that are coming into the National Football League or any league for that matter…When you have financial advisors that you’re dealing with and that are on their team that are supposed to be taking care of their finances…I feel victim to it because I had heard about these stories prior to it happening to me and there’s going to be some other stories after me. The fact that I took for granted the orientations and the seminars that we had during the course of football season where these guys basically came in and tried to help us, facilitate us and educate us on your financial matters. I didn’t take advantage of that because I was referred to this guy that mismanaged my situation by my agent and my marketing guys. I fell victim to the fact that they were all about, you know, go out and play football, concentrate on football we’re going to take care of your financial business. I really trusted them that that’s what they were going to be doing and that’s not what happened. And when I found out it was too late. I’ve been going through the last part of the season when I was in Cincinnati around October and November of 2010, so again when I found out about all this stuff it’s been a whirlwind. Everything that has happened since then with my financial situation and my financial advisors and as you can tell I am not going to go in depth about it because there’s a lawsuit, but ever since that happened it’s been a trickle down effect and it’s been effecting everything I have been involved with including my kid’s mom. I’ve been in and out of courtrooms because my financial situation has changed and it’s very unfortunate, but I am not going to let that dictate and change the way that I feel about myself. Now I’m even hungrier to get back on top and do the things I think the way I should have been doing it. I’ve had some people who have supposedly been in my corner that have my bests interests in heart and I’ve come to find out that’s not what happened. Again I will reiterate it is partially my fault because I wasn’t doing my due diligence to be on top of my own finances and it’s a sad situation.”
What did you think is the likely of the Cowboys winning a Super Bowl with Tony Romo as their quarterback?
“Well dude I am not going to go there. My thing is when I was here, Skip Bayless obviously wasn’t an advocate for me and what I was doing here in Dallas. I’ve said it and I’ve tweeted it and I’ve tried to carefully bring to light when I was here, obviously we were winning but we weren’t getting to the NFC Championship games and stuff like that. We had some good seasons. I was a problem. Now that I’m not here and I’ve been gone, I don’t know what people can say now. I don’t know what Skip can say as to what the problem is. Other then that I have no remedy, no answers for how they can get back to the glory days of bringing championships back to Dallas. It’s not rocket science, as they have great players on both sides of the ball but things are just not happening for them. I really don’t have a definite answer for you. I know they have some great athletes and some great players on the team and on both sides of the ball. All I can do is just wish them the best. I still have friends on the team and I’m pretty sure they’re scratching their head and trying to figure things out just as well as the city of Dallas is. Again, it’s very unfortunate that my stint here was kind of cut short. I definitely thought that I probably would have retired a Cowboy but that didn’t happen, and you know things happen in life and you just got to move on. Other then that I don’t know what the right answers are and what the problems that need to be remedied to get the Cowboys back on the right track. It’s a little bit more than X’s and O’s. It’s all about going out and making plays and you saw in the AFC Championship and the NFC Championship. It’s all about those key plays and I think if you carefully look at those games there are games where there are few plays, being a teammate, being a team player you go into these press conferences and guys are going to be stand up guys and say well one play didn’t lose a game. Maybe so to be politically correct, but if you look at the games, especially I would definitely say in the Super Bowl if you look at the time when Tom Brady and his team had a chance to go down the field and win the game there were 2 pass plays on that drive that were dropped. You heard the comments Gisele Bundchen been supporting with Tom and that he can’t throw it and catch it. Then Tom goes in and he tries to correct that and kind of spare her say and saying those plays didn’t lose the game. Those are keys plays that prevented them from continuing the drive and who knows ultimately win the game. Again it’s all about how you word it. You could say those one or two plays didn’t lose the game, but those one or two plays had they been made would have allowed you to move the chains and help you win the game. It’s funny how the difference of a word can change the perception of the outcome of a big picture. Again if those big plays you think about the Wes Welker play that’s one of those plays that really, really stands out in the Super Bowl. That may have been third down. If he catches that pass they move the chains and that’s a first down and they are closer to a touchdown. In the NFC Championship game and I’ve said it before their [49ers] receiving core had one catch for 55 yards. In an NFC Championship game how can you win like that? It’s those key plays that can make or break you in critical times. You can be the stand-up guy and say that one play or this play didn’t lose the game, but those are critical plays at that juncture in critical times of the game where it is pivotal and this where you have your big guys step up and make big plays in those moments.”
What should be people expect from T.O. on opening night for the Allen Wranglers on February 25th?
“Well you know what, obviously I’m going to have fun with it and again I’m using this as a platform really to keep myself in shape. The business side of it too is something that intrigued me, being a co-owner with the team, so again this is me transitioning into life after football. That’s the business side of it, obviously football doesn’t last forever and I feel I’m physically fit and can play at a productive level to where I can play a couple more years in the National Football League and that’s what I’m pushing for. Other than that I’m not going to give up hope just because somebody says that I’m 38 and I just had a knee injury. Injuries are part of the game. I think everybody knows my track record…I work out hard, I’m going to do whatever I can to get back on the field and get back to 100 percent and I’m doing that.”