Owens' Sausage

Not an hour after Richie posted his item below about Terrell Owens' forthcoming book T.O.--the guy's second, following 2004's Catch This!: Going Deep with the NFL's Sharpest Weapon--I got an overnighted copy of the tome from Simon & Schuster, and a cursory glance reveals a few more tidbits the Philly media overlooked. On page 22, for instance, in the chapter "The Road to Free Agency" (the one Bob Hope-Bing Crosby buddy pic I somehow missed), Owens and collaborator-slash-agent's-brother Jason Rosenhaus discuss the 2000 incident involving Owens, then a San Francisco 49'er, taking a figurative dump on the Texas Stadium midfield star. He writes (ahem):

"During my 2000 season, I got my first real taste of controversy. My celebrating drew some serious attention when the Niners played in Dallas. I scored a touchdown in the second quarter, then I ran from the end zone over toward the middle of the field and stood on the famous blue Dallas star, the symbol of 'America's team.' I raised my arms and looked up to the sky. My teammates loved it--and the Cowboys hated it.

Little did I know how significant that day would be."

Owens goes on to say that when he returned to the bench, the Niners gave him much love--even the coaches--so when he scored again in the fourth quarter, he figured it'd be OK to do it again. So he did. Only after the game did he realize how people had perceived it as a real dick move. He seems genuinely surprised even at this late date to have been "made out to be a villain," since, the way he describes it, he was just trying to pump up his 0-3 team on the road. The media, he says, criticizes "players for being dull and lacking personality, but then as soon as you let your personality come through they smack you down for it." Owens, like George Dubya, blames the media for all his troubles and insists TV and print reporters are the ones who landed him the one-game suspension that cost Owens $24,294. "I don't think that's how things should be," he writes, "not when we're the ones leaving our sweat and blood out there on the field."

Much later in the book--after all the grousing about Eagles QB Donovan McNabb, about Philly ownership, about the media--on page 239 Owens writes about waiting for a team to express interest in taking him off Philadelphia's hands. He claims he never worried when the calls didn't come. He says "numbers don't lie," meaning even after all the grief he'd cause his old teammates he knew some new team would come calling on the Greatest Wide Receiver God Ever Made. And, of course, that call came from agent Drew Rosenhaus, who said he'd talked to Bill Parcells and Cowboys chief operating officer and executive vice president Stephen Jones and "thought that was going to be the best situation."

He lays out the specifics of his deal with Dallas, so proud is Owens of the big, big money Jerry Jones is going to shell out for him: three years with $10 mil the first year alone and the first $5 mil just for signing his name. And "the second season called for a roster bonus of $3 million and a $5-million salary. The third year of the contract also had a $3-million roster bonus but with a $4-million salary. The contract was front loaded and only for three years; that way I could renegotiate after two year or become a free agent again after year three." That's $25 million, in case you didn't notice--or "more than the first three years of Randy Moss's contract," Owen reminds, because he can't help himself. There's no mention about how much loyalty costs, especially to the team willing to pay you a fortune after you just left another organization in shambles.

Owens then spends the last few pages of his book kissing the tuchus of his new boss, Jerry Jones; maybe the guy's wised up after all. He calls Jones "warm and down to earth"; says he showed T.O. nothing but "sincerity, humility and kindness"; and recounts how Jerry told him he too knows how it feels "to be treated like Darth Vader." It's a match made in heaven--or Irving, anyway. "When Jerry Jones flew into Atlanta and picked me up in his private jet, I was holding back tears," Owens writes, and Cowboys fans know exactly how he feels. T.O. will be published July 25 (though some media reports indicate it'll be available next Tuesday, joy). You can pre-order a copy here. --Robert Wilonsky

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