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T.O. may be nearly broke, but he’s unbowed

Thursday, January 26, 2012

imageTurns out things are worse for the once-great wide receiver and one-time 49er than it appeared last fall when he booked his own NFL tryout and nobody but ESPN showed up. He’s nearly broke, living in a small L. A. condo and is getting ready to play for the Allen (Texas) Wranglers of the Indoor Football League because he needs the cash. Nancy Hass has the sad tale of how T. O. let $80 million slip through his fingers in GQ’s February issue. An excerpt:

His only real mistake, Owens insists, was "timing. I might not have said or done things at exactly the right moment" (though it's hard to imagine the right time to publicly dis your QB). He concedes, after some prodding, that he lacks an essential social skill that has cost him. "I am not," he says, "a tactful person."

Is he sorry he never got the message that Jerry Rice tried to impart to him back in San Francisco, during the years the two had what is probably the closest Owens has ever known to a father-son relationship (it soured, of course), how you have to be "politically correct" to survive in this game?

"I don't even know what that means," he says, waving a hand dismissively, so fast that it stirs up a breeze. "You know who you're talking to? What does that mean to someone like me? It's like another language."

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