I saw Terrell Owens before Terrell Owens was Terrell Owens. And he was an ass just like the Terrell Owens you know now.
It was 1995 or so. I was an undergrad in my usual seat in the oft-rude student section at Paulson Stadium on the campus of Georgia Southern University (go Eagles) and, as we did just about every year, we were kicking the football tails of the UT-Chattanooga Mocs up and down the field. The student section at Georgia Southern is right behind the visiting teams bench which is a horrible idea for several million reasons; I’ll just say that we devised more than a few ways to tell an opposing player that he [inhaled deeply].
I can’t remember exactly what the score was in the game but the good guys in blue were up by about 3 or 4 touchdowns late in the 4th quarter when a loudmouthed brash wide receiver caught a touchdown pass and carried on like his team was about to hoist a trophy. Obviously when he got back to the sidelines the crew in the student section was ready to remind him that he needed to take a look at the scoreboard, and once again tell him that he and his team still [inhaled deeply]. And we did, over and over. But this wide receiver guy didn’t get upset; he looked up at the scoreboard, gave a dismissive wave and flashed what is now a nationally known smile and said, “I don’t care about that or y’all…I’m going pro!” Of course we didn’t believe him, he played football at Chattanooga and the last thing that you expected to come out of that place was a good football player. We shouted at him, called him a bum (and some other things), chanted the score and basically did things that broke down most other visiting players. This guy though just mouthed the words “I’m going pro” towards us then waved and casually had a seat where he waited for the rest of the time to run down on the blowout in progress. Every time I see that guy while I’m watching football on Sundays I can’t help but think back to that Saturday when he played on that god-awful Chattanooga team brimming with a confidence that comes only when you know you’re damned good at what you do and flat-out put us on notice that regardless of what we thought of him, he was going to be the next big thing. And despite what you think of the guy…he’s been a pretty good professional football player.
I really don’t do resolutions when the calendar turns over to a new year; I consider it twice as bad to break a promise to yourself, especially when the 15 pounds you swore you would lose have turned to the 25 you now have to lose after finding creative ways to put the gym off over and over again. But as I thought about life in 2011 I thought to myself, “It wouldn’t be so bad to be like Terrell Owens”. That thought alone should be enough for me to lose my dinner but in the grand scheme of things what’s there to hate about a guy that did something, did it well, got nationwide recognition for it, got well paid to do it, and will be considered one of the very best at it when he has finally burned his last bridge…I mean, caught his last pass.
We’ve all got something inside us to do. We were all downloaded with talents, skills, attributes and abilities that define us and make us what we are. Against all odds and despite the naysayers and “opposing student sections” in our lives we should all focus so heavily on what we are here to accomplish until we can only see the end goal. Doesn’t matter the current score, the current circumstance, or the bad team around you, just know that despite all that you’re still going to finish on top. So all of you, for 2011, strive to be like Terrell Owens, not the crazy T.O. that alienates everyone who ever liked him and submarines just about every relationship he’s ever had on a football field, be like the good T.O. that knows beyond a shadow of a doubt that you’re going to be the very best you that you can be this year.
Now, as an exercise find a mirror, look yourself in the eye and say the following words with enough volume that it reverberates around your domicile:
“I LOVE ME SOME ME!!!”
~thanks for reading 🙂