T.O. was told that post-game interviews are mandatory

He hinted at it during a recent appearance with 2 Live Stews on Sporting News Radio, and we’ve picked up some more info about the exchange that resulted in Bills receiver Terrell Owens making himself available to the media, against his wishes, after Sunday’s loss to the Saints.

Owens told Ryan and Doug Stewart of SNR that he had a “heated discussion” with NFL spokesman Greg Aiello regarding the question of whether T.O. must participate in post-game interviews.

Aiello has shared with us some details regarding the chain of events.

Per Aiello, Owens told the Bills P.R. representatives (Scott Berchtold and Chris Jenkins) that “he didn’t want to speak to media after games because they bait him and he gets himself in trouble.” 

Berchtold and Jenkins told Owens that he had no choice.

So Owens asked to go straight to the league office.

Last Friday, Aiello spoke with Owens and the two Bills employees by phone.  T.O. asked “where it said he had to speak to the media after games.”  Aiello told T.O. that the media relations policy in the player policy manual spells out the obligation.  Aiello then read the policy to Owens, and Aiello told Owens that players have been fined for refusing to comply.

“He fulfilled his obligation,” Aiello said.  “Three cheers for T.O.”

Right, but there’s no requirement that Owens be happy or enthusiastic.  On Sunday, he wasn’t.  And we expect to see that same demeanor from T.O. for the remainder of his career in Buffalo.

Which will last another 13 games.

58 responses to “T.O. was told that post-game interviews are mandatory

  1. I’m kind of impressed with TO in this situation. He didn’t do something extremely retarded.
    But nevertheless, still retarded.

  2. I’m actually on T.O.’s side this time. He’s still a douche, but at least he’s trying. You an only take baited questions and grilling for so long… but I guess he’s asked for it.
    Oh well, Bills suck.

  3. You know what, its a dumb policy. Would you want to be bothered after a bad day at the office with questions looking to see if you will say something that may get you into trouble?
    Most people in this world are competitive to some degree. These guys are highly competitive by nature. theyre human and after a lousy day or a loss they dont want to be asked questions like “do you think the QB over threw you on some routes?” Most people like to be left alone when they have a bad day. I understand these are celebrities and they get paid a ton of money, but theyre also people like us. I cant stand T.O. and i actually applaud the guy for trying to avoid a situation where his mouth may get him in trouble
    Just leave these guys alone! They rarely ever say anything of substance in a post game interview anyway

  4. If he doesn’t want to talk to the media, by all means let him! I’m sick of everyone waiting for the meltdown, just let the past-his-prime wideout go away.

  5. why the hell is it mandatory for him to do a post game interview? So nfl live will have something to talk about? how come lee evans and aaron schoebel dont have to do them. the nfl is wrong here in doing this. dead wrong

  6. I’m not a fan of T.O. but that’s ridiculous. A player should not be forced to talk to the media or press after a game if they don’t feel like it. That’s just stupid.

  7. TO should just come up with a ‘cheat sheet’ that contains stock answers to questions, like
    “I have great faith in the OC, I think my QB is a good QB. I look forward to working with them every game.”
    “The only important thing to me is helping the Bills win. Nothing else matters.”
    Even better would be if he actually read the answers to each question from the card.
    The policy says he has to speak to the reporters. It doesn’t say he has to provide genuine answers.

  8. Eloquence is not possible for an idiot like Owens. He can blame the press for his troubles but he should be blaming his brain.

  9. Wow.
    What this tells me is that the Buffalo Bills organization is even dumber than I had previously thought.
    Apparently these PR people have absolutely no knowledge of any of TO’s extensive history with the media. If they did, they might realize that the best PR move AND the best move for the football team in general is to keep TO away from the media.
    I’m actually surprised that it was TO’s idea to not talk to the media because he might get himself in trouble. The organization should have made that a policy from day 1 – since every time TO gets in trouble its because the media was able to get him to throw his teammates under the bus or make some other comment that gets him in trouble and disrupts the team.

  10. T.O. needs to take the Costanza “opposite” approach
    “every instinct I have in every aspect of life is totally wrong. Nothing has ever worked out for me with tuna on toast…I want the complete opposite”


  11. i’m with T.O. on this one – how can the league “make” you do interviews?
    sometimes you have a bad day, crappy game, whatever…. and don’t feel like it. i understand it’s a privilege to play in this league, but respect human rights at some point – let people have their privacy when they’re just not in the mood.
    they’ll clear their head and come back another time to talk. “forcing” players to talk post-game can only invite discourse that will be regretted later, provocation, and statements that will require later apologies.
    i don’t think the NFL is right here at all.

  12. “Would you want to be bothered after a bad day at the office with questions looking to see if you will say something that may get you into trouble?”
    If I was paid millions of dollars to run my office and failed miserably I would certainly expect to answer for it, whether to the media or someone else.
    And if the press baits him its because of his own hugely immature behavior over a period of many years that causes them to do so.

  13. Honestly, I would like to hear from Lee Evans and Trent Edwards after the game.
    People are burnt out on T.O.
    Just go out and catch the ball T.O.

  14. I hate most reporters. I hate that reporters try to make anyone who won’t talk to reporters look bad.
    Terrell Owens has more class than most reporters.

  15. So then cant TO simply show up for the media after the game and not say a word? Or if he needs to talk (and somehow I dont think the NFL can force him to) just dribble off nonsense. If he keeps doing that no one will ask him question anyways.

  16. Ok, this one I don’t get. Other than the QB, I have never heard (which obviously doesn’t mean anything) where a player was required to speak to media. Plenty of players refuse to do so (e.g., Portis, here in DC after loss to can’t-call-them-“lowly-“after-they-kick-your-ass Lions on Sunday). Would love to read the media policy.
    Ugh, I feel so dirty defending that undiagnosed, bipolar idiot! I need a shower…

  17. I don’t like TO or his antics, but I love this! I am tired of reporters thinking they have a free pass to bait players into tirades for their stories. He was screwed either way. No matter how he acted, they would have made him the bad guy. But, I can’t guess you can’t feel too bad for him with all the stuff he has stirred up in the past.

  18. Yes, they can make him show up for the media. It is a private organization, they can put rules in place that everyone has to adhere to. Players know this going in. They don’t like it, they don’t HAVE to play in the NFL.
    On the other hand, the perfect revenge would be to read excerpts from the Bulwer-Litton competition (It was a dark and stormy night …).

  19. Ain’t the media a bitch? Who knew you’d have to see them in your face all the time? TO thought he could just do sit-ups in his driveway and draw attention to himself when he wanted. Oh well. It’s the price of fame.. And stupidity.

  20. Florio, I agree with you on most things and tend to not be nearly as critical of you when you write about T.O. as a lot of other readers are, but in this case I think you’re going a bit overboard. Your last two sentences of this article state that he will NEVER be happy in Buffalo, and then point out that he’ll only be there another 13 games, as if that is an indictment of him, the team, or both. Both sides agreed to a one-year deal. There are many players whose tenure in Buffalo may last only 13 more games. That doesn’t make the team or the player wrong.
    The Bills lost on Sunday. I was not happy about the outcome of the game. My brother and my parents weren’t happy about the outcome of the game. But T.O. should have been? A player should be unhappy when they lose. And for as much as people like to preach unselfishness in sports, it’s nice to have records. To lose one hurts. So of course T.O. would be doubly upset and not have a lot of nice things to say. Plus the fact that he didn’t want to do an interview at all. I know that it is apparently a requirement, so he should just sit and deal with it, but a lot of us don’t like doing things against our will, and you can be sure he doesn’t, either.
    Now I know the argument, and it’s fine. He may have been more upset about the record than the loss. He may have been just upset if the Bills won and he lost his record. But let’s give it a little time.
    The Bills are 1-2, but they have lost to two reasonably good opponents (Patriots and Saints) in games that were theirs for the taking in the fourth quarter. The honest truth is that with a few more passes to T.O. and Lee Evans, they may have put up enough points to currently be 3-0. Five of the Bills’ next eight games are against teams that are currently 0-3 and two others are against teams that are 1-2. The Bills have a great opportunity to get themselves on the right foot, but it’s not going to happen without T.O. and Lee Evans putting up a lot more production. If the Bills win and their numbers go up, let’s see if T.O. is happy then.

  21. The NFL doesn’t have a leg to stand on in this situation.
    T.O. is only obligated to be AVAILABLE for interview after the game. He was AVAILABLE but unwilling. Just like Tom Brady was unwilling to be interviewed after the loss to the Jets.
    In no way has T.O. boycotted the media.
    Per http://www.pfwa.org/2009MP.pdf, 2 “star” players from each team each week are required to give post-game interview.
    I wouldn’t read this to mean that any 1 player (e.g. T.O.) is obligated to a mandatory post-game interview EVERY week.
    T.O. fulfilled the NFL’s rule of being available for interview at least once during the practice week prior to Sunday and after Sunday.
    If the NFL is going to fine T.O., I am curious if they will fine Tom Brady.

  22. @BillinDC:
    Haha yeah thats a great idea, and right up TO’s alley.
    I would laugh my ass off if I saw him reading canned BS answers off of a notecard.
    Maybe he can even get the Buffalo PR staff to write it for him. 🙂

  23. I don’t get how that policy works. Does it mean that particular guys have to show up if the press wants them to? Because how the eff does Ronnie Mexico get a postgame presser before Kolb’s?
    I know this, I am a Pats fan and it was said by Randy Moss either last year or the year before that he was only talking because he had to talk per policy or he wouldn’t be there either. I also hate that there’s a policy that the coaching staff HAS to be made available to talk publicly once/week.
    Anyway, I hate TO but in this case he did nothing wrong. And I think it’s smarter of him to not want to talk at all after games given his past. Who expects WRs to be bastions of maturity with the media anyway?

  24. This is a STUPID POLICY. I have long since abandoned my former affectionate feelings for T.O., the off-the-field charmer, but I am completely on his side in this thing.
    (1) If those snickering members of the press that were baiting him – not just pressing – had somehow been 14-y.o. kids, THEY WOULD ALL HAVE BEEN SENT TO THEIR ROOMS WITHOUT SUPPER. What they did, have done many times before, & will undoubtedly do in the future, was reprehensible. It wasn’t reporting, it wasn’t journalism, it was @#$@#.
    (2) It drives me crazy that players who are in the current affections of the media and/or the public, invariably have excuses made for their own non-appearances at pressers after tough games. So&so “wasn’t available for questions”, they say gently, as if he were the President conferring on nuclear weapons. Or, he “did not appear”. Or their coaches come out and make lame “excuses” – read, LIES – about why they aren’t there, e.g., “he’s kinda banged up today”, or “he’ll be here in a minute, I think”, or, “he’s on his way” – and then he never comes.
    (3) Aiello is between a rock and a hard place. Companies, including football teams, take a very hard line on policies. Aiello could not have done other than what he did. The people HE reports to would not have allowed it.
    (4) Given the foregoing comments: In my opinion, having this policy in place, and spordically ignoring it when it’s politic to do so, amounts to duplicity and needs to be fixed, stat.
    EITHER ABANDON THE POLICY, OR
    APPLY IT CONSISTENTLY,
    ACROSS THE BOARD,
    TO EVERYONE AND ANYONE,
    NO MATTER THE CIRCUMSTANCES,
    NO MATTER THE IDENTITIES, and
    NO MATTER THE POWER CONNECTIONS …

  25. Look at it like this. T.O knows the only reason the media wants to talk to him after that game is to get him to say something dumb that they can use to cause a controversy.
    It would start along the lines of “how do you feel about your performance” to really ridiculous ones like “were there any plays you felt where you were open and should have gotten the pass?” No matter how he answers that second question it would have been made into a mess. Why bother? We dont want to hear from T.O. because hes a good player, we want to hear from him because hes a good bet to speak without a filter and say something crazy. Its how he is and its ridiculous but at the same time he doesnt want to be bothered sometimes, hes a human being.
    You cant force these guys to go into these interviews and then fine them when they say something stupid when theyre angry

  26. “# cfuska says: September 30, 2009 11:54 AM
    A player should not be forced to talk to the media or press after a game if they don’t feel like it. That’s just stupid.”
    Agreed.
    We need more arrogant douchebags like Tom Brady.

  27. Look, two points to make here: First, that they threw five passes his way, including a deep one that was just a little overthrown. Second, that deep play might have been completed if T.O. had shown up for spring training and exhibition games to get his timing with Edwards together, and then his streak might still be alive. I predicted early on that T.O’s turf toe would be fine… just in time for the first game of the season. T.O. does not like to play exhibition games and I am certain he thinks he can play without preseason altogether. I guess he can, but it is often the small things that make the difference between a big-mouth… and a Champion.

  28. “He fulfilled his obligation,” Aiello said. “Three cheers for T.O.”
    Now see Aiello is an A$$hole for saying that…I dont like that punk Greg Aiello at all….His emails seem to be course and short with sneak a$$ sarchastic comments…..
    Tell Aiello to suit up and step on the field lets see if he wants to cheer for people then…..
    SMUCK the media when they act like this…..

  29. Bring in T.O. for 6.5 Mil. one year contract, fire the offensive coordinator one week before the season, no huddle offense, no running game, and don’t throw the ball more then five yards down the field. The Cowboys made a mistake getting rid of T.O. They would at least use him! The Bills are spending money they didn’t need to.

  30. Give the guy a break. Why the hell should he have to talk to the media if he doesn’t want to. I want to see him on the field, I don’t give a rats ass about what he says afterward.
    But lets look at his viewpoint: If the team is losing, and he isn’t getting the ball, then there is an issue. If he points out the issue, all we hear from florio is how much of a jackass T.O. is. If he doesn’t point out the issue, all we hear from florio is that his days are numbered in Buffalo.
    Lets forget the crap that goes on outside the lines in this case, because there is nothing there to talk about.

  31. In regard to the Tom Brady not speaking to SK after the game; he had told the Patriots media staff to inform ESPN that he was going to go direct in to the locker room after the game. The PR people screwed up and mix up occurred. Tom Brady speaks to all the media after every game. He does not duck tough questions but answers in ways that do not cause controversy. Many of the simple minded haters who use this medium to spew their hate against certain players should at least attempt to find the true facts before calling someone a name that more aptly describes themselves. Are the players upset after playing poorly? The good ones are. Does the media care? No, it is not their job to protect the players. Does the media attempt to create news. Sure they do as it sells. These types of situations are going to keep occurring. Get used to it because it is what deives a lot of air time for bad journalists.

  32. He has to make himself available to the media; not necessarily answer the questions they ask…
    Andrea Kremer: So, no catches two games in a row, how does that make you feel?
    TO: Oh, I like my shaken not stirred… and neat, I’m too cool for ice cubes!
    Andrea Kremer: Oookay. But could you…
    TO: Look, Andrea, I’m real happy for you and I’mma let you finish but I just gotta say that Jerry Jones makes the best popcorn ever! EVER!
    Andrea Kremer: That’s great, but what about the perception that you and Lee Evans are being underutilized?
    TO: That’s what she said!

  33. OK, so the rules, no wait, policy states that he must participate in post game interviews. I’m sure it doesn’t specify what he must say in the interview. He should have some fun with them.
    Reporter: So, was your lack of production due to the play calling or Trent’s inability to get you the ball?
    T.O.: Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall, next question.
    Reporter: Do you think you’ve lost a step or two this season?
    T.O.: Humpty Dumpty had a great fall, next question.
    Reporter: Is there a reason your answers are in nursery rhymes?
    T.O.: Jack and jill went up the hill, next question.
    Reporter: UHHHH, Im done

  34. ternell owings is an Ass clown. why is it that you media types think this punk garbage is something to read/write about. owings is hillbilly excrement. He is, in no way, shape, manner or form a positive addition to the NFL or our lives. Stop paying this slimeball punk attention.

  35. TO should do his interviews like that Head & Shoulders commercial with Troy Palomulo. Of course, the likes of Tony Dungy and Rodney Harrison (an alleged steroid user who somehow finds it appropriate to call TO an “ass clown” on broadcast television) will still be unsatisfied.

  36. TO is right.( never thought I would say that) He not trying to start ant trouble for the first time in his career and most of the media is ripping him. So you know Rodney Harrison is the real ass clown. Cant even focus or look at the camera when he speaks. I guess thats what STERIODS do to you.

  37. T.O. take Media lessons from
    Patriots Bill-I-Cheat, yes,no,there a good team, we have to do some work.good team, good coach, what else can I say.
    OR YOU CAN WRITE LIKE HIM
    I RESIGN AS HC OF NY.
    BB
    THAT GUY IS A BIGGER DOUCHE THAN ANY PLAYER……….
    TO LET THE HATERS HATE, SEE YOU AT THE HALL OF FAME INDUCTIONS, ALSO
    SAN-CHISE NEEDS A BIG TARGET IN NEW YORK.

  38. hayward giapunchmi says:
    Agreed.
    We need more arrogant douchebags like Tom Brady.
    ==================================
    I agree with you on the arrogant douchebag line referring to Brady, but I don’t know that we need more of them 🙂

  39. CLIVERUSH- WONDERBOY BRADY IS A DOUCHE, IT IS AS PLAIN AS THAT,,,,,,,,,
    HE IGNORED ESPN, AS IF THE LADY WAS INVISIBLE, IF YOU GONNA CALL OUT T.O BE A MAN AND CALL OUT WONDERBOY.
    DON’T BE TWO FACED.
    NEXT YOU WILL TELL ME BILL-I-CHEAT
    IS A GREAT INTERVIEW,,,,,,,,,,,,,
    LQQK INTO WHAT HE TOLD ESPN TOM JACKSON,,,,,,,,,,,,
    ALSO, PEOPLE FORGET THE LITTLE TANTRUM WONDERBOY HAD FOR MARTY SCHOTTENHEIMER, HE HAS NO RESPECT AT ALL.
    I WONDER IF THIS IS WHAT HE TEACHES HIS SON, THE ONE HE HAD WITH THE WOMAN HE DIDN’T MARRY.

  40. I like the idea of TO reading from pre-printed cards.
    He needs to read them in robotic-like fashion (copyright the Common Man Dan Cole)
    He should even have a response prepared for why he has notes:
    “Mmmmmm………that one’s not on my list, oh wait, its right here.”
    We-gave-it-110%-today, but-we-were-on-the-wrong-side-of-a-couple-plays-and-we-came-up-short.”

  41. “If he doesn’t want to talk to the media, by all means let him! I’m sick of everyone

      waiting

    for the meltdown”
    You mean everyone trying to

      trigger

    a meltdown. Can you imagine the ads they could sell with that story!!! But then what? Who would be the next target after T.O. falls from grace? Ocho? Marshall?
    Honestly I could care less about T.O.’s off the field performances, but I have to take his side on this one.

  42. To pimp juice: Chill out.
    BB likes few things in life and speaking to sports reporters would is not one of them. They are as follows; football, pussy, Nantucket Is. and good music. He is a terrible interview as anyone who listens to the sports station in Boston could tell you. Information does not flow out of the Pats locker room for a reason. It diverts the focus of the team from the game and their jobs. As per TO, although I am not a fan of him I did not discredit him regarding this matter. The reporters were trying to get him to disparage his teammates and to his credit he refused to do so. The point is if you play in the NFL there are certain expectations the media has concerning access to players. At the same time the fans expect the media to respect the players and not attempt to disrupt the locker room. Ron Borges formally of the Boston Globe learned the hard way that taking on a good man simply because you did not like him and using the power of the publication you work for to carry on a personal vendetta is a good route to losing your job. Of course he also stole anothers writers material. I will not use the big word to describe this action so you can understand. What is with the capital letters?

  43. Oh great, now we have to sit and watch 53 guys answer questions in the press conference?? And thats just 1 team! Are they gonna have to go in alphabetical order? Or by jersey number? I cant wait to hear what the backup long snapper has to say about the game!!! I mean, since players are all obligated to talk at press conferences, right? Right Florio? Answer my question personally Florio.

  44. Isn’t this the same guy who 6 days ago was blaming his “dirty shield” for dropping a perfectly thrown pass while saying his QB needed to “better assess what he’s seeing out there and take some shots down the field.”
    This is the same TO, right? How is the media twisting his words?

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