RUSH: Here is just a portion, a brief portion of Terrell Owens’ apology which the
OWENS: To those fans that supported me through these tough times, I thank you for your support. To every single Philadelphia Eagles fan out there that cheered for me, I want you to know that I am sorry this has happened. To you, I apologize.
RUSH: He went on to apologize to McNabb</a> personally. He mentioned Andy Reid</a> and Joe Banner</a>, the general manager of the team, Jeff Lurie</a>, the owner of the Eagles. But the great thing about being able to hear more of this is, it’s about him. He still can’t make this… “I’m not going to be able to play anymore; I’m not going to be able to help my team go to the Super Bowl; I’m not going to help my team get to the end zone; I’m not going to help my team get to the pregame meal; I’m not going to be able to help in my team; I’m not gonna…” I’m not; I’m not; I can’t; I want; I got. I’m sorry. It’s all about him. “Because, hey, you know what? I’m a fighter, and I’m not going to change, and I’m going to believe and doing what I think is right, which I’ve always done. I’ve always done what I think is right, and I’m going to keep doing what I think is right.” So it was just so me, me, me and I, I, I. It was like Bill Clinton at Rosa Parks’ funeral</a> (Clinton impression), “Hey, you know what? Rosa Parks got nothing on me. When I was a nine-year-old, even though there weren’t any public buses in my town I still made sure I went to the back of the bus when I found out she was not being let to sit in the front of the bus,” whatever. It’s all about him.
You know, I could have helped. Folks, I have learned a lot in the last three years. I could have helped this situation. The problem is nobody’s got the guts to talk to an athlete the right way. Everybody coddles them. His agent, I’m sure, came in, “Don’t worry, Terrell. I’m going to get the money from them. I know how to play these guys. They can’t do without you. You got ’em all the way to the Super Bowl and they almost won (24-21) it because of you, they can’t get nothing, not going to let you go, nothing, nothing. You just keep on,” and they didn’t know who they’re dealing with in Andy Reid. They did not know who they’re dealing with in Andy Reid. Some coaches might have buckled, but nevertheless, you can’t coddle these people. You’ve gotta get them in the real world. They haven’t been in the real world since the first day they illustrated above average or superior talent. These people get coddled from the youngest ages. They become prodigies, as you know. So this is the first time that the reality has hit. Owens runs himself out of San Francisco</a>. His agent screws up in filing the paperwork</a> that would allow him to become a free agent so he’s locked into San Francisco. The league says, “Okay, we’ll let you out.” They don’t want him unhappy in San Francisco; it’s bad television. It’s bad everything else.
So then the 49ers say, ‘We’re going to trade to you to Baltimore</a>.’
‘I’m not going to go to Baltimore. I have no desire to play in Baltimore. They don’t have a quarterback in Baltimore. I’m not playing in Baltimore.’
So the 49ers say, ‘Okay, okay. The Eagles?’
He goes over, meets McNabb at the Pro Bowl. McNabb and he get together. McNabb lobbies Reid to bring Owens in. McNabb is the reason Owens is there. Andy Reid, said, ‘We can make music together. This guy can catch passes; I can throw. He’s a premiere receiver,’ blah, blah, blah, blah, and he just ends up stabbing everybody in the back that ever did anything for him. But the league bent over backwards, didn’t hold him to the rules of the league a couple times. How many players get traded and say, ‘I am not going. I am not going’? Some do, some do, but that’s my point. They get coddled — and the better they are, the more they get away with it. Here’s the agent. This is Drew Rosenhaus after T.O. has spoken — without tears, but very sincere, I thought it was a moving apology. Here’s what the agent said.
ROSENHAUS: Terrell’s received a lot of criticism, in my opinion unfairly. He agreed with this statement. He did not come out and try and offend anyone. He agreed with the comment, he was asked if he agreed with the statement, he said I agree. There was no intent, there was no malicious intent. Terrell’s goal this year was to win a Super Bowl as a member of the Philadelphia Eagles —
RUSH: Stop the tape. His goal was to get traded from the first day of training camp because he was unhappy with the contract he himself signed one year ago. He wanted to get traded or he wanted to get a new contract. That’s why it was me, me, me, me, me.
ROSENHAUS: — waiver. That’s his goal. He hopes to do that. This is very unfortunate that he’s been sidetracked, but hopefully you’ll all help us get back on track. Because the bottom line is, the bottom line is I don’t believe the media’s been fair to him. There are players in the NFL who have are arrested, who violate the program when it comes to drugs or substance abuse, and they are not punished as seriously as he has been. There are players who do not get criticized as heavily by the media who do very significant things. He hasn’t broken any laws; he hasn’t broken any rules.
RUSH: He didn’t follow the directions of his coach. But, you know, that’s kind of a baby’s defense. ‘Well, other people get away with more.’ That’s not the way it works. You’re not judged on what other people do. Adults learn that early in life. You learn that there are things bigger than yourself, and you learn to defend yourself against certain charges, you don’t bring other people in, and, ‘It’s not fair. It’s not fair.’ It’s not fair, because that’s not reality. Reality isn’t fair. Life isn’t fair. Circumstances are what you have, and you play the hand that’s dealt you. So people are still caught up in childishness. Rosenhaus — we don’t have in on tape, but Rosenhaus — went on and asked all kinds of questions. He wouldn’t answer, ‘Next question!’ Mr. Rosenhaus, is Terrell…? Next question! ‘Mr. Rosenhaus…?’ Next! He had about 12 of those he would respond, ‘Next question!’ refusing to answer them. One more bite from Rosenhaus.
ROSENHAUS: I believe the media has not been fair for him, either. I wouldn’t want to talk to them if I were in his position, to hear the way the people have ripped him. He is a competitor. He is great competitor. He gave up, potentially, his career to compete in the Super Bowl. He did that as a member of the team. He did that for the Eagles, for the fans, and now he’s getting ripped, called selfish. This is not about him being selfish. He’s a genuine, honest person. He never intended to offend anybody at any time.
RUSH: None of this washes. I’m sorry, folks, none of this washes. Terrell Owens, in fact, is who he is because the media has coddled him. The media has made him bigger than life. The media has rewarded his stunts. The autograph after a touchdown with a sharpie on a football (story)</a> or whatever. All these dances in the end zone, they put him on ESPN and the highlight reel, and they made him bigger than life. They’ve encouraged his actions. They’ve inspired him to keep going more and more over the line, becoming more and more outrageous. They are exactly complicit in this. It’s one of the big problems — and then, of course, at some point as the media wants to do, they will turn on anybody after they build them up and make them huge. At some point the media will be offended in this outrageous behavior. Well, hey, who’s been promoting it all these years? Who’s been making this guy bigger than life all these years? It’s like Bill Clinton. The mainstream media builds this guy up. He’s the greatest liar in the world! (Clinton impression) “Hey, you know, I can keep doing it. They love it!” Bill Clinton, biggest horn dog in the world, why, this guy has got women flocking. “Hey, that just gives me license to just keep going out there and playing with women. The media loves it.” It’s not a big mystery here, but this is, to me, very interesting. There’s a story here on the FoxSports.com</a> website.
Donovan McNabb’s father is relieved that Terrell Owens probably won’t play for the Iggles again, and you read it and it all makes sense. You get down to the last two paragraphs. “As for Owens, McNabb said the wide receiver’s criticism of his son stung him not as a father, but as a black man.” McNabb’s name is Sam McNabb, Donovan’s dad, Sam McNabb said that the wide receiver’s criticism, Owens’ criticism “of his son Donovan stung him not as a father but as a black man.” Here’s what he said. “‘Within the last month, we’ve seen a man (Donovan McNabb) who is trying to accomplish something very difficult, to be an African-American quarterback at the top of his game, attacked by someone of his own race,’ [Sam] McNabb said. ‘That’s what really amazes me. It’s like another black-on-black crime. Those are hurts that create scars that take a long time to heal.'” Okay, so apparently Owens could have said this if he was white? Well, no. We know that doesn’t work. Uh, and it’s difficult to be an African-American quarterback in the NFL? Uh, didn’t know you could say that. (clearing throat) It really hurts Sam McNabb that the criticism is not the criticism, but that it’s coming from a black guy. It’s like “black on black crime.” So where’s the solidarity here? So there you have it. I mean, they’re going to clean it up. It’s been repaired, and the Eagles will move on with it. I think Andy Reid had no choice but than to do this.
RUSH: I think this is before he gets the apology. This is how sorry he feels for himself.
OWENS: I would like to reiterate my respect for Donovan McNabb as a quarterback, and as a teammate. I apologize to him for any comments that may have been negative. To my head coach, Andy Reid, I owe you an apology. You and I were in a tough spot this year. I know you were just trying to coach this team, and we did not see eye-to-eye sometimes. But on the practice field and on game day, you knew you could count on me to give my very best. We had a lot of wins together, and I thank you for that. I respect you as a coach and as a person. To Joe Banner and Mr. Lurie, I understand that all along you were trying to do what you believed in the best interests of the team, the Philadelphia Eagles. I apologize to the both of you. As I said before, this is very painful for me to be in this position. I know in my heart that I can help this team win the Super Bowl and not only being a dominant player, but also being a team player. I can bring that. In closing, I want everybody to know that football is my passion. I’ve always given it my all and I will continue to do so.
RUSH: All right, a little bit of both there. You got the mention of the names of the people he’s apologizing to, so you’ve got direct apologizes, but then back to it’s my passion, it’s what I want to do, I’m ready to come back as a dominant player and as a team player. Here’s Israel in Gainesville, Florida. You’re up next, sir. Welcome to the program.
CALLER: Hey, Rush. Greetings from a blue county in a red state.
RUSH: Thank you, sir. Nice to have you with us.
CALLER: You know, I would have rather called to complain about left-wing liberal media or some other thing. Sometimes I haven’t been able to get through to your show, but I don’t want to say that you’re exactly missing an opportunity here, but I think it is an opportunity to show how the media is biased and how it’s unfair in its treatment. I mean, the press conference that Rosenhaus was giving was to the media. He wasn’t necessarily addressing himself — you know, I guess to everybody, so to speak — when he was answering those questions. It was media questions, and he was telling them they’ve been unfair with T.O. so how can they come down and ask these questions and make all these allegations and they don’t treat other athletes the same way? I mean, look what happened with Kobe</a>. He didn’t get grilled by the media. They are trying to defend him whether it was true or not even before the trial was over, and you go down the list whether they’re beating up their wives, whether they’re taking performance enhancing drugs —
RUSH: Wait, wait, wait. When it comes —
CALLER: They don’t get treated the same way.
RUSH: Wait, wait. You can do that. But when you come to Kobe, it is a legal case; his lawyers aren’t going to let him say anything. Anything he says could be used. But no, Kobe can’t talk —
CALLER: I mean the media. The media coverage of what happened and how they reported it as opposed to what they’re doing with T.O. — and let’s be honest, T.O. agreed with a statement, a comment that Irvin made, and even with what you went through at ESPN. I thought you would have come out and said, “Look, the media does report what they want, and they say it the way they want it to be.” He hasn’t broken any NFL rules —
RUSH: Let’s go point by point here. You’re blaming Michael Irvin</a>? I mean, Michael —
CALLER: — the media is saying that. He says —
RUSH: Okay, Michael Irvin. Michael Irvin’s interviewing Owens. Owens apparently will really only talk to Michael Irvin at ESPN. So Irvin says, “I think the Eagles would be better off with Brett Favre</a>. That’s what I think,” and Owens, who’s already on record as having dissed McNabb over and over again, agrees with him, and then the press comes and [Rosenhaus] says, “He didn’t make a statement. He was just agreeing. He was just agreeing.”
CALLER: He was agreeing, that’s his opinion. I mean, I can agree with that. Besides, what he initially said about McNabb was true.
RUSH: Well, what’s the difference? If you’re agreeing —
CALLER: He got tired and got winded or whatever —
RUSH: Sorry about the phone situation, sir. These people can’t hear me when I’m talking. If you’re agreeing with the opinion, what’s the difference in agreeing and agreeing with the opinion? It’s the same thing.
CALLER: You know, you kept saying life is unfair and that people get treated a certain way. Isn’t McNabb bigger than that? Isn’t he secure enough in himself to say, “Okay, well, that’s T.O.’s opinion. Go play for the Packers.” It’s just that it’s kind of odd that all this thing has been blown up the way it’s been blown up because of something that he’s been saying or, you know, wanting to renegotiate his contract when there’s millions of dollars going all the way around, I mean the bottom line. But it’s not like he, you know, committed a crime, went to a night club and stabbed somebody or shot somebody or was caught with drugs.
CALLER: I mean, in that way you can say T.O. has been an upstanding guy. That’s the truth. You don’t hear about those kind of scandals with him. All he brings on himself — and I’m agreeing that he does bring this on himself, is all the controversy with the stunts he does in the end zone and everything he talks and says.
RUSH: Don’t misunderstand my point about that. I think — and you’re speaking pretty quickly. It’s tough for me to follow you and our transcription is about two sentences behind you, so I’m not sure I’m catching everything you’re saying. It’s not your fault, don’t misunderstand, but lets see if I got the basic premise. You think the media has been grossly unfair to Owens as opposed to giving other coddled athletes far more beneficial treatment, when in fact some of those athletes have broken the law, have been charged criminally, and some convicted, where Owens is a model citizen in that regard. He’s just rather flamboyant on the field and off, and so you think there’s some treatment here that is, well, unequal?
CALLER: Right. And, you know what, I agree 100% that he’s been wrong. I agreed in the team have been suspended him, and maybe it was a little excessive. I don’t know, but the media, as far as the media is concerned, you know, Phil Jackson in 1999 made a statement —
RUSH: You’re not going to get an argument from me about that, at all, be it the sports media or anywhere else. There are certain chosen subjects that are going to be given kid glove treatment no matter who they are, no matter what they do — well, no, it does matter who they are, and it does matter what they do. But in this case, for the longest time, the media did coddle Owens. For the longest time. I think the media is partially responsible for the way he behaves.
RUSH: Now, wait a second, now. Wait a second, now. Have you been around professional athletes in your life? Have you worked with them?
CALLER: No, not personally.
RUSH: I have, and I could tell you stories. This is not an indictment of them. I’m just telling you: The people that are qualified to play professional sports — football, baseball — in this country are so rare. There’s a reason there aren’t a thousand teams. It’s because you don’t have that many people that can play at this level. So when these people — when these athletes — display the ability that’s going to take them as far as college or professional athletics, they are coddled and they become sheltered from the normal growing and maturing aspects of life during a period of life where you learn those things. They’re not forced to grow up. They’re not forced to handle things for themselves. They’re not forced to be mature. They are allowed to get away with this because their talent is so rare. In addition to that, they have hero worship from the fans. All of this endorses and encourages this kind of behavior. Now, some of them are different.
They’re not all this way. They’re all individuals like we all are, and they all have differences, but there are some character types here that I have found quite common, and there are exceptions to it, of course. But my point is this. When you have Owens doing these flamboyant things, and the media getting their jollies off because it’s great television, and encouraging more of it by essentially giving him wider and more positive coverage every time he does it, yeah, you’ll have some discussion groups talking about how I think this is bad; I think this is good, but as I recall, the Sharpie incident and all this, even professional football, ‘I like this, adds more fun to the game. Football is a little stale. This is all good stuff.’ Well, Owens watches these shows. He sees what the effect he’s having is, and he likes the attention. That’s what part of being a professional athlete is all about. You love being on stage. You like the attention. You do what it takes to get it once you learn what you do that gets it, and then after awhile they’re going to turn on you like they did on him.
CALLER: Right. Exactly. I see that as them giving a rope to hang him with later on.
RUSH: You think they do it on purpose?
CALLER: Yeah, they don’t — maybe like you said, they coddle him for a while and then suddenly they turn on him when it’s played out and it’s going to be a bigger story to crucify him, that’s what they do, and I know the whole thing with T.O. and I’m not saying that I’m an apologist for him, but it’s just when you read some of these, you know, articles and some of these columns, the way they’re going after him, it’s like it’s personal with their reporters.
RUSH: It is. It most certainly is personal. I’ve been there. If he would have criticized the center, Hank Fraley</a>, nobody would have cared. He wouldn’t have been penalized. The Eagles wouldn’t have been upset about it. Fraley and he would have settled it sometime after practice and patched up the blood, Band-Aids, but he attacked McNabb, and McNabb has been inoculated. You don’t criticize McNabb in Philadelphia. You don’t criticize McNabb in the media. You don’t criticize McNabb on that team. You do not do it. That was his mistake. He targeted McNabb, blaming McNabb. I’ll tell you when this started, was after the Super Bowl when he got on McNabb for being tired and not being in shape.
RUSH: After the season, that’s when this all started. That’s when it all started; then he got greedy and wanted his money renegotiated even though he just agreed to it a year ago, then you have the agent getting involved in this. These guys, you know, they’re not innocent in any of this either, but I’ll tell you something. You know, something nobody’s talking about in this, and I’m just going to take a wild guess. If you remember, two things: Owens got upset when he broke his leg in the game against the Cowboys</a> last November. He got upset when McNabb and the rest of the Eagles said, ‘That’s all right. We can win this without T.O.’ Okay, that’s what they’ve got to say. Owens wanted them to say, ‘Oh, no, T.O. is out! Oh, my! Oh, no! Our chances are shot. All we can do is hope to win this for T.O.’ This is the baby in him. He wants to be the focus even when he’s not there. He wants the team to think they may not win with him not there, then they go ahead and do it, and that’s why he wanted to get back on the field for the Super Bowl. This is the real thing, folks. Nobody is talking about this that I’ve seen or heard. I’m sure there are people in Philadelphia talking about it but I’m not there and I don’t know it. But this fight that he had with Hugh Douglas</a> last week in the locker room, in the training room, you know what precipitated that?
Douglas walked in there, and Owens is in the training room, and he said, ‘I know for a fact that there are people faking injuries in this training room.’ Well, you remember after the Denver game, Owens announced that he was out for the coming two weeks; he had sprained his ankle. Well, nobody had seen any evidence of that injury post-game, after it had supposedly occurred and clearly some people thought he was faking the injury. I’m going to tell you something: in a professional locker room, with those guys in football getting beat up to a pulp every week, with guys genuinely and legitimately hurt, if they do think somebody is faking an injury, that can break the bond more than the criticism of the quarterback or anything else. I will lay you a dollar to a doughnut that what really set this going and made this course irreversible was the thought that Owens was faking that injury simply to get attention to himself or to harm the team or because he was still upset that he wasn’t being thrown the ball enough or credited enough for their success or what have you, mark my words.