The two local papers have the worst websites in the world. But, for purposes of today’s discussion, allow me to complain more about the Dallas Morning News. I just want a Cowboys story on the latest on Terrell Owens. That is all. So, I click on dallasnews.com and I see a story on Padilla, a story on Wilkerson, a story on FC Dallas, a story on SMU, a column on the Rangers, a column on Oklahoma, a column on the Oakland A’s, and an offering to check out Matt Mosely’s blog.
Now, I may have Cowboys myopia, but isn’t Owens the top story of interest in Dallas this morning? So, why do I require a 10 minute process to find what is the feature story in the print edition of the newspaper? Or, did the Morning News not believe that this is a story of substance?
So, I go over to the Star-Telegram’s website. And despite my views that their website is horrendous, at least they have 3 major stories on Owens at the very top. Well done.
Since they won the derby, Here is Clarence Hill on The Story …
when Owens missed a rehabilitation session, a team meeting and was late for a meeting of the offensive unit Friday, the Cowboys finally had enough, fining the sidelined receiver $9,500, according to team sources.
Owens, who was unavailable for comment, has missed the first three preseason games and is doubtful for Thursday's preseason finale against Minnesota.
Cowboys owner Jerry Jones also was unavailable for comment Sunday.
According to a source, it wasn't the first time Owens had been fined by the Cowboys. He was fined in training camp for repeatedly being late to rehab, which ran from 6:30-8 a.m. Owens would routinely show up at 7:15 or 7:30, not understanding he had to be there at 6:30, a source said.
According to another source, it would be wrong to use these incidents as evidence of Owens not taking his rehab seriously. He has been at the Cowboys' facility nightly receiving treatment and has continued to work with his own trainers throughout the process, the source said.
Owens remains day-to-day, and it isn't known if he will practice today. But there is growing optimism inside the locker room that he could return to practice this week.
But given Owens' past and coach Bill Parcells' usually intolerant attitude, the incidents can't be ignored.
The question now is where does this relationship -- which was labeled a gamble by Jones when the Cowboys signed Owens to a three-year, $25 million contract in March -- go from here?
After a tumultuous and controversial two-season tenure with Philadelphia, Owens said he wanted a fresh start in Dallas. He promised to be a better person and better teammate.
One reason the Cowboys believed they could make it work is because they felt Owens was eager to prove his critics wrong. A big season on the field, void of any controversy, was the best way for Owens to make that happen.
"There's no question our best thing to do is get him well," Jones said Saturday night. "I want him out there and would've wanted him to make every practice. I understand that, and everyone else does, too. I know this: When he's healthy, he's going to help us win these ballgames."
Obviously, this is the first development of actual substance on the Owens front. It certainly bears watching very closely. Owens doesn’t appear to be acting as the model citizen that many of us (including me) had anticipated. This is a big week.
But let us not forget the bottom line that made this signing appeal to me from day 1. There are absolutely no reasons why the Cowboys are bound to keep him. Anytime they want they may release him and only sustain the $5 million bonus. No problem. I am not calling for his release now (nor am I close to it) but keep in mind that anytime they want to make him unemployed, they may. And all parties know this.
Jen Floyd on the case …Question: Why does Jen Floyd now write columns as if she is doing a Randy Galloway impersonation? I have always liked her work, but since they gave her a column, it is like she is either trying to get Galloway’s approval or flat out trying to copy all of his tired bits. Come back to us, Jen. I have seen your work and liked it for 8 years. But, this isn’t your old writing style.
Apparently some wily media member snuck into Mr. Initials' abode recently and prevented him from attending a team meeting and multiple rehab sessions.
What other explanation could there be?
How else would the Cowboys have reason to fine him $9,500, as my S-T colleague Clarence E. Hill Jr. reported?
Seriously, I keep getting e-mails about how T.O. has not been a real problem for this team but a media-created distraction. My handiwork especially.
So exactly how are you people going to explain away this latest bit of self-absorbed
Don't bother e-mailing. I'll answer for you. You can't.
Whatever his explanation for skipping rehab sessions, he looks like neither a "better teammate" nor a "better man."
If his sore hammy is a legit injury, skipping rehab is a sign that he is not taking his recovery seriously. And if this rehab session was not really that important, he is not really that hurt.
See what I mean? Neither exactly paints the picture Mr. Initials and his people, his blind fans and even Cowboys owner Jerry Jones have been trying to sell -- of T.O. as a victim of trumped-up media you know what.
He is exactly what he has been and continues to be -- selfish, incorrigible, immature, boorish and, most importantly, unlikely to change his ways just because Cowboys fans really, really want him to, or because Jones thinks he will.
Nor is the media responsible.
We did not make him skip off-season workouts in favor of NBA playoff games or dress up like Lance Armstrong or verbally challenge coach Bill Parcells with his "If he wants to see something, he has 10 years of film" nonsense from a couple of days ago.
And unless you have proof that S-T columnist Randy Galloway went to Mr. Initials' house and held him down, delaying his arrival at Friday's team meeting, he is totally to blame for this as well.
Wow. She even worked Galloway in to her work today. That has to get her bonus points with her leader.
And now, under the fairness in blogging act, I offer all 3 significant Texas schools some reading material for the preseason of college football:
Despite a 20-game winning streak and most starters returning, one news conference back in January dropped the Longhorns from national title favorite into the pack of contenders at No. 3.
That's because Brown, who traded the derogatory label of "Coach February" for the exclusive "National Champion," must try to repeat the title with a pair of freshman quarterbacks in Colt McCoy and Jevan Snead.
"After Vince left, it changed our position nationally because if he had returned, people would have thought we would have had a great chance to repeat," Brown said.
"Repeating is very hard to do, but winning a national championship is very hard to do. There's been no complacency. In fact, there's been more urgency to see if they can do it again."
Doing it with a freshman quarterback will take more than willpower and hard work. Texas will need some lucky breaks and bounces - the Longhorns lost only nine of 35 fumbles last season - and someone else will have to take over Young's role as a 6-foot-5, 230-pound playmaker.
Brown said Texas will use the same spread offense that Young ran to perfection even if McCoy and Snead don't scare defenses the way he did running the ball.
"We probably won't have the third-down-and-30 scrambles we had for first downs,"
Adding to the angst is the Aggies' 1-11 combined record against Oklahoma and Texas since 1999, including 0-6 under Franchione.
A&M has lost six in a row to the hated Longhorns, and even Texas Tech and Baylor have closed the gap. The Red Raiders beat A&M 56-17 last season, their fourth series win in five years and the Bears won 35-34 in overtime in 2004, an unthinkable result during A&M's glory years.
"He needs to pick up his game or pack up his bags," said A&M sophomore Caelyn Bradley.
This season, many of Franchione's first recruits will have more significant roles, starting with quarterback Stephen McGee. The sophomore from Burnet sparked optimism - and eased some pressure on Franchione - with his gutsy performance against Texas in last season's finale. The Longhorns won 40-29, but McGee gathered 191 yards of total offense and helped make the game more competitive than most expected.
"If that season would've ended with a dismal loss to Texas, that would've been a disaster," Booth said. "That gave everyone some hope."
A favorable schedule this season should also help. The Aggies play five of their first seven games at imposing Kyle Field and one of the other two is a pseudo-home game against Army in San Antonio. A&M leaves the state only twice, going to Kansas and Oklahoma State in October.
Red Raider …
When Leach arrived in 2000, the Red Raiders were stuck on a plateau. Tech had managed seasons of more than six victories only three times since 1990.
Since then, Tech has won at least seven games every season and has advanced to six-straight bowl games. Last year's 9-3 finish capped a string of four consecutive eight-victory seasons, a school record.
Now, the key is avoiding another plateau.
"Just make sure you get all (your players are capable of)," Leach said. "If you do, then you put yourself in the best position, and hopefully you do quite a bit of the time. Hopefully you do all the time."
To that end, Leach used his mad-scientist-meets-accountant brain to hatch an offensive system that has led the nation in passing four years in a row.
Last year's quarterback, Cody Hodges, joined Kliff Kingsbury as the two Leach era signal-callers to post nine-victory seasons. Graham Harrell, this season's heir/air apparent, wouldn't mind joining that group, if not adding a few more.
"I think it's a good thing," Harrell said of the position's tradition. "The guys have high expectations and won't accept anything but greatness. So, it can only help on the field."
The Raiders have used a new quarterback in each of the past four seasons, and, as expected, Leach kept this year's battle wide open throughout spring and early preseason workouts.
Through it all, Harrell seemed to hold an edge over redshirt freshman Chris Todd, but Leach never budged.
"You try to put them in the best position to improve, between spring and when you have camp," Leach said. "You make the situation as competitive as you possibly can. From there, you just go back to picking the one you feel best about."
Madden Player Ranking Humor …
44 -- Drew Bledsoe's agility rating. Proof that the people at EA Sports are kind, generous souls. And that their rating system does not include negative numbers.
25 -- The player morale rating for Terrell Owens, far and away the lowest in the game. So apparently to get lower than 25 in this category a player has to be coming off of a season in which he actually murdered a teammate. (Maybe that's something the Bengals can try to achieve for Madden 2008.)
Meanwhile, Bill Simmons goes to Wisconsin …with an amazing column, including this wonderful Bob Ryan reference:
7:48 -- Not to sound like legendary Hollywood producer Bob Ryan, but what if I told you that Gabe Gross uses a Christian song for his at-bat music that includes lyrics like "help me Jesus!" and "Hallelujah!" Is that something you'd be interested in?
Bob Evans is mad at Entourage …
The Ultimate Fighter 4 – Episode 2 Recap …bloody, bloody, bloody…
Treadmills rock , don’t they?
Is Deadwood authentic? …
I composed a Bob and Dan Sudoku, and was hoping you might consider it blogworthy. Link
Plus, a link in your blog to the forums can't hurt. 100,000 post milestone achieved today, pretty special.
Sorry for overlaughing during my visit to the roadshow today. Dan does make me seriously amused. Which is an oxymoron, no?
Still no Survivor 13 cast announcement. Kinda worrisome. Remember when Danni was on and we knew it like 6 weeks ahead? S13 starts September 14. Just 3 weeks from Thursday.
The Popsicle Stick Chick
Thanks, Terry. I don’t know Sudoku, but congrats to our forum for 100,000 posts! That is many bored humans…
Holley Mangold big little sister of Nick
The Great Mike Leach