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  1. #1
    Fat Pang's Avatar
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    Character, or rather the lack of it.

    Well, here we go again!

    The allure of the instant fix has persuaded Jerry Jones that 'mercurial' Terrell Owens has got what it takes to be the missing piece of the championship Jigsaw.

    It's going to be fun to watch.

    The NFL is all about character of course. As well as measuring height, weight, arm span, hand size, neck size, 40 time, long jump, vertical jump, broad jump, and how many times you can press 225lbs, character gets mentioned a whole lot.

    It gets mentioned by scouts, agents, coaches, fans, endorsers, and by the players themselves. Its sometimes referred to within the generic catch-all of 'intangibles' and it's occasionally what separates the elite player from merely the very good and the 'can't miss' 1st round prospect who has great measurables, from the first round bust. Mention Ryan Leaf as a prime example and you will get sage nods of agreement from virtually everyone you meet.

    It has it's negative connotations of course, Lyle Alzado, John Matuszak, Jim Plunkett, Bill Romanowski to name but a few, but that was okay because they all ended up with the Raiders anyway because the Raiders knew how to handle guys like that. The Raiders made it "Colourful" and therefore acceptable. "Lock up your daughters, the Raiders are coming to town", they used to say, and the rest of the league laughed right along with them. Everyone, after all, needs a boogeyman and the Raiders were the place where the lunatics had taken over the asylum.

    At least you knew they were all in one place and that the only threat they posed was to each other.

    Except now of course they aren't all in one place, because with a few notable exceptions, Mr Owens being the best, they aren't even in the league.

    Tagliabue is retiring in July, and whilst I'm fairly ambivalent about him, it's noticeable that our own Jeff Gordon along with a few other scribes isn't. Jeff has a specific gripe which pertains to Tags handling of Franchise movement and expansion, and there may be something in that, but I'm far more interested in the other mutterings around the league.

    Tags apparently has turned football into 'product' and its not about blocking and tackling, passing and catching anymore its a business, with all that entails. McMahon's headband, Joe Horn's phone, Owens dissing of the star, the bob and weave, Ken Nortons punching of the goalposts, Gastineau's sack dance are all examples things the new 'corporate' NFL, with it's salary cap, censored Superbowl half-time shows, and approved merchandising just won't tolerate.

    And for some football's a poorer place for it.

    It makes character outside of the accepted version easier to notice and castigate, but despite this, if you can guarantee an improvement in the win column some people are still willing to take the risk. Jerry Jones is one of those.

    Owens hasn't killed anyone, assaulted anyone, pulled a gun on anyone, spat on anyone, fractured someone's eye socket in practice and ended their career, abused his spouse, failed to honour his legal obligations and support his dependents, robbed anyone, racially abused anyone or burned any flags.

    He's just a bad teammate with an agent who puts his foot in his mouth everytime he opens it.

    Talented? Yes!

    Trouble? Absolutely!

    Want him on my team? No way!

    As I said, it's going to be fun to watch and I think the NFL will be a richer place for it next season.

    Thank God for Terrell Owens and the Dallas Cowboys!
    Last edited by Fat Pang; -03-22-2006 at 08:29 PM.


  2. #2
    AvengerRam's Avatar
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    Re: Character, or rather the lack of it.

    Good post, FP. A couple of comments...

    Quote Originally Posted by Fat Pang
    Tags apparently has turned football into 'product' and its not about blocking and tackling, passing and catching anymore its a business, with all that entails. McMahon's headband, Joe Horn's pen, Owens dissing of the star, the bob and weave, Ken Nortons punching of the goalposts, Gastineau's sack dance are all examples things the new 'corporate' NFL, with it's salary cap, censored Superbowl half-time shows, and approved merchandising just won't tolerate.
    I'm not sure you can group all of the examples you list together. McMahon's headband (which was under Pete Rozelle's regime) was a creative act of defiance. Owens' (not Horn's) pen, Horn's cell phone gag, Gastineau's sack dance and the Dallas star incidents were examples of players showing up their oppponents. Ken Norton's celebration and the Bob N'Weave were just fun.

    I think that the problem is that its hard to draw the line. Because a few players have gone too far, the league has overreacted. I wonder... what would Billy "White Shoes" Johnson think.

    He's just a bad teammate with an agent who puts his foot in his mouth everytime he opens it.

    Talented? Yes!

    Trouble? Absolutely!

    Want him on my team? No way!

    As I said, it's going to be fun to watch and I think the NFL will be a richer place for it next season.

    Thank God for Terrell Owens and the Dallas Cowboys!
    I could do without what TO brings to the game. He has a book coming out this Summer, and you know that ESPN and its minions will be all over every obnoxious word that he (or whoever actually wrote the book) wrote.

  3. #3
    Fat Pang's Avatar
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    Re: Character, or rather the lack of it.

    Sorry Horns phone (amended)

    Agreed, TO is an obnoxious jerk, but he couldn't go to anyone more suited to him than the Cowboys. Between them they'll give us something to watch and TO is a 'great' (used with caution) player.

    The implied crticism is also that teams have always been willing to forget misdemeanours for a mere whiff of improved play and it's also this, in a league that is meant to worship 'good' character, that I find interesting.

    ESPN will be all over him just like they were over his ridiculous behaviour with the Eagles but that in itself will give us something extra to rail against.

    Imagine if you will, if every player was Tom Brady.

    How dull would that be?

  4. #4
    AvengerRam's Avatar
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    Re: Character, or rather the lack of it.

    I don't find any of TO's antics exciting. Actually, when it comes to "dull," nothing's worse than the continual media coverage of every piece of verbal dung that comes out of his piehole.

  5. #5
    Fat Pang's Avatar
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    Re: Character, or rather the lack of it.

    Oh you can always get too much of anything, familiarity breeds contempt after all.

    But some people actively thrive on controversy, they feed on adversity and setting themselves against the crowd, causing friction where previously none existed and causing polarisation along the way.

    The denigration of other people's opinions and feelings comes naturally to TO and he sees no reason to hide it, indeed he seemed to glorify the notoriety it gains him in his recent press conference.

    For some, there is no middle way and no happy medium and whilst I may not agree with them, I think the World, the NFL and this board are richer places for it.

    If there were more 'characters' out there then the media wouldn't have to focus so much on Terrell's dung scented offerings would they?

  6. #6
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    Re: Character, or rather the lack of it.

    Sorry, no sale.

    I guess I'm old fashioned when it comes to this stuff.

    I like my players classy and my media motivated by journalistic integrity rather than sensationalism.

    Guys like T.O. make me want to find a new passtime.

  7. #7
    Fat Pang's Avatar
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    Re: Character, or rather the lack of it.

    I guess I'm just relieved we don't all live on the Truman show.

    Variety is spice, and Owens seems to me to be a bad team player with strange ideas about money and self promotion. It doesn't work for me personally but I don't regard him as a mere curiosity figure.

    It's a mistake to my eyes though, to consider the NFL as anything other than reflective of the society that produces it and whose tastes it caters for. It's equally mistaken in my view to consider the media as operating in a vacuum or somehow 'leading' the populace into areas some of us find distasteful.

    The media is a 'service' and it serves the interests of the consuming public. If his talent makes him worthy of re-employment then it also makes him worthy of attention, if only for the rest of us to wonder exactly why and how he does it.

    As I pointed out, his behaviour hasn't broken any of obligations to society, legal or otherwise, if anything his behaviour is completely self-defeating. If he's representative of anything this is it.

    He's just another screwed up human being caught up in a bigger circus than the one we operate in that's all, and no matter how hard the NFL tries to dampen down his and others individual streak in the name of 'corporate product', it just won't happen.

    One mans 'Bob and weave' is another mans classless taunting.

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