Terrell Owens is a Buffalo Bill. But the honeymoon's over before it started. ESPN's most tormented Production Assistant explains.
By Jim Piscitelli
What’s in a number? As a die hard Buffalo Bills fan I’ve been tortured for years. Horrible teams in the 1980’s that allowed the Bills to draft the likes of #34, #78, #83, and #12. Those individuals got to four straight Super Bowls, including the first and most memorable that was decided by the foot of #11.
The next two #11’s in the Bills locker room didn’t have much success either. Rob Johnson was the starting QB the last time the Bills made the playoffs, but that was 10 years ago and he never became the superstar he was supposed to be. Then there was a savior from New England who, after two statistically successful seasons (no playoffs), was cut due to his declining skills and new management in Buffalo. Now the little WR Roscoe Parrish wears number 11, best of luck to him.
But there is a new guy in town. And he comes with more baggage than any previous player in Bills history. In that baggage is a San Francisco Jersey #81, a Philadelphia Jersey #81, and a Dallas Jersey #81. Looking down the roster there is already a #81 in the Buffalo Bills locker room. James Hardy the WR from Indiana, whose rookie season was cut short by an injury.
Many questions arise. Could this become the first “locker room” issue for TO in Buffalo? What should Hardy get to give up his #81? Or should Owens wear a different number on his back?
When Clinton Portis was traded to Washington he paid almost $40,000 dollars to get the number he wanted. Ahman Green basically bought a house to go to Jason Simmons charity in Houston. And Jeff Feagles the Punter for the New York Giants doubled up. When Eli Manning came to NY, Feagles got a family vacation for his #10. He switched to #17 and a couple of years later for that number Plaxico Burress remodeled his kitchen.
So what could Terrell Owens give James Hardy for the #81? How about a couple of days in his hyperbolic chamber to heal that leg or maybe some personal training sessions in his driveway with some push ups and sit ups. As a Bills fan, I’d settle for a playoff game.