It’s hard to feel sorry for Owens

Published 10:21 pm Thursday, January 26, 2012

I read an article recently about the downfall of former National Football League star Terrell Owens. Those who are familiar with Owens’ antics know he was a complete nightmare for every team he ever joined. But, he was blessed with tremendous athletic ability, so people often looked the other way.

Now, Owens says he is “broke, friendless and in hell.”

Honestly, it’s hard to feel sorry for someone who displayed so much arrogance and blew through $80 million creating a media circus.

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Stories like Owens are sad, but they are not the majority.

We have, here in Dallas County, two examples of how professional football players should conduct themselves.

Take Ben Obomanu for example. This young man was blessed with a tremendous amount of athletic ability, but in talking to some of his former teachers, he was an equally gifted student. Obomanu didn’t listen to the hype and continued to follow his strong study habits all the way through Auburn University.

He’s not doing too bad these days either. Obomanu just completed yet another successful season with the Seattle Seahawks.

The same it true for Michael Johnson. Johnson was a beast on the field at Dallas County High and at Georgia Tech — one of the most respected academic institutions in the South. Once again, he posted big numbers this season for a team that is knocking on the door of the playoffs.

Rather than appearing on television and talking about how great he is, or criticizing teammates when the Bengals fall short, Johnson chooses to spend his spare time working with young people in Dallas County.

After spending time with both these athletes during my tenure in Selma, you’ll have to forgive me if I don’t feel sorry for Terrell Owens.

Owens has always had a “me-first” attitude and surrounded himself with people that inflated his ego instead of people that offered constructive criticism. Though no one can question his worth ethic, his attitude can certainly use an overhaul.

Hopefully, his current situation will serve as a wake-up call and his second act will be much better. Maybe he could spend a little time with fellow Alabamians Obomanu and Johnson to see how it’s done.