“A lot of people have to deal with the feeling that their worlds are caving in.”
That’s Terrell Owens talking as part of a fascinating article by Michael Mooney of Grantland.com about the receiver as he tries to find his way back for one more shot at football glory. Owens’ interviews for the piece came before he was released by the Allen Wranglers of the IFL, but that doesn’t make it any less worth a read if you’re interested in where Owens’ head is after years spent as one of the biggest villains in sports.
As you might expect, his head isn’t in a good place. Owens talks openly about contemplating suicide, the emotional turmoil he’s been through over the last few years and his desire to bounce back and salvage something of his athletic talent before it is too late. It’s sympathetic, right up to the point that you realize that you’ve heard it all before and realize that he’s saying all those things while making some of the same mistakes, compiled by Mooney, that would wind up ending his brief run on the lowest rung of the professional football ladder.
It adds up to a sad story, one made even sadder by Owens’ openness about the darkness that lurks inside him. He wants this story to be about his comeback — “Instead of me having a breakdown, I’m focusing on me having a breakthrough” — but it’s hard to focus on that when Owens comes across as an open wound.
“People forget that I’m a human being, just because I play a sport that everybody loves,” Owens said. “We’re human. We’re not invincible. We share the same feelings and emotions that people on the outside feel. I don’t think people really understand that. You think about some of the things that Junior Seau was going through. You never know what a person is going through, regardless of how much money they make or however great a life you think they’re living. You just really never know.”
Even if you’ve long ago made up your mind about Owens, the whole thing is worth a few minutes of your time.