OK, so obviously, my “Mystery Man” was Terrell Owens.

As all of the news media and posters and hoopla around town continue to remind me: He’s heeeeeere. Training camp has started and he has officially begun his time as a Buffalo Bill.

Quite some time ago, someone left a comment on one of my blog posts asking what I thought about T.O. becoming a Buffalo Bill. At the time, I planned on posting about it at some point, so I didn’t answer the question. And then time got away from me and now that football season is upon us, I realized I still needed to address this!

If you’ve been reading here for a while, you’ll know I’m passionate about my football.

I ruffled feathers when I criticized Brett Favre for playing the retirement/comeback game (AND HE’S STILL DOING IT, ohmygodseriouslyjustretirealready).

I inadvertently started an all-out war when I had the audacity to joke about Tom Brady’s season-ending knee injury (and look at that, he’s coming back this season. All healed and whole. What do you know… my evil voodoo didn’t work. Damn).

So anyway, it probably won’t come as a surprise to you that I remember the day I found out Terrell Owens was to be a Buffalo Bill in the same way I remember the day the O.J. Simpson verdict was handed down. In other words, I remember it VERY well. Let’s back up, shall we?

It was March 6th. Michael, Cristina, and I were driving the 2.5 hours home after meeting our 4-day-old nephew for the first time. We were cruising along when Michael got a text message from the Buffalo Bills.

Michael is signed up to receive text updates from the team. During the season, these texts include news about injuries, game scores and stats, etc. The text messages are far less frequent in the off-season.

Anyway, the message was pretty vague. It said something to the effect of, “The Buffalo Bills have scheduled a press conference for 6 p.m. at 1 Bills Drive.” I’m going to be honest–we sort of started to freak out. We frantically began to speculate about what the news could be.

1. This was sudden.
2. It was the off-season.
3. It was a Saturday. Knowing what I know from working in marketing, it’s sort of rare to announce big news on weekends. Especially at 6:00 p.m.! Typically, if it can wait until Monday, it waits until Monday.

We knew that this story had to be big. Which, at that moment, meant one of two things to us: we convinced ourselves that Ralph Wilson (the owner) had died, or that the team was officially moving to Toronto (a topic of major speculation the last few years).

I began to search the radio for a station that might be broadcasting sports news, or even better, the actual press conference. Given that we were outside of Buffalo’s radio range, however, I found nothing. Plus, we still had some time before 6:00 p.m. Meanwhile, Michael had texted and left voicemails with a few friends and fellow fans to see if anyone had any idea what this announcement could be about.

Imagine our surprise when Michael got another text message, this time from his friend, Dave. It said, quite simply, “T.O. was in Buffalo today.”

The reaction from the three of us in the car changed from minute to minute.

Shock. Disbelief. Nervous laughter. Ohhhh, how we laughed.

Seriously, we told ourselves (and each other). No. That couldn’t be it. There’s no way the Bills would ever sign T.O. There’s no way T.O. would ever agree to play for the Bills. It has to be something else. But… what if it’s true?

And then it was true.

My first reaction was, “What the hell are they thinking?! This guy is a CANCER. He has somehow managed to destroy every team he’s been on.”

But Michael was behind the decision from the very beginning. We were still all in shock about it, but the more and more we talked about it, the more it made sense.

You see, we have nothing to lose. There is virtually NO. WAY. that Terrell Owens can make the Bills any worse than they already are. We haven’t made the playoffs in TEN YEARS, for crying out loud.

There is nothing to destroy.

We don’t know if he’ll make us better. But he could. Our best receiver, Lee Evans, constantly struggles with being double covered, as all defenses know he is a frequent target. Having Owens on the other side takes some attention away from Evans. Hopefully they’ll make for quite a dynamic receiving duo. Also, I don’t know if you’ve seen Owens lately, but he is in STELLAR shape. He is a tremendous athlete, despite being 36 years old (pretty old for the NFL). Strictly speaking about his work on the field, we can’t complain about his addition to the team roster.

Here’s what we do know: No matter what happens, it’ll certainly be entertaining. And that’s more than we can say for the past many, many seasons.

And quite frankly, I find his antics hilarious. I’ve been laughing at him for years.

While with the 49ers… who can forget his touchdown celebrations? Stealing the cheerleader’s pom-poms? Taking the Sharpie out of his shoe? I’m one of the people who wishes the NFL wouldn’t fine for this stuff. I love it.

With the Eagles… getting into a fight with Andy Reid, refusing to show up at practice, and then making a huge media spectacle out of working out/doing sit-ups in his driveway? You just have to give the guy some credit, because this shit is genius.

And my favorite of all time… the Ray Lewis dance. LOVED. IT. How can you not find this funny, knowing that he took the time to study it, practice it, and then expertly executed it right in front of Ray Lewis’s face? And COME ON, it’s RAY LEWIS. He murders people!

Yes, we have been watching his reality show. I follow T.O. on Twitter. I read and watch all of his news coverage.

This guy is the best thing to happen to Buffalo in YEARS. I’m loving him, and loving that he’s a Bill. And I’ll tell you, I’m not the only one. In general, Bills fans are pumped. I’m well aware that my opinion could quickly change, but I suppose we’ll see. He only has a one-year contract, so honestly, I’m not all that worried.

At the end of the day, I’m just looking forward to seeing what he does. The anticipation is killing me.

Get your popcorn ready.

 

7 Responses to Get your popcorn ready

  1. Jamie says:

    I’m not big into the NFL, but this news article made my blood boil the other day, and then i had to go back and check when i heard the name again: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/n/a/2009/07/26/sports/s095111D44.DTL&tsp=1

  2. Heather says:

    Jamie,

    I can’t even count how many NFL players believe Vick should be reinstated. MANY of them have spoken out on this issue, not just Owens. Frankly, he’s probably the most sought-after player in the league right now (in terms of the media), so of course they’re putting his name in the headlines of these stories, even though there are MANY players saying the exact same thing. I’d even go out on a limb and say that MOST of them believe he should be reinstated.

    And apparently, the NFL believes he should be, too, as they decided to reinstate him yesterday.

    What Michael Vick did absolutely sickens me and I’d rather not see his face again for the rest of my life. However, at the end of the day, he served his jail time (which, let’s not forget, was longer than many people get for child molestation, rape, or even murder). Although I’m not exactly happy about him jumping back into a cushy lifestyle that he took for granted, football is his career, and I can’t say that he doesn’t deserve to get back to work just as much as anyone else.

    And in the article, Owens is right… there are NFL players who are still playing who committed far worse crimes.

  3. Michelle says:

    For some random reason, my husband is a Bill’s fan. It should be interesting to see how he reacts to T.O. since when we was on the Niners, he hated him. But things change when a person is on “your team.”

  4. Erin says:

    Heather, I really enjoy reading your posts.
    I am an Eagles fan and I will admit, when TO started here in Philly, I loved him. And so did the rest of the city. He truly is a great player and it was fun to watch him on the field The Ray Lewis dance was AWESOME! If he could have kept the drama out of the game, I would probably still like him.
    Towards the end of his time here, he complained that he needed more money so he could “feed his family”. How ridiculous!
    Here is an interesting link for a timeline of all TO’s antics.

    http://football.about.com/od/nflnews/a/owenstimeline.htm

    BTW, Vick makes me SICK! He should not be re-instated…..ever!

  5. Cheryl says:

    I hope TO stays in Buffalo :) The Colts don’t want him (hopefully! Peyton and he just wouldn’t get along!) I’m excited to see what our new coach will do! And, I love that you cook amazingly and love football. Makes me look sane :)

  6. I’ve been a follower since Road to The Aisle, but I don’t comment much. I’d just like to say AMEN, SISTER in reference to your Brett Favre comment. SO sick of that man.

    YAY for football season being upon us!! :D

  7. S says:

    Would you like Chad Johnson, too? I kid, I kid.

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