Friday, November 19, 2004

T.O., an American Hero

So, America hates Terrell Owens, which is fourth on the Inherently Funny scale, ranking just behind the tried and true categories of chimps, midgets and farting. (Go ahead, let one rip at the Thanksgiving dinner table and see how long it takes Uncle Bruno to stop laughing.)

America hates T.O., unbelievably hilarious when you realize T.O. is America's poster child for, oddly enough, America. He's the end product of the finely crafted mythological reality known as the American Dream.

He was born in Alexander City, Ala., -- estimated population 14,832 -- and rose to fame across the land by choosing an occupation and excelling in it. That's some Thomas Jefferson right there for ya. Given life and the freedom to do whatever he wanted to do, he is pursuing happiness in a manner he sees fitting. (Turn on "Hacksaw" Jim Duggan voice now.) U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A! (Turn off "Hacksaw" Jim Duggan voice now.)

And he just so happens to have beautiful women de-toweling in front of him, looking for a little T.O. time. Another tremendous by-product of fame bestowed upon the Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver.

Quick recap:
  • T.O. makes mad loot.
  • T.O. has 80,000 people cheering him every weekend.
  • T.O. makes the world stop when he scores a touchdown so they can see what he does to celebrate.
  • T.O. is the best at what he does and proves it every weekend.
  • T.O. has beautiful women lining up to take a number to stand in line to wait to get into the same nightclub as T.O.

    Oh wait, we never hear about T.O. in nightclubs and other places that suborn indiscretions by athletes. T.O. never gets a DWI, much less a DUI.

    T.O. doesn't go Michael Irvin and get caught with whores, drugs and stabbed teammates in apartments or training-camp complexes. T.O. does not go Jason Kidd and beat his wife. T.O. doesn't go Eugene Robinson (or Daryl Strawberry or St. John's men's basketball) and proposition hookers (undercover agents or otherwise). T.O. also doesn't go Ray Lewis and get involved in double-murder cases and later plea to obstructing justice.

    He just imitates Ray Lewis' signature dance when he scores a touchdown against Ray Lewis and his Baltimore Ravens defense. He pulls a Sharpie out of his sock, autographs a ball and sends it into the stands. He dances with the cheerleaders, using their pompoms and celebrating the pageantry of the sport.

    And, by the way, he's a model citizen who prepares for his job in a professional manner. And yes, he likes to have some fun at his job. He should be canonized, not demonized, especially in today's world where some journalism establishments run a weekly police blotter in the sports page.

    Who among us does not want to have some fun in the workplace? T.O. is fortunate to have one of those jobs where fun is allowed, even if NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue passes a kidney stone every time T.O. catches a pass in the open field.

    So rename some streets in Philly for its new favorite son. Vine Street could easily be Terrell Owens Blvd. Pat's Cheesesteaks could change its name to T.O.'s tasty cheesesteaks.. Old City? T.O. City!

    It's the American way. T.O. is living the dream. Don't hate on him. Be jealous, but don't hate.

    Besides, our great grandchildren will be spending money with T.O.'s face on it. Close your eyes and dream. That's why America is America.

    E-mail Me