OT on TO

Okay, we are NOT not not going to spend a great deal of time talking about sports and jocks and issues relating to sports that only tangentially touch our touchstone, but I’ve been thinking about this whole Terrell Owens thing and I smell many day-old fishies:

I’ve been watching and listening and reading and have yet to see a single mention of the possibility that TO and his "publicist" and "friend" (Who did or didn’t say he was "depressed" and did or didn’t pull pills out of Owens’ mouth before the paramedics got there) have a much more intimate relationship than they’ve yet to mention.

The way she spoke of being there when he got home and what a tough day he’d had in practice, and her general tone (I heard the press conference live on the radio) were that of someone wanting to at least hint at being closer to wife than employee of Terrell.

(She also said, as Dan mentioned re the underplaying of the potential severity of depression, much more common re men than women – men, of course, if they’re real, can tough it out – in closing, that Terrell has 25,000,000 reasons not to kill himself, about as ugly and ignorant a reference to money equaling happiness as I’ve ever heard, her voice a none-too-subtle prod at the gathered, motley media, as she intoned "twenty-five million.")

Also, and more to the point, no one has suggested is that perhaps TO and “publicisct” might have been, well, poppin’ hydrocodones for purposes beyond the rehabilitational – ie, for recreation, duh, it’s hydrocodone! (right after vicodin, a prescription party fave) and that maybe TO and pal just took one too many. The only problem I have with that scenario is, which looks worse, attempted suicide or accidental overdose while partying mid-season? I would’ve thought that, for a man, an athlete man, from a PR standpoint alone, suicide – psychological weakness – looks much much worse, but from an NFL standpoint, perhaps I’m wrong. Whatever happened, I’m convinced it wasn’t that notorious combo of hydrocodone and vitamins ("supplements" was the term used) that sent TO to the emergerncy room.

One other note. I can’t agree with Dan one iota about TO’s charisma. I’ll stand accused of being one of those jealous, pissed-off white men, but I can’t stand the guy. He’s about the most arrogant and ignorantly self-adoring athletes I’ve ever seen interviewed. Like an eerie, ten-year-old Narcissus. He’s also, from what I’ve seen, at least a set of metric allen wrenches short of a tool kit – dumb as a post. It’s his best defense against suicide claims: he’s just not self-aware enough, not nearly introspective enough, or so he always seems, to even imagine he’s ever going to die, let alone try to destroy the man he so often lovingly talks about in the third person, Terrell Owens.

Oh, one more last note. ESPN noted that TO did get some counseling: two esteemed NFL alums talked to him in the hospital: Deion Sanders and Michael Irvin. I’m not much of a football fan, but I’m pretty sure those two (one an egomaniac, the other a coke fiend) aren’t the two most redoubtable amateur therapists in the world. Here’s hoping TO has an actual psychological professional to talk at–, er, to, talk to.

(I had intended to segue here into the curious case of baseball superstar Alex Rodriguez, who openly discusses his psychotherapy and is oft-maligned as being something of a sissy for it, and for other less than manly behavior (He goes to MUSEUMS!). But I’ve gone on a bit about TO, so I’ll post on A-Rod seperately.)

Author: Masculinity and Its Discontents

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