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The Constant Truth, Volume 21
By Clayton Ruley
 

T.O., The Cowboys and the Media

I'm sick of the media coming at Terrell Owens' neck whenever it wants for an easy story. The whole preseason the focus has been on T.O. and how he's trying to avoid playing because he's nursing a hamstring injury.

While it's important to get on the field to develop chemistry with his quarterback, Owens should have nothing to prove regarding his workout regimen just look at him! This is the same player that came back from a broken leg in one month to play well in Super Bowl 39 in 2005! The same player that signed a waiver the Philadelphia Eagles made him sign that said he wouldn't ask for compensation if he got injured in that same game.

People say T.O.'s a egomaniac and loves the spotlight so how would this make sense? I know he's made mistakes off the field but his work ethic shouldn't be consistently questioned! It's crazy that the media that complains about his craziness and antic always find a way to have his name in the press! This is especially true in Philadelphia, where despite the fact that he no longer plays for the Eagles doesn't mean he does get top or second billing on every sports segment or section! You didn't want him there but you want to hate from a far!

This isn't even mentioning the fact that Hines Ward of the Pittsburgh Steelers and Steve Smith of the Carolina Panthers have the same injury and haven't played a game either during the preseason but have not gotten 90 percent of the coverage T.O. has! Ward is coming off a Super Bowl MVP season and Smith is with a Super Bowl contender so what makes their injuries less news worthy besides the fact that many want T.O. to fall flat on his face!

Here's a fact: On the field historically,T.O. is the best receiver in football and doesn't get paid the best . T.O. is a beast on the football field and unlike The NBA's Allen Iverson (who T.O. mocked in a preseason media opportunity) does everything on the field his team needs! Owens is a physical speciman that should be credit for at least knowing his body and whether its ready or not!

It makes no sense that after last years debacle he'd want to create this much drama especially when Bill Parcells is the coach! Parcells needs T.O. this season and T.O. needs Parcells so they need to get into a room and talk this out! This talking through the media is childish and
doesn't get anything done! Both are accomplished people in the NFL and need to bind together instead of letting the fickle media break them apart.

And damn right T.O. needs to start (if physically ready) at the beginning of the season! He has a hall of fame career to show he's worth it! As much people would like to believe everyone is equal on the field the fact is you can't treat a third string like a starter.


Does this mean I agree with all of T.O.'s comments? No but I see nothing wrong with taking precautions during the preseason to avoid a worse injury in the regular season. Hamstrings in particular are delicate and we know he's also had groin problems so stop the hate! No one can deny once he's on the field he's always been amazing!

Phillies Keep Fightin'


The Philadelphia Phillies are continuing to improve after the trade of All-Star Bobby Abreu and it's because of the lineup changes as well as the attitude it has brought upon. The players know that anyone is expendable and are playing hungry!The team should also have a chip on their shoulder because their GM Pat Gillick said this team wouldn't compete for a few years...a year after many were playing for a wildcard and division title!

The Phillies got rid of tired players who made a lot of money for little true value but with their cornerstones of Chase Utley,Jimmy Rollins and Ryan Howard (my choice for National League MVP) they can afford to do that! The brought in players (and up from the minors) that have'nt been around the piss poor and lackadaisical attitude that the Phillies have had during the Ed Wade regime and want to play for the Phillies (Damn, imagine that!). The results are a resurgence and good chance to win the NL wildcard in a weak NL.

I like also like the fact that despite Gillick's earlier comments about not contending this year and the fire sale that happened at the trade deadline Gillick has added players to help this team that has played well make a serious push into the playoffs.

Veterans like Jamie Moyer, Jose Hernandez and Jeff Conine can play for this season and probably another while providing obvious needs! Moyer is a veteran starter who keeps the ball in the park and wins with more junk than Sanford and Son! He will be beneficial to young pitchers like Ryan Madson, Cole Hamels and Brett Myers and the fact he's from nearby Souderton and a St. Joseph's University is a bonus!

Hernandez helps us as a utility player who can spell Rollins and Utley every once in a while and Conine gives us someone whose won two championship (1997 and 2003) with the Florida Marlins and can play multiple positions (LF, RF and 1B), has a nice right handed bat and comes through in the clutch.

I don't really care if the Phillies make the playoffs this year (it would be nice) but I can see change coming especially with the money coming off the books after the season is over. The team needs to grab three things in the offseason: a good hitting third baseman (Adrian Beltre maybe) and shop Pat Burrell and his hefty contract and bring in another outfielder and a frontline starting pitcher.Oh, and re-sign David Dellucci! Actually that's about five things but it's better than the ten they had at the beginning of the season!

Good Things Even In Disappointment


Team USA finished third in the FIBA World Championships but showed looks good signs for the future and it's because they have the best young players in the world on the court with the right temperment! LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony and Dwyane Wade have done a great job as captains and have relayed what Coach K. wants to the rest of the players.

James is a amazing talent and player because he could be Earvin "Magic" Johnson or Michael Jordan in how he approaches the game! He finds a way to make an impact in every game and that leads to other players being able to shine!

Wade is great because he's dominating on the baseline in half court sets and in transition after steals. When you watch the game you don't notice the points Wade puts up because they are so quick! This is crazy considering he is taking it easy since he just finished up a season where he won the NBA championship and won NBA Finals MVP!

Anthony is showing why he won the national championship as a freshman in college! While not a
multifacited as the other two (defense is a strong suit yet) he has a more complete scoring game than the two (yes I said it) and does it so smoothly! Whether it's on the block posting up, hitting the three or off the dribble Anthony is doing it all and has the most points during the FIBA World Championships.

Anthony reminds me of a Bernard King (from what I can remember and see in classic re-airs). His attitude has been a pleasant surprise to many but not me because he's tired of getting no talk compared to the other two stars in his class and he's had no Shaq like Wade and has been to the playoffs more than James (especially in the tougher Western Conference)!

While I do believe that James and Wade are better players because they've made a difference on the defensive end more than Anthony it should always be the big three not the big two because Anthony is a winner and is less than 25 years old also!

All that and the fact that you got the three best young power forwards in the NBA (Sorry Amare, injuries:)) in Dwight Howard, Chris Bosh and a veteran (at 27) Elton Brand. These players are part of a team that will be together for a few years!

Lastly you have Chris Paul, a young magician who will be on this team for a long time, Shane Battier, a Coach K. (along with Brand) veteran with ability to guard two ,even three positions, and hit the jumper, Joe Johnson, a 6-7 guard who can do it all and Kirk Hinrich, a point
with three point ability and smarts and you have a team that makes me enjoy the international game again!

To be honest,  this team needs some clutch players because I think thats the difference maker in this particular teams loss. I think it's imperative that Kobe Bryant and Chauncey Billups join this team along with a marksman like Michael Redd  but the chemistry this
team is building and I think this needs to be respected.

Injuries will occur and people will drop out for different reasons so I'm sure spots will open but whoever comes in will have to know that it's team first and
ego second!

Eagles Get Their Catch


The Philadelphia Eagles did themselves a huge service by acquiring Donte Stallworth from the New Orleans Saints for a conditional 2007 4th round draft pick and backup linebacker Mark Simoneau. This pickup should sure up a poor receiving core and give quarterback Donovan McNabb some needed help. It should also take the pressure off second year receiver Reggie Brown (a player many threw into the number one spot) and spreads the field for the rest of the skill players especially running back Brian Westbrook and tight ends L.J. Smith and Matt Schobel.

Stallworth had over 60 catches and 900 yards last season
and was playing with Aaron Brooks, now with the Oakland Raiders. McNabb will be a great upgrade from that and while he has he deep speed the Eagles needed he can also makes plays over the middle, break a tackle and get the all important YAC (yards after the catch)!

Stallworth is a potential gamebreaker! He can make a 10 yard slant and turn it into a touchdown and he can also play the X and Z positions as well as the slot (the receiver that goes over the middle) so that's a bonus! I forgot that he also does kick and punt returns too!

All of those added dimensions for a fourth rounder (possibly turning to a third depending on some laid out criteria) and linebacker who will always be remembered for getting trucked by Carolina Panther running back DeShawn Foster in the 2003 NFC Championship game is a great move!

While Deion Branch is a more accomplished reciever who won has won a Super Bowl MVP, it's unlikely the New England Patriots would have led Tom Brady's favorite target go at all and if so it would have cost a pretty penny considering his salary, signing bonus and the compensation needed to pry him from the Patriots.

I don't expect Stallworth to pay immediate big dividends because he still has to learn the system and the team has to work him into the rotation but his presence will force teams to lay off of our other players and by mid-season he should be ready to go against that tough final eight games featuring 3 straight road NFC East matchups.

This acquisition will also help the defense. The defensive side of the ball is based on the pass rush so the more we can play with a lead (i.e. The 2004 Eagles that made it to the Super Bowl), the more the defense can tee off on offenses that need to pass to get back into the game. This move will be defined as good or bad at the end of the season and if they can resign him! He's no T.O. talent wise but he does a hell of a lot for a team that was depending on Todd Pinkston to come back! Great move for the Eagles.


Any comments, questions and/or suggestions give Clayton Ruley an email at clayton@geoclan.com.

 
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