20 QUESTIONS - Terrell Owens (PlayBoy 2004)

June 15, 2024 in Models & Actresses Photos by Charlotte Sinclair

Terrell Owens (PlayBoy 2004)

The media doesn't like the opinionated Eagle's attitude, but he still lets loose—on and off the field.


PLAYBOY: Even though you got your wish to be a Philadelphia Eagle, you didn't go as a free agent. Instead the San Francisco 49ers traded you to the Eagles after you complained about an initial trade to the Baltimore Ravens.Why didn't you fight the league for free agency and thus get a bigger signing bonus?

OWENS: It's not all about the money. I'm pretty sure I missed out on some money, but it's not that big of a deal. You can say the Eagles got me for cheap-and I didn't break any records as far as my contract is concerned but it ain't no chump change. And they've got a quarterback in Donovan McNabb who I feel 1 can jell with. 


PLAYBOY: What do you like best about playing for the Eagles?

OWENS: It's a brand-new start for me. People's perception of me has been tarnished by what the Bay Area media put out there. Dude, I'm a great guy. I'm a nice guy. What you see on the field is totally the opposite of what you see off the field. I wanted to get out of San Francisco two or three years ago. My coaches said, "T.O., it'll get better. You think you want to go somewhere else, but the grass is not always greener on the other side." Not only is the grass greener on the other side, but the uniform is greener, and I'm getting paid a lot more than what the 49ers were willing to pay me, so my bank account is greener. I'm happy where I am. I ain't looking back.


PLAYBOY: What gives an MVP quarterback like Peyton Manning the edge over a Donovan McNabb?

OWENS: Probably accuracy, which is something Donovan can improve on. That's not me putting a knock on Donovan. It's not something nobody else has said. He has probably said there are things about my game that need improvement. Peyton is a general out there. Not to say Donovan isn't, but Peyton has put up some nice numbers and obviously has a good receiver to complement his skills as a QB.


PLAYBOY: What's your biggest weakness?

OWENS: Impatience. At times I just want the ball a high percentage of the time, but I know other players have to be involved for us to obtain the goal of winning a game or a championship It's a team game, and I can't be selfish. But sometimes playing receiver you have to be selfish.


PLAYBOY: Some people have been upset with your creative touchdown celebra-tions, especially after the much publicized Sharpie incident, when you pulled a marking pen out of your sock and signed the ball after you scored.

OWENS: If you got pissed off about that, then obviously you have a problem within yourself; there are some personal issues there. And as for some of the comments made by the media, coaches and players, some of those people need to look in the mirror, because those guys aren't perfect. I'm pretty sure they've done some things that are probably equally or more embarrassing.


PLAYBOY: Which of last season's celebrations did you find more creative: Joe Horn's end-zone cell-phone call or Chad Johnson's DEAR NFL: PLEASE DON'T FINE ME AGAIN sign?

OWENS: Chad Johnson's. He knew what everybody was expecting, and he flipped the script, saying. "Please don't fine me." But Joe Horn was basically being a copycat; you can call him Kinko's. Here you have a guy who went off about my thing with the Sharpie, saying he would never do anything like that, then he tries to top it. I thought the guy was cool with me. One minute people like you, the next minute they don't.


PLAYBOY: You played college ball at Tennessee-Chattanooga, which is not exactly a football powerhouse. Did the school at least have a decent party scene?

OWENS: That was the worst time of my life. There was no nightlife. I played football and basketball, and when I was on campus the parties were lame. As soon as we'd go on the road, guys would call and say, "Man, that party was hot." I figured it was just my luck that we were on the road. The best time I had was playing basketball. But as far as football and the nightlife in Chattanooga? Nothing.


PLAYBOY: Peyton Manning's younger brother Eli took a page out of your book when he came out publicly and told the media he didn't want the San Diego Chargers to draft him just as you insisted publicly that you would not play in Baltimore.

OWENS: That was a situation where he basically let his family dictate where he was going to go. My situation was a little different. I felt the 49ers were trying to take a right from me, and that wasn't going to fly. They were trying to strip me of my right to free agency. At first I was told I didn't have a case.

Everybody said I was stuck in Balti-more. But all along I said I wasn't going to Baltimore. You look at the situa tion and see who came out on top.


PLAYBOY: Why not Baltimore?

OWENS: I understand the Ravens have a great defense. I understand they have Ray Lewis. Ray Lewis is one man, and he's an MVP. He has earned every accolade he's gotten, but let me tell you right here: Ray Lewis has no record of any passes being thrown or completed at quarterback.


PLAYBOY: Lewis insinuated that you chose Philadelphia because you knew you couldn't acclimate to the family atmosphere of the Ravens.

OWENS: He knows that's not true. Both teams are good. They were both choices of mine. Like I said time and again, I went with Philadelphia because one, I'm familiar with the West Coast offense, two, the coaching staff has been with me for the past two or three years in the Pro Bowl, so they're familiar with me and I'm familiar with them, and three, they have Donovan McNabb at quarterback.

Lewis can say whatever he wants to say to make a story. That's all it is. I don't really care about having the spotlight, because what I do on the field is spotlight in itself. I'm not trying to position myself for a spotlight with Ray Lewis. If that's what he wants to think, then by all means, go on CNN, go on 60 Minutes.


PLAYBOY: You two will have a chance to square off this season.

OWENS: I know everyone will say it's going to be me against Ray. But Ray doesn't play defensive back; he plays linebacker. Some of my routes may take me across the middle or whatever, but guess what-I'm not the whole Eagles team, and he's not the whole Ravens team. We both hold great positions. He's a big piece of the puzzle there. I'm obviously going to be a big piece of the puzzle in Philly. Whatever he needs to do to pump up our game and get us some good ratings when we play, by all means, he should do what he's gotta do.


PLAYBOY: Besides winning, what's most rewarding about being an NFL player?

OWENS: I'd say the perks. Once you become successful, everybody begins to notice you a little more. You take pride in that, and it makes you work harder to elevate your game. The fame and all that is going to come. To be known across the country? That's great.


PLAYBOY: Give us a preview of what we can expect from you this year in terms of touchdown celebrations.

OWENS: Dude, I don't know. With the NFL trying to crack down on every-thing, we're sort of limited right now. The league wants everybody to be team oriented, but you can't even celebrate with your teammates.


PLAYBOY: Does pro football treat its players worse than other sports do?

OWENS: It's crazy. In the NBA you've got guys who get wristbands with their numbers or initials or whatever on them. We can't do any of that. We can't have any personality, no individuality. We're almost like slaves, like robots.


PLAYBOY: Former 49er and current Cleveland Browns quarterback Jeff Garcia, with whom you played for years, has denied media rumors that he's gay. What do you think?

OWENS: Like my boy tells me: If it looks like a rat and smells like a rat, by golly, it is a rat.


PLAYBOY: What do you think would happen in an NFL locker room if a gay player came out of the closet-either to his teammates or to the media-while he was still playing?

OWENS: I probably wouldn't say anything right off the bat. I'd just see what everyone else has to say. I'd probably keep my distance, and hopefully he would keep his. If it was a guy who was helping us win ball games, hey, I'd have no problem with it. He can do what he wants to do outside of my everyday life.


PLAYBOY: Are you still single?

OWENS: I'm single. I definitely have an open mind about acquiring a female as a steady, but at this moment I'm concentrating on football. If God leads some beautiful, sexy lady my way, I'll deal with it when the time comes. But as of now, I'm like Kraft cheese: single.


PLAYBOY: Everyone has a secret life. What's yours?

OWENS: I'm very caring, especially with people who are close to me. I'm sensitive when it comes to things like abandoned kids, homeless people and the starvation of babies and little kids in third world countries. I've donated money to help out in these situations.

It's something I don't really make pub-lic. If you're doing it from the heart, the world doesn't have to know.


PLAYBOY: Will the Eagles be blessed with a Super Bowl this season?

OWENS: On paper right now, we should win the Super Bowl. It's just like the Chicago Bulls in the early 1990s. They were champions on paper. They had the personnel to be champions. You just have to go out there and take it one game at a time. You can't expect people to lie down and let us win. There will be hard-fought games and some great wins.

There will probably be some disappointing losses. But if we give ourselves a chance to get into the playoffs, that's all we need.


PLAYBOY: If you could change any rule in the NFL, what would it be:

OWENS: No limit to the celebrations. Just keep it real. Keep it gangsta.

Interview by Dewey Hammond / PlayBoy 09/2004 

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