Life, economics, politics, psychology, sociology, racism and other isms, law, history, journalism/media…all through the lens of sport.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Mercy in T.O..... and I can't believe I'm writing this...

Yup, you probably thought you'd hear from me again talking about hockey, or UFC, or any which thing given they're my two primary sports passions. Trust me, there is fodder of which to chew on... the NHL playoffs, the AHL playoffs (go Marlies go!), the plethora of intriguing MMA matchups coming down the pipe... but no. I'll not mention those. Don't worry, I will talk about those and more in the coming weeks, as well as a great deal about the NHL draft (WITH corresponding analysis, live from Pittsburgh where I'll be attending said draft.)

Instead, I'm going to talk about two things I've professed immense disdain for in the past.

Funny thing though. In nature, sometimes you get two individual things that you despise, but put together they make a lot of sense and shift your thinking. I look at example like myself where I hate dijon mustard, and corned beef.... but if you put them together, it's some amazing concoction.

I look at this weeks episode of Dr. Phil with Terrell Owens as an example. I have never been able to stand either one of these people - TO as an arrogant, self-centered example of the levels of conceit and self-adoring disgust a member of the human race could muster, while looking at Dr. Phil as a smug, self-important example of what it is to shmooze your way to a position you have no place in (save for your ability to con... ahem, I mean, 'be respected by' the right people). I loathe his show, and make a point to avoid it at all costs.

This week though, I saw something different. Not from Dr. Phil - he can still benefit the species immensely by funneling a quart of gasoline and celebrating with a cigarette. However, I saw something in the eyes of Terrell Owens that I thought I'd never see.....

Regret. Humility. Loss. Contrition.

I saw a man blessed with a great many physical gifts, and yet a victim of his own (frankly) stupidity. And it has all fermented into a poison where he'll not soon get any kind of relief.

Sitting glassy eyed, TO really seemed like he understood where he'd gone wrong. Where he'd erred. Gone was the man who sat in his driveway, doing situps while his agent trumpeted the arrival of the second coming of... well... second coming of nothing, I'd not be surprised if he put himself above the ol' JC himself back then. That guy who thought he was more than the game, he WAS the game, and it followed him, not the other way around.

This is a guy who has been pushed down to the lower levels. He's been forced to learn that time waits for no one, that all glory is fleeting. It reminds of me a tattoo I have down the middle of my back... a saying with a variety of cultures claiming credit, but is generally conceded as what can make the sad man happy, and the happy man sad.

"This Too Shall Pass".

TO realize he's wasted a great deal. He's blown it. He had it all, and lost it all. Perhaps it's in line with my own beliefs, but I believe he should be granted a second chance. He'll never be a star again. Those days are gone. However, I think he can still play in this league, and maybe he'll take this second chance as a means of respecting the game that made him what he is. Maybe he can give one more good year.

As a New England Patriots fan, I actually hope they sign him. He won't start. He's no Dante Stollworth. Definitely no Wes Welker or Deion Branch. Heck, probably not even a Jabar Gaffney at this point. But he can be useful, and I actually hope the Pats take a chance on a guy who may have found the very thing that most people feel kept him from hitting his TRUE potential.....

His heart.

1 comment:

  1. Wow, I'm moved by this post and, yes, it's not at all what I expected...but then, it is, in a way.

    we continue to say, and articulate, that DD Sports Talk is about life - in all its intricacies and many-coloured splendor - as seen through sport. It's about how sport creates conversations that connect across the entire spectrum of the human condition.

    As I was challenged with that whole Joel Ward/Boston Twitter thing, here you are, DMac, willing to accept as genuine what appears to be contrition on the part of Terrel Owens, to the degree that you might even have space for him on the Patriots roster.

    Is T.O. really experiencing a new-found humility? Or, did Dr. Phil's people do a good job of prepping him for close-ups? Doesn't matter: what I take from this post is that we as fans can be hard on these athletes, but at the end of the day we really do have high hopes that these over-paid spoiled brats might actually be good - or, become better - human beings and that "the best" that we got from people are those qualities that cannot be measured in stats, records or achievements on the gridiron, or ice, or court, or diamond (or oval, or clay, or fairway, or...)