Grrr! It Ain't Easy Being T.O.

I feel sorry for Terrell Owens.

Coach Andy Reid of the Philadelphia Eagles stated Monday that after Owens serves his four-game suspension without pay for "conduct detrimental to the team," his services will no longer be needed.

Poor, poor T.O.

I mean, imagine what it must be like to be paid millions to play in the National Football League, on one of last year's Super Bowl teams? Imagine how it must feel to have a chance to compete at the uppermost echelons of your career of choice?

It must be terrible.

That's why I can understand T.O.'s horrible attitude and the whining he constantly engages in at the expense of the Philadelphia Eagles' team harmony. And quarterback Donovan McNabb should just stop picking on T.O.

How dare McNabb throw T.O. that 100th career touchdown pass that spurned this latest Eagles vs. T.O. saga?

You see, after the catch, Owens threw a fit because the organization's public relations team didn't immediately send out a press release or requests for interviews with the superstar wide receiver.

And why should they? After two years of dealing with nothing but distracting questions about how unhappy T.O. is, I would bet the Eagles' PR staffers have had their fill.

Besides, the only person looking to interview Owens is former player-turned-broadcaster and T.O. friend Michael Irvin (a Grrr! in itself). Then again, ESPN, Irvin's boss, hired Nick Lachey and Mario Lopez of "Saved by the Bell" as anchors and reporters, so what should we expect? At least Irvin knows the game he's covering.

But I didn't see Bob Costas or Bryant Gumbel, two real journalists, lining up for the chance to pose challenging questions to football's biggest crybaby this side of Rod Tidwell in "Jerry Maguire."

And where is the almighty NFL in all of this?

The National Football League wields more power than most of the world's governments, and they can't put a muzzle on this guy Owens? Nobody is that good. Nobody is worth that much to any industry.

Imagine if Michael Jordan had been a disgruntled player. Oh wait, he was. Jordan had constant battles with Chicago Bulls ownership. But he never went public to the extent that Owens did. In fact, Jordan was a class act on and off the court.

Could you imagine Jordan getting into a fistfight with Dennis Rodman in the locker room, like Owens did with teammate Hugh Douglass last week?

First of all, Jordan knew he made his living with his hands. The last thing he'd be dumb enough to do is put that livelihood in jeopardy by engaging in a fistfight, like T.O. did.

Did I just call Owens dumb? Hmmm, let's go to the booth. After further review, the name-calling stands.

T.O., do Philadelphia and football and all of us fans a favor: Take your ball and go home. We work too hard for our money to be giving it to you in the form of spectating and merchandising and beer consumption. If you don't want to play, make room for Reggie Brown.

Grrr! to the egomaniacs we keep paying money to see. That goes for actors, athletes, star journalists, runway models and musicians. Funny we never see people like John Grisham or Stephen King or Jesse Norman throwing fits when they don't get enough press.

Oh right, they've got more than flash-in-the-pan talent.

Here's to Reid for making the statement that the mission of the Philadelphia Eagles, and ostensibly the National Football League and the sport itself, is bigger than just one man.

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