Those of you who think this is some powder keg waiting to explode ... I don't mean to insult you, but you're high. It might explode in 12 months, when this whack-job Owens will find some demon in his head to go nuts about. But it will not happen this year. There's too much at stake for T.O. He knows the free world thinks he's nuttier than a fruitcake. (There's more than a little truth to that.) He knows he's got $15 million over the last two years of this generous three-year contract riding on his behavior and his performance in 2006. He might be a little bit off, but he's also smart ... smart enough to know there aren't many teams ready to give him another chance if he screws this one up. He won't. At least not in 2006.
I think Jerry Jones has had this moment in his head for 13 months -- ever since T.O. started to act like a jerk in Philadelphia. Jones is not afraid of confrontation, and problem children don't scare him. He took on Jimmy Johnson. He traded for Charles Haley. He let Deion Sanders take advantage of him for years until he couldn't play anymore. Jones wisely cut his losses when Sanders, though finished, wanted one more big signing bonus. He found a naive owner, Dan Snyder, to hand him one last huge paycheck, because Jones was too smart to give big money to a broken-down player. This isn't even a tough gamble for Jones, because the cap has risen $16.5 million over last year, and Owens, who will cost him 9.8 percent of his total cap dollars this year, could well be a bargain. I had one coach who was in the Owens derby tell me a couple of weeks ago, "I think Terrell could have the best season of any offensive player in football.'' Remember his first year in Philly? Until he stupidly opened his yap about some famous teammate being tired on the last drive of the game, he could have run for mayor in January 2005 and won in a walk.
AUDIO of Owens vs. Dunham and Sturm Here …
Let the T.O. circus begin! …
The Cowboys aren't the only ones cashing in on Owens.
On Monday, publishing company Simon & Schuster announced that Owens is writing a book, tentatively titled Ineligible Receiver: The Real Story of My Journey from the Super Bowl to the Sidelines, about his two years in Philadelphia. The book is scheduled go on sale in late July, about when training camp begins.
"Finally, the real T.O. story can be told," said David Rosenthal, executive vice president and publisher of Simon & Schuster, in a release. "It's an important chapter in the long-term struggle for players' rights in the NFL."
Last month, Banyan Productions, producer of TLC's Trading Spaces, said it was putting together a reality TV series with Owens. The company said several networks are in talks to air the show.
Drew Pearson less than impressed with Owens …
Last I looked, the Cowboys were a football team and not a Boy Scout troop. Signed T.O. makes them a better team on Sundays even if Patrick Crayton was the giddy strawman pick.
Drew Pearson, on the other hand, disagrees. Here's what he told Sirius Radio's Gil Brandt this morning.
“I am (upset) because there used to be some pride. There are certain people that you knew would never ever be in a Cowboy uniform because they didn’t represent what the players represented, in other words what the coaching staff, the organization, was looking for. And there used to be a lot of pride in who wore that star on the helmet. Yes, it upsets me. He’s a former 49er. He’s a former Eagle. He’s a former bad boy and yes, it bothers me. Especially playing the position that I played. We tried to sanctify our positions by being out there on the field and doing what we had to do and trying to do it better that anybody else.
"And then off the field trying to do the right things to live up to the reputations that we developed because of how we succeeded on the field. So, yes, it does bother me. It does upset me. Hey, I’m old school and I want the same kinds of things to stay the same way sometimes. Unfortunately as we develop in society things don’t stay the same. Change is always going to come. And this change is something I never thought I would see.”
Meanwhile, Keyshawn wants to stay in the division, too ….
The friend said the Giants are expected to make a strong bid to sign Johnson and may strike a deal as early as this week. Johnson is said to be excited about the opportunity to return to the New York area, a place he never wanted to leave.
"If the numbers are right, he could sign with the Giants (today)," the friend said. "Keyshawn thinks the Giants have a really good team and could contend for the Super Bowl. Besides, he loves the New York stage."
Johnson, 33, was released by the Cowboys last week when the club decided not to exercise a $1 million roster bonus and instead sign Terrell Owens. He was due to earn a $1.5 million base salary in addition to the bonus but made it clear he wanted more money and a multiyear deal.
Carolina, Seattle, Philadelphia, New England, Kansas City and Dallas, which would like to re-sign Johnson, also have shown interest.
Keyshawn on one side, Plaxico on the other, and Shockey down the middle? Eli is out of excuses…
Alfonso Soriano takes on the Nationals ….
Eight members of the Washington Nationals' starting lineup took the field last night at Space Coast Stadium. Alfonso Soriano did not, and that act of defiance turned this club's single biggest issue into a full-blown, highly convoluted mess.
In his first day back with the Nationals after participating in the World Baseball Classic, Soriano was penciled into manager Frank Robinson's lineup as the leadoff hitter and left fielder for an exhibition game against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Soriano, though, refused to take the field, setting into motion a chain of events that could lead to the 30-year-old essentially being suspended by the Nationals and forfeiting his $10?million salary.
"We believe it is the club's right, based on the basic agreement, based on his contract, that a player needs to play the position that the manager wants to put him in to win, regardless of who that player is," general manager Jim Bowden said minutes after the start of last night's game. "He refused to do that today."
I think Jon Daniels deserves a raise just based on that trade. Meanwhile, for Bowden to trade for him without ever bouncing their plans off him is insane. I know we all think that management is in charge in sports, but isn’t this proof that the inmates are running the asylum? Stay tuned…
Tags is leaving us ….retirement for the great commish…
The official Minnesota Twin of BaD Radio, href=http://www.startribune.com/150/story/319962.html> Torii Hunter knows this could be his last year in a Twins uniform …interesting…local guy who plays centerfield and will be a free agent….hmmm….
Vikes add to their big haul of the off-season ….
Hutchinson will immediately improve the Vikings' once-proud offensive line, one that struggled last season after Birk underwent season-ending surgery. At 6-5 and 321 pounds, Hutchinson, 28, is known as a ferocious drive blocker and a fundamentally-sound technician.
He will team with Birk and left tackle Bryant McKinnie to provide a formidable left side. His arrival will further boost a free agent period that has seen the Vikings acquire running back Chester Taylor, linebacker Ben Leber and placekicker Ryan Longwell.
Revo on Modano’s big month …despite the loss last night to the Ducks….
What Tippett likes most isn't necessarily the four-game goal-scoring streak Modano saw snapped in Monday night's game, or the eye-catching, spectacular goals he scored during the streak. It's the other, less noticeable but equally important, things Modano brings to the ice.
"Some of his plays have just been vintage Modano. The goals have been highlight-reel goals," Tippett said. "That's what get the attention. But the attention he gets from within the team has been from the little things he does and the minutes he plays, things other than the spectacular plays.
"As great as the spectacular plays are, it's the way he's playing his all-around game that has given our team a chance to be special."
Tippett ticked off the Modano assets on his fingers: he's part of the penalty kill; a key factor in faceoffs; he's stabilized the power play from the point; and, perhaps most importantly, his line plays against the other team's top line virtually every minute.
"Fans see him score a highlight goal and that's all they remember, but when you dig into the guts of the game in a team-success way, not just an individual-showcase way, that's where you find him making the most difference."
Drew Henson – not that great in week 1 …
Even though his NFL Europe Rhein team jumped off to a good start, defeating the Frankurt Galaxy,10-6, in the season opener Saturday night, Cowboys quarterback Drew Henson didn't exactly start off the spring season like a ball of fire.
Henson, starting and finishing his first football game of any kind since the 2000 season at Michigan, drove his Rhein Fire to just one score in seven possessions on a muddy LTU Arena field in Dusseldorf, Germany, and at that, an inauspicious drive. In fact, it was a one-play drive, Henson handing off to wide receiver Chris Samp, who pulled up on an end-around to throw a 45-yard pass to Juan Wong on Rhein's first offensive play of the game for what turned out to be the only touchdown of the evening.
"That was a great way to start the season," Henson said. "We had the defense on their heels and the situation was good to run the play, so we executed it. It never looked that good in practice, but it worked when it counted."
Henson completed just five of 11 attempts for 58 yards and suffered one sack. He did not throw an interception. Backup Timmy Chang played the second quarter, hitting on six of 13 attempts for just 59 yards.
Who says Americans can’t play soccer? Brian McBride, good American, helps Fulham beat Chelsea …
"These kinds of games are always tense," said a weary McBride, though with a smile, after a day to remember in Southwest London.
The truth is that for the league, these are the sorts of matches one hopes will fall against the grain: Entering the match, Chelsea had lost a grand total of two games in the league and still had a twelve point cushion. Fulham, on the other hand, is a scrappy never-has-been with a small, delightful stadium and big aspirations, but little depth.
McBride, who has been one of the surprises of the year in the EPL, had an active performance at both ends of the field in a game that saw a gritty Fulham team steal a goal and then hold on against a better-conditioned, if perhaps poorer sporting, Chelsea. For much of the first game, Fulham skillfully isolated Chelsea's Frank Lampard and did such a fine job in midfield that Chelsea's Mourinho made a drastic change just 25 minutes in with a double swap of Damien Duff and Didier Drogba for Joe Cole and a useless Shaun Wright-Phillps.
Find the Lie …featuring Hollywood’s Matthew McConaughey…
PGATOUR.com: What is your best golf moment?
McCONAUGHEY: This is right up there, man. The thing about this, this is four days. That is the difference between pros and amateurs. Here, we go out and we can have a great round or a great nine, but these guys do it four days in a row. This is golf, you've got to be solid all the way through. There's not much room for error or out there. This is up there. I had four holes-in-one. That’s up there.
And now, for your edification, here are two real pieces of email:
I just saw something on the Stars broadcast about Modano closing in on most goals scored for an American born player. Do you think when it is all said and done, in ten years perhaps, that Modano will be considered the greatest American born player of all time? Or at least the greatest American born forward?
I can't really think of anyone else I'd put high on
There is no doubt that Mike Modano is on the brink of being thought of as the greatest American goal scorer ever. He should pass Joe Mullen in no time, and since Brett Hull is not technically an American, It is all about Mo- But, I would have a hard time considering anyone as the “greatest American-born hockey player of all-time” if their name wasn’t Chris Chelios. Chelios has been playing at a high level since the early 80’s when he dominated in college. He then went to the 1984 Olympics, and still captains the team in 2006. He has won Cups, awards, respect, and everything else anyone could ever want. Modano is in the top handful, but Chelios is the guy for me….
I enjoy the humor of pulling the updog on an unsuspecting victim. But, how bad is it that I'm finding great enjoyment in unleashing the updog on my 4 year old daughter? She falls for it every time and it just doesn't get old.
"Line 4 Guy is my leader"