Absolutely No T.O.


This time of year is a challenge for football fans everywhere, and fans of the Kansas City Chiefs are no exception. While everyone waits for training camp to begin so they can feed their addiction with news about football players actually being on the field – or holding out – some of the stories out there lately are obviously reaching for headlines.

For example, we can read about how well Todd Haley plays in a golf tournament. Who cares? We can hear the bit about Scott Pioli reconstructing the New England Patriots in the West once again, as if we haven’t heard about that enough. We can find out who Gunther Cuningham wanted the Chiefs to pick instead of Dwayne Bowe. Is that interesting? Hey…Terrell Owens is still without a team, so how about asking him if he would play for the Chiefs? That’s an idea! Hopefully, there weren’t too many Chiefs faithful thoroughly crushed by the report that Owens doesn’t get along with Haley. The likelihood of Owens ever wearing a Chiefs jersey is no greater today, than it was back in March, when our own Adam Best wrote that K.C. would be the very last team to sign him. The Chiefs still should not – and will not – sign him. Can we please stop the rumors?

Few doubt that the 36 year-old receiver can still be productive on the field, but who wants him? A few days ago, the Chargers announced they did not. Since then, the Vikings, Seahawks, and Ravens have all added themselves to a growing list of teams which have officially stated they don’t want him on their team. A key injury could change all this, but given the choice, teams are passing – as are the Chiefs.

Conventional wisdom says a team might bring on a quality veteran to get them “over the hump”, but not if a team is rebuilding. A team doesn’t go after players like Owens, if they are intent on adding players who want to play for a winning team. While there is a “T” in the word “team”, there’s no “O”. There’s no T.O. in “winning” either. He’s never been a part of winning a championship. Although he’s put up some crazy individual stats, a team has never been able to ride his shoulders and win it all, although they came close.

The below table shows how teams fared each year with Owens on their roster:


Owens had Jerry Rice on the other side of the field for the first four years with the 49ers, and while his team had good seasons for three of those years, they lost the second game of the playoffs every time. The 49ers managed two more winning seasons with Owens, and no Rice, but only won one playoff game in 2001, marking the last time Owens was part of a playoff-winning team. The Eagles won two playoff games without him, before losing the Superbowl with him on the field – granted he did have two screws and a metal plate in his ankle. In the three winning seasons with the Cowboys, he experienced no post-season wins. Throwing out the two 9-7 seasons, his teams have had winning seasons in only half of the years in his NFL career.

There is a complicated mix of ingredients needed to win a championship, but it doesn’t seem that Owens has ever been part of that winning recipe. To say he’ll be a contributor on a winning team again is a coin toss. We can’t blame the freak-of-nature wide-out for a team’s inability to go the distance, but we can say he’s not the answer. NFL teams are much more ready to acknowledge this as his astounding skills continue to decline. The Chiefs haven’t made a move for him, because they recognize this already. Now that Owens has been unmasked, let’s not go there either.

Article by Robert Beames