Why is it that after yesterday's Cowboys victory over the Hapless Texans I felt like taking a shower? I mean, 34-6 is sweet. But somehow it felt nasty, dirty, yucky, icky. It felt guilty. And for two reasons: Bill Parcells and Terrell Owens.
I know, I know. I'm supposed to dig my pom-poms out of the dumpster and T.O. caught three touchdowns and Drew Bledsoe doesn't suck after all and the good President Bush was there and the cheerleaders looked pretty again and America's Team solved all its problem during one scintillating second half. I still love a lot of things about this team, and no doubt it will compete for a playoff spot. But because of the two most pompous, prominent people on the sideline, even Cowboys victories make me want to skip the high fives for a hot faucet.
This is all you need to know about Parcells and how he is a black hole sucking positive energy from our universe: After rookie Skyler Green totally botched a first-quarter punt return by standing too far down field, giving a fair-catch signal, fielding the ball on an awkward hop and falling down trying to return it, Parcells turned his back on the field to give him an animated old-school scolding. Minutes later, punter Mat McBriar launched a punting orgasm--75 yards, out of bounds at the two. Parcells' reaction: Nothing. Nada. Zippo. As McBriar bounded down the sideline, accepting congrats for the second-longest punt in franchise history, Mr. Giggles didn't even so much as look up. In fact, I'll give you a fresh Ben Franklin every time the head coach exhibits positive body language or offers verbal encouragement the rest of the year. Deal?
Which brings us--somehow we always wind up here, huh?--to T.O. A week after complaining about his role, trashing assistant coach and sprinting off the field in shame in Philly, Owens commanded the ball and the spotlight. You'd like to think T.O. was all smiles because his team won, but you know in your heart you'd be wrong.
After his third touchdown made it 34-6 late in the game, T.O. posed and pranced as though his catch had won the game. As he frolicked off the field in self-centered adulation, Parcells shot him the dirtiest of looks. A player who only cares about individual success and a coach only happy when he's grumpy--yep, they deserve each other. And they're damn good at their jobs. Nauseating, huh? --Richie Whitt
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you'll never miss Observer's biggest stories.