Dr. Terrell and Mr. T.O.

The TO Show will feature all the drama and disconnect of a Robert Louis Stevenson novel

“Narcissus does not fall in love with his reflection because it is beautiful, but because it is his. If it were his beauty that enthralled him, he would be set free in a few years by its fading.” -- W.H. Auden
Terrell Owens’ reality show, creatively titled “The T.O. Show” debuts Monday night on VH1, the channel characterized by celebrities who are no longer relevant in their given field.
The former Cowboy will join a litany of Reagan-era pop culture titans -- Flavor Flav, Brett Michaels, Hulk Hogan, etc -- as the subject of a campy reality show, with (presumably) all the hackneyed hijinx of the most formulaic of sitcoms.
Setting the series apart will be the fact that Owens is relevant, still a force in the NFL.
But that could soon change, if the show itself is any indicator.
Within the first five minutes, Owens has been cajoled out of his apartment and a state of vague dejection (authentic?) by his publicists, best friends (authentic?) and co-stars Mo and Kita, headed out to dinner and a night out in South Beach.
“I didn’t feel like a football player,” Owens says with a smile. He goes on to say that he felt like a celebrity, a statement that probably says a lot more about TO as a person than he intended.
Owens has always been a workhorse. He has also, for the most part, approached his job with professionalism.
However, it has always seemed that football was merely a means to an end for No. 81, a figure that has repeatedly asserted that, were an NBA team to come calling, he would bolt “the league” immediately with no questions asked and no answers given.
What that “end” is, it’s not exactly clear; but it must have something to do with an exasperating amount of public exposure.
It’s fitting then, that the first episode of the “T.O. Show” sets up the receiver’s move to Los Angeles, the “Look at me!” capital of the world.
This isn’t at all to say the show won’t be entertaining, particularly for Cowboys fans. In the first episode, Owens recounts the meeting between he, his agent Drew Rosenhaus, and the Joneses, during which he was cut via tablecloth doodles.
This also isn’t to say that Owens will be anything less than effective in his first year with Buffalo. Paired with the speedy Lee Evans, he will likely have a typically huge statistical year.
It might not even hurt his image, considering that one of the aims of the program will be to introduce another -- presumably softer, more vulnerable (likeable?) -- side of Owens to the world. This side -- the not yet despised by much of the sporting world side -- is called “Terrell,” and serves as the counter of “T.O.” -- the one who dances on team emblems and the like.
One thing is clear, however; football is becoming increasingly secondary in the mind of “Terrell.” This is obvious, as it is asserted (at least) twice in the first 10 minutes that Owens will have to soon decide on a post-football career. (Nude model, perhaps?)
What effect this will have on “T.O.” will remain to be seen for a few months.
And for the first time in three years, thankfully, it’s none of the Cowboys’ concern.

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