Sunday, July 09, 2006

Say It Ain't So, T.O.!

January 3, 1999. 3Com Park. San Francisco. Three seconds left on the game clock. Quarterback Steve Young of the 49ers calls an "all go double comeback" play. Two outside receivers run straight into the end zone by the sidelines and two other receivers slant inside toward the middle of the end zone. The ball is snapped at the opponent's 25-yard line. Young spots one of his receivers -- a third year guy who had four dropped passes and a fumble already in the game -- going to the inside. The two designated defenders are a bit slow to react. The ball is in the air, the receiver goes up for the catch and...well, Packer fans should know the rest of the sad story. The Pack snatches defeat from victory, going down in a key playoff game to the 49ers by a score of 30-27. Darren Sharper and Pat Terrell were the defenders (Sharper stated after the game he should have been in position to defend the ball...ya think???).

The receiver who went from the game's goat to hero -- and, regrettably, superstardom -- was none other than Terrell Owens. That catch, in that game against our beloved Packers, according to a new book called -- what else? "T.O." -- was the one defining moment in his career that made him what he is today. Oh the humanity!

If you want to read a bit more about the sad role the Pack played in creating the T.O. nightmare, click here.