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Dallas Morning News: Hometown plays defense for Owens


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Warm and fuzzy for TO...ugh...Lots of rationalizing here...TO makes you do that. The Philly papers did the same thing when he signed with the Eagles. :laugh: :laugh: :laugh:


By JEAN-JACQUES TAYLOR / The Dallas Morning News

ALEXANDER CITY, Ala. – No shrine exists for the best football player to ever emerge from this hardworking town of about 15,000 in central Alabama.

Terrell Eldorado Owens has never received the key to the city. Or had his No. 80 high school football jersey retired. Russell High School principal Jim Davidson said his teachers no longer want to grant interviews regarding Mr. Owens.

They still love Mr. Owens here, but many folks don't want to talk about him anymore because they're tired of having their quotes taken out of context and their memories misconstrued.

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They're weary of defending his actions on and off the football field, and they don't want to explain to strangers why his grandmother Alice Black, known as Miss Alice, raised him the way she did and how that shaped the man who has become the NFL's most notorious player.

They understand the man nicknamed T.O. and accept him.

"I don't care how often he comes to town, the kids want an autograph – even if they already have a bunch of them at home," said Fred Norris, director of the Alexander City Housing Authority Youth and Adult Services Center. "He doesn't have any bodyguards with him when he comes. He visits friends and relatives, shows up for church and then goes home."

Mr. Owens, one of the NFL's most dynamic players, signed a three-year, $25 million contract with the Cowboys two weeks ago. He is with his third team in four years because he has been a divisive force in the locker room with his last two teams.

Among the issues that have driven a wedge between Mr. Owens and his teammates, coaches and fans include: a smear campaign against quarterbacks Jeff Garcia in San Francisco and Donovan McNabb in Philadelphia, self-promoting behavior such as extravagant on-field celebrations, and a demand for more money one year into a $48 million, seven-year contract.

The Eagles refused to let the 10-year veteran play in the final nine games of the 2005 season. His critics, no doubt, expect a high-profile meltdown to precede his inevitable departure from the Cowboys.

Where he comes from

But before judging the 32-year-old Mr. Owens, it helps to understand him.


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I don't want to understand Mr. Owens he is selfish and a egomaniac. He opitimizes what sportsfigures should not be. There is no I in team. One of the beauties of football is, a whole group of men sacrificing themselves for the better of the team.

T.O. has not learned that lesson.

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