Sports Outside the Beltway

T.O. Not Only Disgrace

Mickey Spagnola reminds us that Terrell Owens dancing on the midfield star was not the only disgraceful action that took place when the 49ers visited Texas Stadium on September 24, 2000.

For this was the day the Dallas Cowboys fans, in their own stadium, lustily booed Troy Aikman. Not a catcall here and there. Not an isolated incident. But the majority of the 64,000 people present that afternoon booing – and I mean booing – Troy Aikman every time he stepped on the field, from the very first possession before he had even taken a snap from center to the very last.


You want to talk about disgrace, do you? How about the Cowboys fans that day booing a quarterback who had led the franchise to three Super Bowl victories in four years? Booing the quarterback who helped resurrect a downtrodden franchise into the Team of the 90′s? Booing the quarterback who would land in the team’s esteemed Ring of Honor and then become a first-ballot Pro Football Hall of Famer?


Aikman, though, class to the bitter end. He would soft-shoe the entire ugly scene, saying that came with the territory. In fact, he said he had mentally prepared for such reactions before the game. Hey, he knew the Cowboys had won the last game under Cunningham’s guidance and had nearly won the previous game.


Yeah, yeah, what [Owens] did that day, rubbing it in with his all-about-me celebration, was rather self-absorbing and classless. Probably even childish, especially the second time when the all of one-yard touchdown grab gave San Francisco a 41-17 lead with just 4:05 remaining in an already-decided game. And he paid for his actions, 49ers head coach Steve Mariucci suspending him one game, which cost T. O. $24,294, then admonishing him by saying, “It disturbs me when the integrity of the game is compromised.”


Guys, this is football, not a civil war. This is big, big bidness, not some petty Hatfields and McCoys struggle. If the guy who owns that midfield star can forgive and forget, then what’s your problem?

Quite right. I remember wanting to punch Deion Sanders for some of his antics against the Cowboys in a game when he was in a Falcons uniform. Somehow, those things were much more fun when he put on a Dallas uniform a couple years later. The same will be true for T.O. A couple of long touchdown runs will soothe whatever pain still remains from that longago incident.

There are plenty of reasons not to want T.O. playing for the Cowboys. The “incident” is pretty low on the list.

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