I am happy to return to The Balrog’s Lair website. My previous tenure at this website, through late 2002 and early 2003 was fun. During that time, I co-ran the website along with Joe. That was fun, but I am now thrilled to return to TBL, while the site is making remarkable changes. I am also thrilled to have this opportunity to discuss sports.
When I covered wrestling here, it was at the point where my interest was beginning to decrease, little by little. Since I left TBL this previous summer, I still watch WWE, but my interest is nowhere near the level it once was. My interest is not high enough, that I can continue to post wrestling news day to day. It’s been since November, I believe since I wrote a wrestling column.
When it comes to sports, however, things are different. I always have an opinion when it comes to the major sports topics. I am here to report the news, and write this column, where I will certainly be expressing my opinion. I am not here to cater to any league or franchise. I am independent, and I certainly will not hesitate to reveal what I am thinking. Whether you agree or disagree with me, I hope you will enjoy what I have to write about, and hope you may take the time to e-mail me your feedback. With your feedback, that is all the motivation I need to continue writing…
Imagine a setting where you continually are in conflict with co-workers, the very people who you are involved with daily. What is the worst that may possibly happen? Oh so what if you blow a huge multi-million dollar account, they will forgive you, right? I assume the same goes if you are a wide receiver, and as you approach the end zone, the perfect pass is thrown to you, yet, when the ball comes, you bobble it and drop it. Your team has lost the SuperBowl. Will your co-workers, or… teammates forgive you? How about your fans? Is the situation any different if, in the office, you are the reason your company has that multi-million dollar account with the elite company that all your competitors can now only dream of? Yet you are also known as the office jerk. Is the situation different, if you are an excellent performer on the field, known as a popular superstar in the league that you play for, yet, you can’t stand the team you play for, and that team also can’t stand you?
This is the situation that wide receiver, Terrell Owens went through, this past season with the San Francisco 49ers. Owens continually criticized 49er’s quarterback, Jeff Garcia, who was cut from the team last week. Owens continually made it clear throughout the season that he would exercise a clause in his contract, that allows him to become an unrestricted free agent. If Owens did not exercise this clause, Owens would stay with San Francisco for the remaining time of his contract, three years.
Owens is known vastly for his off-field situations, and wild on-field celebrations. Two years ago, after scoring a touchdown, Owens took a sharpie marker out of his sock, which was with him while he was playing in a game, and signed a football. Owens certainly is being publicized for his off-field situations, as of late. Owens made news, while continually stating his intention of leaving San Francisco, missed a deadline, to exercise the clause in his contract that would allow him to leave the 49ers. The deadline, originally in early March, was moved up to late February. Owens’ agent was notified of this recently, yet failed to stay on top of the issue.
With Owens upset and blaming the 49ers for the mistake of his agent, Owens cries foul. Immediately, the talk was, what may get done to allow Owens to become an unrestricted free agent. Owens wants to play for the Philadelphia Eagles, and quarterback Donovan McNabb. Who could blame him? The Eagles have made it to the NFC Championship three years in a row, but have also lost the NFC Championship, now, three years in a row. The addition of Owens could make Phili the ultimate powerhouse. Philadelphia knows this, and Owens knows this as well. Before Philadelphia and San Francisco could get together to propose a trade, the 49ers traded Owens last Thursday, to the Baltimore Ravens. The Ravens acquire Owens, and in return, send a second round draft choice.
All weekend, Owens had continued to cry, continually stating that he does not want to play for Baltimore. Who could blame him. In San Francisco, Owens was able to flash his big mouth, always willing to speak his mind. Criticize his quarterback, criticize his coaches, it goes on and on. Do you think Owens will have that same luxury in Baltimore? Anyone remember the name, Ray Lewis, the most dominating and intimidating defensive linebackeer today, and possibly ever? You think Owens will get away with flashing his mouth, as long as Lewis is running the team. Allow me to fill you in on something, if you don’t already know. Ray Lewis runs that team. Lewis won’t let any cocky arrogant Terrell Owens into his locker room, and be getting the last word in. I’m not saying Ray Lewis is the reason why Owens doesn’t want to play in Baltimore. Yet, for people like me who like to think outside the box, Owens and Lewis on the same team, may have made a nice reality based series of “celebrity boxing.”
Terrell Owens however, would fit nicely with Philadelphia. Yet the trade was made sending him to Baltimore. Owens was due to report for a physical in Baltimore today, which is required to make the trade officially complete. Owens, as he insisted, did not show up. Harold Henderson, the NFL’s executive vice president of labor relations, has been contacted by the NFL Players Association. The Association plans to reverse the trade that sent Owens to Baltimore. If this can not be completed, the Association will try and have his contract void.
I can understand where Terrell Owens is coming from. Even though, he missed his deadline to exercise his free agency clause, he believes he should still be honored that clause. Does that make sense? The reality is though, the clause was put in for a reason. If you miss the deadline, then you may no longer become a free agent. There has to be a deadline of some sort in a contract such as Terrell Owens. If Terrell files and becomes a free agent, the 49ers must know, so they may go out and do what they can to replace Owens. I sympathize for someone like Owens. I understand what its like to be in a situation that you simply do not want to be in. Owens wants to play for Phili, and at this moment, he does not have that right. The fact of the matter is, it is not the fault of the 49ers or the NFL that Owens missed his deadline, and was traded to Baltimore.
If I am Baltimore, I damn well would expect Owens to show up to the scheduled physical today. I damn well would expect Owens to play ball wearing a Ravens jersey. The trade was approved by the league, itself. I do not believe any special favors should be made to accommodate Owens. The NFL prides itself about being a league, that does not market player or personalities, unlike the NBA, for example. If something like this happened to an average player, would the league do anything to accommodate this average player? So why should it be different for Owens? If the league doesn’t market or believe that players should stand out, then the NFL must practice this belief now. I don’t believe Baltimore should lose anyone, in the event Owens becomes a free agent. If Owen’s becomes a free agent, I believe the second round pick should be given back to Baltimore.
Is it really that bad if the NFL now allows Owen’s contract to be void, thus becoming a free agent? Yes it is. It sends the message to the other players that, the league is willing to bend rules it has rightfully established. The deadline that Owens missed was issued by the NFL collective bargaining committee. Would the NFL do the same if the same situation happened to a more average player, or who was not considered a “superstar?” I believe the issue would be dead if this wasn’t happening to someone such as Terrell Owens.The NFL to go out of their way to fix this, is something I would expect out of Major League Baseball and the clockworks of MLB commissioner Bud Selig. Not the NFL though. An organization that has been ran, with plenty of perfection, by NFL commissioner Paul Tagliablue. It depends how this Terrell Owens situation plays out in the coming week or two. I certainly hope that after that time, I can still write that the NFL continues to run with perfection.