Well, here we are 24 hours later, and the smoke is supposed to be clearing by now. But, here I sit, reading what everyone already knows from various newspapers across the fruited plain. And I still am not positive about what has happened.
In case you missed our 3 hours from yesterday, here is what I believe:
I am skeptical that it went down as the Police Report claimed. I do not believe he would attempt suicide. As many people said yesterday, he loves himself way too much to end it all.
I am sure that it did not go down as Owens and his publicist claimed.
Owens needs to fire his publicist immediately based solely on the “he has 25 million reasons to live” comment.
I don’t think he is suicidal, but I do think it shows that it is always something with this dude.
The media makes me giggle with their bold claims early in the day followed by tempered enthusiasm as the day goes on. But, it is tough to make the media the bad guys here (although it appears many are still doing it) since they were reading directly from a police report.
Did the 2006 Cowboys season implode yesterday? I don’t think so, but it can’t be ruled out as the potential “beginning of the end”.
And now, a million different opinions from a million different people:
Believe these people at your own risk. And by these people, I mean any of these people.
Believe the police report that says it was a suicide attempt? That may have been how it looked initially. But then why did the authorities at Baylor University Medical Center release Terrell Owens less than 16 hours after he had been admitted? Where were the psychiatric tests to confirm that Owens was not at risk of harming himself?
Believe Bill Parcells when he says he has no clue about what's going on, that the media is more informed than he is? The Cowboys head coach knows what's going on in the lives of practice-squad linebackers, and yet he's completely in the dark about a possible suicide attempt by one of his marquee players? That makes real sense.
Mostly, believe Terrell Owens and his publicity agent, Kim Etheredge, when they discredit police and say this was nothing more than an allergic reaction to a combination of hydrocodone and supplements? Well, there's actually some degree of logic to that explanation, but then...
Believe that one at Owens' risk.
Here's hoping that the Cowboys, who may never publicly acknowledge any concern about Owens' mental state, work overtime behind the scenes to learn what might be wrong with their new wide receiver.
Pat Forde …
No matter which side you believe, there was no obvious sign of physical or psychological distress from Owens on Wednesday afternoon when he held a news conference to refute the cops' report and tamp down hours of ongoing media hyperventilation. That's the positive news.
Keep that in mind, because it's too easy to view Owens as a caricature of himself, a cartoon figure, rather than a real human being. The best possible outcome is that Owens is A-OK and never had any intention of harming himself. In the final analysis, it would be good to file this story in the Much Ado About Not Much file.
But there are still questions to answer before that's 100 percent believable.
Namely, why would Dallas police officers author a report that said Etheredge told them Owens was "depressed" when they responded to her 911 call? She says she never said that, but it seems hard to believe that they would concoct that out of thin air.
Perhaps Etheredge made an inaccurate assumption when she found Owens "non-responsive," in his own words. But whether it was an attempt at suicide or merely a bad reaction, it's a good thing she called in emergency personnel.
Thing is, when you combine a 911 call, the word "suicide" in an official document, the star power of Owens and a ravenous 24-hour multimedia news cycle that sustains itself on breaking news -- and never waits long before leaping from fact-gathering to analysis and sweeping judgment -- you have an absolute carnival.
Screaming A Smith …
Owens said he suffered an allergic reaction after taking painkillers and nutritional supplements. His publicist said he appeared disoriented. Only after his agent, Drew Rosenhaus, showed up in Dallas and the Cowboys organization got a hold of him did some plausible explanation miraculously come to light.
That means there was no plausible explanation, just spin-doctoring.
Unless you're one of the few confidants T.O. has in this world, or a fly on the
wall, you have no knowledge of what transpired. But here's one thing that's undeniable, even for those closest to Owens:
The man has problems he simply hasn't fixed.
I remember being at Owens' home in New Jersey two seasons ago, just days after T.O.'s ankle surgery. There was no way he was expected to be available for the playoffs. A Super Bowl appearance - one the Eagles would make - appeared to be out of the question for him. Yet Owens was working out in his home, lifting weights and doing ankle exercises, with only two things on his mind.
The Super Bowl.
And Donovan McNabb.
Aside from being able to make it back for the Eagles-Patriots showdown in 2005, McNabb was Owens' focus. He kept lamenting how McNabb had vowed that the Eagles would make it to the Super Bowl "without T.O.," failing to ask himself: What else was McNabb supposed to say?
One harmless phrase was all it took to set T.O. on a path of destruction.
Bill Walsh …
"I believe what Terrell said, that it wasn't a suicide attempt," Walsh said. "But unfortunately, you can have all sorts of things like this every week with Terrell. It will always be something else with him, some distraction, every day, every week. It's just ongoing.
"It'll be a distraction all year (for the Cowboys). Now, he may make some great plays. But the way he is, because of who he is, there will always be some distraction."
Dan Lebretard …guess which side he is on…
I believe Terrell Owens. No matter how noisy this all gets. No matter how loud the voices of publicists and agents and friends and coaches and psychiatric experts and police officers rise in unison into a tower of babble. No matter how many people come to this conversation with their own baggage and their own version of the truth, which isn't the truth at all. And no matter how contradictory and complicated even the voice of T.O. can be much of the time. I believe Terrell Owens.
I've seen too many things a lot less complicated than this get confused and clouded and misdiagnosed when it comes to the very famous Terrell Owens and the spinning swirl that perpetually surrounds him. So on the subject of whether he really tried to kill himself -- Owens adamantly denies it -- I'm siding with the only guy who was inside his head at the time, and I'm doing so even if that head was clouded at the time by too much pain medication.
Maybe that makes me very naive. Or maybe it makes me fair. Maybe it makes me a stupid player apologist. Or maybe it makes me nonjudgmental about the way I cover sports. Either way, we're all a little clouded when it comes to T.O. and his behavior, so I guess it just took too many pills to make him more like the rest of us.
My first reaction to news of a suicide attempt? I didn't believe it. I'm not talking about disbelief or shock. I literally didn't believe it. I believed it was the pills talking. I believe there was some sort of adverse reaction to the medication that made Owens loopy. I've seen people very close to me become something else, something unrecognizable, when chemically altered by the wrong medicine. Owens is many things -- complicated, defiant, stubborn, moody -- but he is not a liar. If he tried to kill himself, I believe he'd tell you. He doesn't do spin control. Doesn't even know how, I believe. He'd avoid an awful lot of his messes if he did.
Tired yet? Here is some non-TO stuff…
Evan Grant looks at 2007 Rangers Payroll …
Here is the Rangers' situation:
• Committed contracts: The Rangers have $17.25 million committed to Hank Blalock, Mark Teixeira, Michael Young and Kevin Millwood (and that's if you count Millwood's actual salary for next year rather than his larger average annual value).
• A-Rod dead weight: That's another $6 million Tom Hicks will pay George Steinbrenner so his fans can boo Rodriguez.
• Pocket change: Estimating conservatively, the Rangers have eight players who aren't yet eligible for arbitration that should be on the 2007 team (Nelson Cruz, Ian Kinsler, Gerald Laird, Scott Feldman, Frank Francisco, Wes Littleton, Josh Rupe and Robinson Tejeda). That group will run them a total of just under $3 million.
• Arbitration guys: Figure it gets offered to Brad Wilkerson and Akinori Otsuka and not to Rick Bauer or Joaquin Benoit. Wilkerson made $3.95 million this year and will make at least that next season; Otsuka will probably jump from $1.75 million to the $3 million range. So, chalk up another $4.75 million.
• Guys with options: Ron Mahay has a $1.2 million option. If the Rangers had cheaper options in the bullpen, they'd go for them. As it is, they may have no choice but to bring Mahay back. For our purposes, let's count him in the fold.
OK, that's at least $32 million.
And all we need to finish out the roster are three starting pitchers, a center fielder, a DH, a backup catcher, one experienced reliever and a bench.
The Rangers are trying to assure that Matthews doesn't consider the possibility of playing for the Angels. They have until mid-November to re-sign him before other clubs can start talking to him. Rangers general manager Jon Daniels met with Matthews' agent, Scott Leventhal, during the Angels series and the sides mapped out some parameters for a potential deal.
But no serious conversation will take place until next week at the earliest. Matthews and Leventhal expressed to the Rangers earlier this year that they'd prefer to wait until after the season to talk nuts-and-bolts of a contract. The Rangers don't intend to wait long after the final out of the season Sunday to start more serious talks.
"Gary is an important part of the club," Daniels said. "He's somebody at the top of the list for our off-season priorities."
If he gets to free agency, Matthews, whose salary this season is $2.49 million, will be on many teams' priority lists. The Angels, Chicago Cubs (who will likely lose Juan Pierre to free agency), Los Angeles Dodgers, St. Louis and Boston could all be seeking center fielders. Matthews, 32, and Pierre, 29, are the two highest-profile cen- ter fielders who will be free agents.
Big Game Tonight in Fort Worth …Go Frogs. See? I welcome TCU to the college football elite, but they are on probation…
An explanation is in order for today's 5 p.m. kickoff, though finding an answer that appeases the masses might be too tall a task.
The crucial Mountain West opener between TCU and BYU was originally scheduled to start at 6 p.m., not great but an hour friendlier. The game was to be televised on CSTV.
But because CSTV has limited distribution in Dallas-Fort Worth, officials for the conference, CSTV and Comcast planted the game on Versus. The former OLN, though, had previously scheduled a live boxing card for tonight and didn't want it bumped by college football.
Hence, a 5 p.m. kickoff.
There's also concern in Provo that BYU played Saturday while TCU did not. That was not in the plan, either, but became reality when Grambling State dropped out of a Sept. 23 game at TCU.
"We have several scheduling parameters, and one of them was that we make it a mandate that both teams must play the previous Saturday for a Thursday game," MWC commissioner Craig Thompson said. "The [athletic directors] and joint council said there's no way you can get there, because some of these things are out of an institution's control, for instance Grambling dropping TCU."
A crowd of around 35,000 is expected at Amon G. Carter Stadium.
Aggie vs. Red Raider just 2 days away …
Showdowns between Texas A&M and Texas Tech reflect a complicated dynamic. The Aggies lead the all-time series, 34-29-1, but the Red Raiders have won eight of the last 11 meetings. Tech's superior record in recent years hasn't changed the perception of many outsiders that A&M is more of a powerhouse program.
"If we keep the trend going and keep getting better every year, maybe we'll be mentioned up there with them," Red Raiders defensive tackle Chris Hudler said.
Aggies debate whether they consider Tech a rival, yet the last two times A&M hosted the Red Raiders at Kyle Field, it drew its largest crowd of the season.
Aggies defensive end Chris Harrington called the series "a good, healthy rivalry," then added, "I think they look at us as their rival, whereas we look at Texas as our rival."
Stars send all the kids to Iowa …
while it would be easy to be depressed on a day they were sent down, the players who were assigned to the Stars' American Hockey League affiliate in Des Moines, Iowa, were optimistic.
"It was closer this year, more real," winger Loui Eriksson said. "But I think that is good because now I feel better about my chances to return."
Eriksson was joined by fellow forwards Junior Lessard and Joel Lundqvist, along with defensemen Niklas Grossman and Vadim Khomitski and goalie Dan Ellis. Those six are a heartbeat away from returning in case of injury or a trade.
"It was a good experience because I truly feel I can play at this level," said Dan Ellis, who lost his battle with Mike Smith to become the team's backup goalie. "Now it's just go down and get refocused and be ready for anything."
Ellis and Lessard each have to clear waivers because they are older prospects.
However, if they are selected by another NHL team, they have to immediately be put on that team's 23-man roster. If they clear waivers, they can be called up in the future without further exposure.
Brilliant goal from Crouch helps Liverpool bag a Champions League win …
Do you Really want your Girl to like Sports? – 3:34
Oh Glory! - 1:21