Archive for Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Opinion: Enough T.O. talk

September 20, 2006

It would be unrealistic for me or anyone else to expect the Mill Valley, Maranatha or Shawnee Mission Northwest wide receivers to catch every pass thrown their way.

All three schools have quarterbacks capable of delivering passes for their receivers to catch, but there are too many things that factor into the passing game at the high school level for those expectations to exist.

The one thing we can expect is for those same receivers to catch balls that hit them in the hands.

And if we can expect that out of 16- and 17-year-olds playing on Friday nights, why can't we expect that out of T.O.?

Here's the deal. Most of the time I'd rather write about local kids doing routine things than national stories that happen five states away. But after watching Terrell Owens the other night on Sunday night football, I couldn't stop myself. Besides, I figured that if T.O.'s going to go down in history as one of the most -- fill in whatever adjective you like here -- I might as well get a piece of the action.

For just the next sentence, I'm going to pretend Owens will read this. Catch the ball, Terrell. It's your only job.

Now I'll get back to reality.

The other night against the Redskins, Owens dropped at least four passes he should've caught. One would have been a touchdown, but instead of snagging it with two hands and tucking it away like the precious commodity touchdowns are in that league, he went for the style points and one-armed it. It looked good. It looked sharp. It looked exactly the way T.O. hoped it would until it got punched away from him and fell to the ground.

On two other occasions Owens just flat out dropped the ball. One time he heard footsteps and let the ball clang off of both hands as Washington's Sean Taylor was fast approaching to hit T.O. the way many NFL fans would like to. Another time, he took a peek up the field before seeing the ball all the way in and that was enough to break his concentration.

I don't know if I'm upset about this because Dallas quarterback Drew Bledsoe is my fantasy football starter or if it's because watching T.O. play goes against everything my dad taught me about football. Perhaps it's both. But it's unacceptable. And T.O. is the reason why.

Drops happen. Guys get hit and cough up the football every week in the National Football League. Even big-time receivers drop passes they should catch. Heck, I'm sure even Jerry Rice dropped a ball or two (although you'll have to show me the tape for me to believe it). But T.O. can't. He can't because he's made it that way.

We've seen him doing sit-ups on his driveway talking about how he's the game's best receiver. We've heard him in interviews talk about why he thinks he should be the highest-paid player in all of football.

We've seen all the charades and heard all the sound bites we can stomach. The one thing we haven't seen is T.O. proving it on the field.

Until he does, I have just one thought about his game -- catch the ball, T.O.; you're killing my fantasy team.

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