You thought it was plausible. That’s why there was a firestorm of speculation and information when it was reported that Terrell Owens had attempted suicide. Owens is wired different, is a publicity hound, loves the spotlight and appears to have a screw loose. So, taking his own life? I can see that, you thought.
Or perhaps you thought it was a publicity stunt, which most people figured to begin with. Or, very darkly, you thought he was going to do away with himself because of some deep, dark secret that was going to be revealed.
But Owens said none of that is true. Just a mistake, a misunderstanding, a mixture of his supplements and some pain medication put him in an “unresponsive” state, and his publicist called 911. The police report said he admitted to trying to harm himself, but Owens said he was “out of it” and didn’t remember saying that.
“He was taken advantage of,” his publicist, somewhat oddly, said at a press conference in Dallas.
In this era of a 24-hour news cycle, we saw this one develop in front of our eyes. And only because it was Owens did it become big news. If it was Terry Glenn, very little would have been said. But Owens has his own PR machine, like it or not, and he was splattered all over television and the internet for a full 24 hours.
I didn’t buy into the sensationalism of it all, thinking it was, in fact, an allergic reaction, but also wondering if it was a suicide attempt, that getting him help, and not shoving a camera in his face, should have been the first priority. But that’s not what the news business is about these days, and Owens has figured it out.
Maybe he’s telling the truth, maybe he’s not, but either way, he knows exactly what to do once given the opportunity to get his face in front of the public in the most dramatic way. He wanted to hold a press conference in his front yard again, but the Cowboys told him no. So he showed up at the Cowboy facility and was a part of the process of explanation.
Head Coach Bill Parcells didn’t know anything, and told the media just that. But when Owens took the podium, he did so with his own personal support group, including his own publicist. By way of explanation, every NFL team, including the Cowboys, has a PR staff that churns out all kinds of information and publicizes the players every move. So for Owens to bring along his own publicist, is a little out of bounds. But obviously agreed to by the Cowboys.
But have you noticed that the Cowboys have gone from one crisis to another since Owens joined the team? Do you think Parcells will put up with that for long? He refers to Owens as “the player” for now, so can his patience running out be far behind.
Maybe Owens is bipolar. Maybe he’s just kooky or maybe he’s just wired differently from everyone else, leaving us to constantly wonder. But this latest escapade is evidence that no matter what he does, we’ll buy into it.
At least for a while.