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Terrell Owens

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Terrell Owens, Wide Receiver for Philly Eagles

Terrell Owens (full name Terrell Eldorado Owens, popularly referred to as T.O., born December 7, 1973, in Alexander City, Alabama) is an American football wide receiver, currently playing for the Philadelphia Eagles.

Owens played college football for the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and was drafted by the NFL's San Francisco 49ers in the third round of the 1996 NFL draft, in which he was the 89th overall player selected.

Owens is considered by most as one of the best wide receivers currently playing in the NFL. Since the 2000 football season, he has gained over 1,000 yards each season.

Writing about Owens in Philadelphia Magazine in early 2005, critic Camille Paglia wrote that "Terrell Owens rescued Philadelphia. He brought glamour and glitz and an electrifying jolt of good vibrations to the city, which was suffering in the spiritual desert of the 10-year regime of Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie."

NFL career

He is known for his occasional, flamboyant celebrations after scoring touchdowns. On September 24, 2000 in Dallas, Terrell Owens showed off by going to the middle of the football field after both of his touchdown catches to celebrate on the Dallas Cowboys' famous star logo. The second time, Cowboys defensive back George Teague blindsided him during the celebration, sending him sprawling to the turf. During a Monday Night Football game against the Seattle Seahawks on October 14, 2002, Owens pulled a Sharpie marker out of his sock to sign the football he caught to score a touchdown and gave the ball to his financial planner, who was in the stands. After he scored a 45-yard touchdown run against the Green Bay Packers on December 15, 2002, Owens celebrated by waving a pair of pom-poms borrowed from a 49ers cheerleader.

His next celebratory display turned out to be prophetic in a manner of speaking: On November 17, 2003, the 49ers hosted the Pittsburgh Steelers in a Monday night game, and Owens wore a wristband with the words "The Answer" emblazoned on it. Just over eight minutes into the game, he caught a 61-yard touchdown pass from Tim Rattay (who was starting at quarterback because Jeff Garcia was injured), and excitedly pointed to the wristband after reaching the end zone to draw attention to it. After the game (won by San Francisco 30-14), Owens was asked by a sideline reporter the significance of the slogan on the wristband, and he replied: "Because I am The Answer." Since "The Answer" is the widely known nickname of Philadelphia 76ers guard Allen Iverson, some observers wondered if Owens might have been signalling his intentions to play for the Philadelphia Eagles after the 2003 season, as it was common knowledge that Owens was slated to become a free agent once the season was over. Similarly, his "bird" celebration has been eagerly taken up by the fans who do it with T.O. when he scores a touchdown for the Eagles.

But Owens' agent missed a February 21 deadline to void the final years of his contract with the 49ers, and on March 4, 2004, San Francisco traded Owens to the Baltimore Ravens for a second round pick in the 2004 draft. However, Owens challenged the 49ers' right to make the deal. Owens assumed that he would become a free agent on March 3, and did not believe that the earlier deadline was applicable. So he had negotiated with other teams in advance of his expected free agency, and had reached a contract agreement with the Eagles, whose fan base strongly supported Owens in his desire to play for the team. The NFL players' union filed a grievance on his behalf.

Before an arbitrator could make a ruling on Owens' grievance, the NFL and the three teams involved in the controversy reached a settlement on March 16, 2004. The Ravens got their second-round pick back from the Niners, and the Niners in turn received a fifth-round pick and defensive end Brandon Whiting from the Eagles in exchange for the rights to Owens. Owens' contract with the Eagles is reported to be worth $42 million for seven years, including a $10 million signing bonus.

In September of 2004, Terrell Owens released his autobiography, "Catch This! Going Deep with the NFL's Sharpest Weapon". The book is 288 pages and was co-written by Stephen Singular.

On December 19, 2004, Owens sustained a severely sprained ankle and a fractured fibula during a home game against the Dallas Cowboys; the injury was expected to carry thoughout the post-season. With the Eagles heading to Super Bowl XXXIX, Owens shocked the media by announcing he would play no matter what, even though team doctors stated that his injury would take several more weeks to heal. Skeptics were silenced when Owens started the game and played as if he had no injury at all; the result was 9 receptions and 122 yards, though the Eagles still lost to the New England Patriots. After the game, Owens criticized the media by saying that a player like Brett Favre would have been praised for such bravery.

In April of 2005 Owens announced that he had hired a new agent, Drew Rosenhaus, one of the most aggressive agents currently representing NFL players, and indicated that he will seek to have his contract with the Eagles renegotiated. Owens made $9 million in 2004, and is slated to make $1 million in 2005.

Terrell Owens' number 81 jersey for the Philadelphia Eagles is a record-breaking piece of merchandise as for 2004 season it was the most requested NFL jersey.

Desperate Housewives skit for Monday Night Football

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The T.O. / Sheridan of Desperate Housewives fame skit involved her flashing Owens which caused controversy

On November 15, 2004, controversy shrouded Owens once again, when he appeared with popular TV actress Nicolette Sheridan (of the new ABC series Desperate Housewives) in an introductory skit which opened that evening's Monday Night Football telecast, in which Owens and the Eagles played the Cowboys at Texas Stadium. The skit was widely condemned as being sexually suggestive (see video [1] (http://www.ifilm.com/ifilmdetail/2656474)) and ABC was forced to apologize for airing it (the Eagles went on to win the game, 49-21, with Owens catching three touchdown passes). However, on March 14, 2005, the Federal Communications Commission ruled that the skit did not violate decency standards, because it contained no outright nudity or foul language. The skit was parodied by the WWE's Shelton Benjamin and Trish Stratus

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