#1 - Argue your own points.
Without naming names, I've had some people agree with me privately... But since you want to argue scemantics I'll take back "everyone", and say that several people here have agreed with me on this matter... I'll add that I know several coaches at a number of levels that would agree with me too... I think the experience counts for something at least.
As far as the Cowboys front office, I just read a Yahoo story not too long ago (End of the season maybe?) that some of the staff there are suggesting Owens' behavior has had a negative impact on the team and his name's being talked about as one to go... I'm not going to dig up the link, it was on Yahoo if you want to, but I'm sure you don't care enough about this to look it up either. This certainly lines up with his departure from San Fran and Philly in at least some similiarity.
I guess I didn't really intend to "insult" your experience with team sports, but rather call it into question since, as someone who's played and coached sports, I honestly just can't believe I'm hearing that someone is an advocate of criticizing your teammates publicly (I stress, "publicly"), and that this person claims experience with sports (especially in an adult capacity... As I said, kids tend to be the ones to go to criticism of others immediately).
My point being... You have a coaching staff, and it's the coaching staff's job (not players) to criticize teammates... And even coaching staff RARELY (if ever) pull a public berating of their players. I could count on one hand the number of times I've seen Michelle Therrien do it to a Penguin, for instance. It mostly went against Ryan Whitney when it did happen... But it wasn't Sidney Crosby, or Whitney's defensive pairing making the criticism... Crosby's the team Captain, shouldn't he be saying "Whitney is not working hard, and that's a big reason we're not doing well", when these problems were occurring? I don't know a single person who would agree with that thought, except maybe you Jman, but maybe I just don't know my friends or the people I've had experiences with in sports too well... Maybe I"m wrong and you're right? I don't know.
You want my argument though? My point is that every experience I have personally had with sports is that you do not criticize your teammates publicly, and you let your coaches run the team. You have humility, and respect, and you do your job. The best teams I was on were the ones that had trust and caring about the guy next to him. A couple people have expressed that they agreed with that to me, and that Owens is the kind of guy that takes that away from a team. I know people (my past coaches, people I coached with, etc.) have the motto that you do not criticize, or you do not allow those under you to criticize as it's not healthy for the team... Again, my experiences backing my point, but maybe they're the minority opinion then, I don't know.
#2 - If you're going to refute a point and call it poor, offer an explanation why.
Press conferences are an example of the MEDIA digging for information, insight, and anything else they can get. They're not an example of a free-for-all soap box that players are (or should be) allowed to just stand on and get off their chest all their woes with their teammates and organization. I agree with you that the media's motivation is not always positive (by a longshot... "dirty laundry" and all that ****, and they love those mouthy players like Owens), and that they will latch onto anything negative. That is for every player every week too though, not just Owens... Owens earned his reputation because he gives the media that dirt though, and so you can't really sympathize for someone like that either. I think eveyr player is under the microscope though, every week, for what they say. But the key here is others either know when to stay quiet, or know when they have a chance to look like the bigger man.
I don't think press conferences and interviews are bad at all either, but I think many players realize that there is humility and tact they should have when talkign with the press, and that they have the chance to give insight into the game they played, and they also have the chance to slam their team (but most don't take that chance, and I think that's the right thing). Case-in-point locally, Roethlisberger's known for taking the brunt of blame for the offense's performance any given week. He's fast to say, "Yeah I was off on that..." or some other excuse. He'll take the bullet... Analysts are pretty vehement though that, besides Roethlisberger maybe holding the ball too long or having an off day now and then, the offensive-line needs to take a LOT of blame for the way the offense has performed for the Steelers in '08.
Now, should Ben come out and say, "Ya know if Starks would've picked up his guy, maybe I'd have stayed off my back more and gotten those completions we needed", or "Maybe if Parker were a little bigger we'd be a better 3rd or 4th and short team"? That's been professional's opinions, but I think Roethlisberger (a professional, a hard worker, a competitor, and a team leader) does the responsible thing by being humble... I also think he does more for his team by the things he says when he's asked. I think that's every bit as important as the way he plays, and that it makes for a team that WANTS to play hard and is inspired.
I don't think Owens is a "cancer" because of the press, I think he is because of himself... He has it within himself to address things privately he's concerned with. He has it within himself to be an example setter instead of a blamer, and a public loud mouth who is quick to say, "this guy needed to do that better". How often does he ever blame himself? Doesn't seem often at all to me, but I'm open to quotes... He was quick to blame the 49'ers, and Eagles players and staff though. That's not cool to me.
Again though, I'm speaking from personal experience that you do not publicly criticize your teammates, or your coaches, if you don't agree. It all comes back to humility, I guess, which some guys turn into a strength, and turn into inspiration for their teams.
3 - Thanks for admitting that you're a poor team player.
This shows, to me, that you either haven't played on teams with "problems", or that you seriously misread me as a person.
I'll go back to my point though... It's the guy next to you mentality. Can you look at that guy and know he respects you, and that he trusts you? Can you trust him to do his job too? Can you count on him when the **** hits the fan? I've gone over this point already but I'll go over it again.
It's not a case of where Owens is going to intentionally drop balls, or Romo's going to intentionally change a play because he doens't want to go to Owens... The point is, when you've got guys on your own team calling you out publicly with no care about the team's cohesiveness, you start wondering if he's then half-assing it...
You say to me, "Well you know eveyrone
, and you know the Cowboys front office" etc., etc., right? Do you know Owens, and that he isn't half-assing things? I saw some pretty ****** dropped passes in that game against the Steelers at the end of the season, right into, and out of, his hands. Do you know Owens so well personally that YOU know he's always a competitor, and that when he's pissed at his teammates that he's still giving his 100%? I bet Romo doesn't always know that when he's just read that Owens chewed him out to a reporter.
I didn't infer that SHOULDN'T trust Owens, I inferred that Romo's trust in Owens may be shaken, when he can't even trust Owens to maybe take a little blame himself. That Owens, and others on the team he criticizes, will start questioning a guy who questions them... This is where the breakdown in team synergy starts, when a guy like Owens runs his mouth to the media about his team and the coaching staff. I don't think Owens purposely drops a pass ever, but anyone who starts slacking because they're unhappy will drop passes because they are frustrated, angry, and don't feel the others are working like they are... It's basically a snowball effect, and it does happen.
#4 - Professional Sports is a business.
Again, you say I don't know anything about your personal experience with team sports, and I don't, but every level of football pushes the team mentality... You win as a team, you lose as a team. I don't know how to stress that, or teach that... Watch some Inside the NFL on HBO or something? I honestly don't know how to make anyone believe me on this though.
You say drawing the comparison to kids football is pointless basically, but I say it's important because that's where everyone starts... That's where you're to learn this humility at its most basic level. You say you don't agree with Owens' comments and you wouldn't necessarilly do the same thing in his place, but that you agree with his "right" to do it...
I say to you, that football's a business, I agree, and that the team's desire and NEED to win is tied to their cohesive structure of trust. The team mentality, if lost, is going to impact the team's ability to win. Maybe his ****** attitude and quickness to go public with his opinion, is a reason Owens hasn't won the big games all the time?
The argument isn't about feelings also... Romo didn't cry in his cornflakes over something Owens said. It's about the team. I can't stress it enough, and I obviously can't make my point understood either. Nobody's "hurt", but people are questioning one another, and that's not good for the team or its ability to win.
You say it's his right, and you agree with "his right", and I say to you that this isn't a debate about his "rights". This is a debate about what IS right, and whether or not his behavior impacts his teams negatively. Everyone has a right to say what they want, that's just being American Jman, I'm with you there... But I think Owens is irresponsible for doing so, and I think he's the kind of guy who hurts his team from the inside out. He maybe isn't on the best team from the get-go, but he certainly isn't helping the situation by saying what he does in public.
I agree the Media watches him, but like I said, they watch everyone... Willie Parker was "the bad guy" just some weeks ago when he criticized the Steelers for the way he was being utilized. He was snapped back into reality by the organization, and the Rooneys reportedly let him know his place... He came out the following week humble with a big game, after there were threats of being benched for publicly criticizing the offensive coordinator and others. That's the kind of team standard I like, but that's me. I don't want an "Owens" type guy on my team becuase that's what I prefer I guess, and that's what I was taught growing up and what I've taught in turn. I think some teams have regretted not being more in tune with that too.
But I totally agree, Owens has the right as a human being to say what he wants... His employers have the right to snap his ass back to reality too, especially if he truly wants to retire in Dallas like he claimed a while ago.
#5 - Refute what I say, but don't make things up.
I'll address the "Owens Bounces around the League" comment first... I consider leaving 2 teams on bad terms, and possibly leaving a 3rd (rumors only though) that you claimed you wanted to retire with at one point, as the type of guy that is at least on the verge of bouncing around. Poor choice of words? Eh, maybe... I think his career would've been less than 3 teams had he been a different guy though, who was a little tactful and humble, which I think is a reasonable thought at least.
I mean, a guy of his caliber is often wanted to be locked up by a team, especially a skill position like receivers... 3 teams for a receiver that everyone should supposedly want based on his skill alone, is a good many teams... Like I said about him, his skill alone should drive some team to want to lock him up long-term as an anchor player but teams have let him go because of the problems.
My opinion that Owens is a cancer is an opinion... I've seen a guy's bitching and moaning eat a team up inside, and ultimately they've been asked not to be on said team anymore, and the team turns things around... Good players at their sport too, but not good enough to override their bitchy, prissy, attitude.
Quoting Owens' past 5 year rating is fine, but what's he done with himself in those 5 years? Sure he's done fine... In Owens' mind he can do no wrong, so why shouldn't he? But what's he accomplished otherwise? I'm not saying he's the only problem though, of course... I think some people would say he could've been a better leader, an inspirational player that others wanted to be around, and that he would've maybe done more in those last 5 years... Maybe not though. You have your opinion of him and I've got mine... I think there's more to a guy than just skill at catching a ball, and I think that's what you look for in a player. It's I guess just a difference of opinion.
People are let know when they're NOT doing well though, in my fantasy world and the real world alike, by the coaches... Not the players. You asked where people find out, and that's the answer. You don't find out on the 11 o'clock news, that you need to try harder, because Terrel Owens told you so, via Joe Blow Sports Anchor in the locker room after the loss you're still smarting from. You hear it from the coaches, who make it their job to make you a better player.
And they're smart enough not to tell the media you sucked eggs too... You'll find it out MOnday if it's the case.
Jesse, I'm all for being nice - read the signature on my posts sometime.
You're missing my point right there... It's not about being nice JMan, it's about being tactful, showing humility, being a leader as much off the field as on it, and by knowing your place as a PLAYER, that you're not there to tell everyone else how they're doing at their job... You're there only to do your own job, trust that others do theirs, and trust that your coaches do theirs. If you're not happy, you discuss it in private... If they really don't cater to what you want changed, you move on then I guess, if that's how it must be. Happens all the time I suppose.
Like you said though, it's a difference of opinion I guess... Ultimately it shows the mentality of the league too... Most teams I don't believe would take Owens if he came available honestly, unless desperate for a WR, and even then I think there's some teams who would look to a draft pick for their future. Other teams throw caution to the wind and pick him up thinking he'll either be a good fit and be happy with what they have, or that they can "control" him maybe (I don't think any team can).
I guess it all ultimately boils down to I'd look for a different WR of any other route than taking a guy that's prone to criticizing teammates and causing drama, regardless of his skill level, as skill is not everything you need out of your team leaders. At the same time you put more weight into the pure skill of the player, and would take the gamble that the things he says aren't that detrimental, and that his play ont he field makes him worth any potential risk from behavior... Which seems to be the split that NFL teams have too. That's fair enough I guess. My friggin' Tea got cold writing this.