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Still Popcorn-Ready.

Still Popcorn-Ready.

Two Years Removed From The NFL, Terrell Owns Remains One of Football's Most Entertaining Icons.

By Thom Fain on Wednesday, June 20, 2012 at 1:22 PM

Terrell Owens was recently booted off the Allen Wranglers, the local IFL team managed by Cowboys legend Drew Pearson. In the process, he lost his ownership stake in the team, along with a little integrity. This may not come as a surprise to many. But, to Owens' credit, this debacle isn't really his fault.

That's why he's reportedly demanding that the Wranglers pay him for four games worth of pay, along with unpaid fees for merchandising and team sales. Because it was the Wranglers and their dozens of fans that thought signing Terrell Owens was a good idea. They were the ones that chose to get their popcorn ready, and they were the ones that agreed to a contract that would allow Owens to miss some road games. Here's the kicker: Owens was only going to miss two road games all season long.

Forget team chemistry. Forget the fact that he was a no-show to a scheduled appearance at a children's hospital. Far as we know, he was planning on fulfilling the rest of his contract demands. But, now, since he's been cut, we'll never know for sure.

The whole thing -- as tends to be the case when Owens is involved -- has just been incredibly dramatic.

But let's be clear here. This is not a daytime drama. This is The T.O. Show.

T.O. -- rapper, fashion model and the second all-time leading wideout in NFL history -- has constantly toed a tightrope that not many have: He approaches sports as entertainment and entertainment as sport.

And the man has done it as well as any polarizing player could hope to, giving us many memorable clips for our personal pleasure vaults, all while helping to re-write the NFL rule book. Not to mention racking up a staggering amount of individual accomplishments.

Still, T.O., like many an athlete before him, has found a way to go broke, lose his dignity and fall completely from grace.

Shame, too.

It wasn't long ago that we saw him running out of the tunnel at the biggest stage in America, the Super Bowl, with Donovan McNabb the Philadelphia Eagles. Oh, you forgot about that? You're probably not alone in that camp. It's hard to remember that fact after seeing him more recently crying on a stage next to television quack Dr. Phil. (And here I thought I already said that this wasn't a daytime drama.)

The real question is how things unfold from here. The truth is that Owens can still play football, still line up with the best of them. Cowboys owner Jerry Jones even acknowledged as much to ESPN Dallas just last week.

"I have actually looked at some of the things he did last year," he said of his former star wideout. "He has the ability to be quite a threat as a receiver. I would advise him if that he still has got the heart -- and he does -- to continue to try to get on with an NFL team."

Believe it or not, even the Wranglers' Pearson agrees.

"When I see these receivers that are playing in [the NFL], there's no question Terrell could still play in the NFL," Pearson said as part of a recent, on-air interview with local sports radio show Ben & Skin. "But it's not what happens in between the lines. It's how he handles things outside the lines... being a good teammate."

Merriam-Webster defines "team" as "two or more draft animals harnessed to the same vehicle or implement." That may or may not have just blown your mind. It certainly does Owens'. It seems to be an abstract concept, something he never understood -- and, to be fair, something that people hardwired for entertainment may never understand.

But, to that effect, no great individual achievement can be realized without the support of a collective with a common goal.

Just ask Tim Tebow.