In a new Budweiser commercial, a fictional outspoken and egotistical football player rants to a reporter about the lack of support from his team, resting blame everywhere but inward, hinting at what players sometimes want to say but never should.
Satirical and funny, right?
49ers wide receiver Terrell Owens might be as close to a fictional character as they come, but there was nothing funny about Owens’ nonfictional blame game on Sunday.
Owens, the most talented wide receiver since his ‘Niner predecessor Professor Rice, transitioned from laudable to ludicrous in San Francisco’s 35-7 debacle Sunday. Not only did T.O. humiliate one of his coaches, offensive coordinator Greg Knapp, on national TV, but he criticized virtually everyone, save his agent, God and number one (T.O.) after the game.
Among the slandered was 49ers quarterback Jeff Garcia – ahem, the same Jeff Garcia who is a three-time pro bowler and perpetual overachiever.
“We win as a team and we lose as a team. If he doesn’t like that, he can get out,” Garcia told reporters in reaction to Owens’ comments.
If anyone had the right to complain, it would have been Garcia too. The 49ers’ offensive line has been pathetic at best, but Garcia knows that leaders don’t publicly call out teammates and coaches.
Garcia knows the importance of taking the high road, something that T.O. knows very little about. True leaders take the blame and try to be positive. T.O.’s only positive was that he didn’t get the ball enough.
All of a sudden, it seems, when the going gets tough, the toughest of the tough are whining and pouting and pointing fingers.
San Diego Charger and man-child David Boston, probably the second most talented receiver in the league, started the craze last week. But unlike Boston, Owens will not be penalized for his actions, according to sources close to the team.
In 2000, Owens received a one-game suspension for taunting antics at Dallas, but at the very least, the action didn’t degrade somebody on his own team.
Sunday, San Francisco exhibited mediocre execution and minimal heart. To his credit, Owens acknowledged this. But might it be hard for a team to have any pulse when the heart of the team throws his helmet on the ground and calls out a coach in front of everyone?
If you’re asking if it can get much worse for T.O. and the ‘Niners, the answer is yes. Poetic justice visits San Francisco next week in the form of former Head Coach Steve Mariucci, and T.O. will have his hands full after picking up the pieces should the Lions send the ‘Niners into the treacherous waters of NFL obscurity.