Philadelphia may have once been known as the City of Brotherly Love but now its home of the spoiled athlete, after Allen Iverson was allowed to get away with another insubordinate act and Terrell Owens was allowed to go to the Philadelphia Eagles. Each set a dangerous precedent, and alienates fans that already believe that professional athletes are spoiled and overpaid.
The Terrell Owens saga started a few weeks ago when he was dealt by the San Francisco 49ers to the Baltimore Ravens for a 2nd Round Draft Pick. Owens was still property of the 49ers at the time as his agent missed the Free Agent filing deadline, which would have allowed him to sign with whatever team he chose.
Owens had made a clear as early as the Pro Bowl he wanted to go to the Eagles. However, his agent messed up and failed to get the paper work to the league offices on time. His agent was also notified by the league of the deadline 10 days in advance. His original contract was still in effect and he was property of the Ravens as the case went before an arbitrator in Philadelphia.
The feeling was after his hearing that the arbitrator would rule in Owens favor so the Ravens and 49ers agreed to a settlement that would send Owens to the Eagles to avoid an official arbitrator ruling that other players and agents could use as a precedent in court, which could have opened a virtual Pandora box of players wanting to tear up their contracts.
However, it should have never gotten there to begin with. How the case could be heard in Philadelphia is a ridiculous. The fact is Owens agent screwed up. He should fire his agent, and blame him for being stuck in Baltimore for the remainder of his contract that would have been two years. Owens knew he wanted out of San Francisco. He should have filed for Free Agency the first chance he got. Why he would wait for the deadline makes absolutely no sense, and it should have been too bad for T.O.
Now Owens is happy he is in Philadelphia, showing once again that the inmates now run the asylum in professional sports. The 49ers are happy because they are rid a pain in the ass, whose talent could no longer outweigh his bad attitude. However, the Ravens are totally screwed over, they did get their 2nd round pick returned to them form the 49ers, who received Brandon Whiting from the Eagles. However, all they got for their troubles in the Owens affair was a 5th round draft pick. Meanwhile they allowed their top receiver from last year to walk away thinking they had Owens, as other top receivers changed teams with the Ravens having no chance to acquire any as they waited for the Owens affair to be worked out.
How is this fair to the Ravens? How could somebody think this is ok?
Perhaps it should serve as a warning to other teams going after star players who are more concerned with themselves then their team in the future. Jackasses like Owens give sports a bad name, and sometimes you just got weigh the talent against the headache factor, and with Owens, it's just not worth it. Especially since he is not even the best receiver in football. Marvin Harrison, and Randy Moss each are light-years ahead of Owens who, thinks he is the center of the universe.
The whole Owens affair does set up one interesting meeting in the upcoming 2004 season as the Eagles will face the Ravens during the regular season. Here's hoping that Owens tries to catch a pass up the middle only to be flattened by Ray Lewis.
While Owens is being welcomed to Philadelphia, another star who believe he is the center of the universe may be on his way out as the Philadelphia 76ers are in danger of missing the playoffs, as star guard Allen Iverson's act continues to wear thin.
On Sunday Iverson who missed several games due to a knee injury refused to come in the game off the bench after declaring himself ready to play. Iverson proclaimed he's a starter and not a sixth man, before stripping off his uniform and putting on street clothes to sit on the bench.
Prior to this year Iverson had several run-ins with Coach Larry Brown including one where he had a press conference where he questioned the need for practice, saying "Its just Practice nobody cares about practice."
Brown grew tired of Iverson's act and left for Detroit while the 76ers struggled under Randy Ayers who was fired in February and replaced by Chris Ford who is the 76ers interim coach. Since Ford took over Iverson has repeatedly undermined his authority. Not willing to give an interim coach his full respect.
This of course led to another rant to the media, where he sounded like the thug that he said, "That a franchise player, an Olympian, and a MVP don't come off the bench." Over and over again all he said is that players like him don't come off the bench.
Well he is wrong often a star player will come off the bench when he is INJURED like Iverson was as the coach works him back into the lineup slowly. The 76ers ended up losing that Sunday game to the Pistons coached by Larry Brown. It was a close game perhaps if Iverson dressed and came off the bench the Sixers would have won, and since they are in danger of missing the playoffs they need every win they can get as their is just one month left in the regular season.
Iverson clearly showed he dose not care about his team he just cares about himself. However the 76ers showed they are cowards by not fining or suspending him as he started in Tuesday's loss to the Memphis Grizzlies.
Reports say Iverson will be traded after the season, but as seen in the Owens case that does not matter. Its time that teams take a stand with these spoiled, and selfish punks and hurt them in the wallet. The 76ers should have suspended Iverson without pay for 5 games and leveled a huge fine for insubordination.
Its time that the coaches reaffirm their authority otherwise he will be pushed around, and in this case Iverson now knows he can push Ford around and will continue to defy his authority playing only when he wants to. If the 76ers are going to let him push around his coach perhaps they should name him the team's coach, since they are sending the message he is in charge any way, by allowing him to get away with what he did.
It's a shame so much discussion is wasted on the acts of two clowns, but often this has become the story in sports. They are millionaires and they are unhappy, they still feel they are slaves or owned even more or something, and that they are fighting a battle for civil rights, as Owens compared his refusal to go to Baltimore to Rosa Parks. Statements like that form a multimillionaire getting paid to play sports is slap in the face of Rosa Parks, and other Civil Rights Pioneers.
It truly is a shame that talent is wasted on punks and thugs like this when every one of us would be willing to trade places with them in a heartbeat.
March 17, 2004
İMMIV Tank Productions