“I Give It A Zero … It’s Beneath Him” | Fan Controlled Football Version Of Terrell Owens: Validation Or Degradation?

Photo by Todd Kirkland/Fan Controlled Football/Getty Images

It took Terrell Owens over a decade to score another touchdown as a professional football player. The newest star on the Fan Controlled Football League roster made his dream to be back on the field reality, but, as usual, the polarization of T.O. is still palpable.

“Well, I’m very impressed,” said Shannon Sharpe on “Undisputed.” “I’m going to give him a 10, Skip, because Skip, he’s 48 years of age.”
“But considering how the general population thinks, Skip, 8 percent of the people, Skip, believe they can beat a lion unarmed in a fight, so they’re going to say, ‘I can do that,’ but I don’t believe they can, so I’m very impressed. T.O. is 48 years of age, hadn’t played in a football game in over a decade.”

The Other Take

However, as usual, Skip Bayless took the other position. The Zappers loss to the Shoulda Been Stars.

“I give it a zero because he caught a touchdown pass from the backup quarterback in what was a bad loss, and then in the second half, he adjourns upstairs to do commentary and interview players,” said Bayless. “I’m sorry, I just can’t see it. It’s beneath him.”

Still, Shannon rubbed in the point of athleticism before criticism.

“Yeah, Skip, but it still was impressive that he caught the ball at 48 years old in a football game,” laughed Sharpe in a low-key mic drop moment.

The T.O. Dichotomy

In this lies the new dichotomy that swirls Terrell Owens: does playing football at any cost have a cost?

“I can’t wait to play football at a high level again,” Owens said via a statement from the FCF. “I’m happy to be part of a league that is redefining the game and bringing a level of fan interaction to sports that has never been done before. I’m pumped to have fans dial up the plays for me.”

According to their website, FCF is pro football re-imagined for the modern digital world. Real games are played in a single, high-tech studio arena and streamed live on Twitch. However, the unique difference is that fans can watch football and call all the plays in real-time.

The FCF Difference

The one-hour games have no replay. Just a running clock to stoke an all-action condensed version of the outdoor game. Seven-on-seven, three-man line, an actual sideline, according to FCF.

Additionally, there are no kickoffs, no punts, and no goalposts. Instead, teams start at their 10-yard line and drive 40 yards for the score. A one-versus-one battle decides extra points between a wide receiver and defensive back.

However, Owens, who played for five NFL teams, including the Dallas Cowboys, San Francisco 49ers, and Philadelphia Eagles, is looking to prove he still has what it takes to compete at a high level.

The New G League?

Is Fan Controlled Football the new G League? Is the plan to start in FCF because they were the best first deal, then transition to other organizations like the XFL to work his way back to the NFL?

Then there’s the over-the-top content (OTT) where Owens and Fubo Sports Network have “The T.O. Zone,” a take on the NFL Network’s “Manningcast” live commentary.

For Skip, it was degrading. For T.O., it was perhaps liberating. He gets to be in the sports conversation again and distribute his personality brand to the people.

The T.O. Perspective

Whether Owens is legitimately playing himself or showcasing that his athleticism has no age limits, T.O. has always been about polarization for the fans, making him perfect for a fan-controlled league.

The choice is yours, but T.O. will be attempting to live his best life at 48 years old, doing what he always does by proxy, giving you polarized pause.

Rhett Butler is a Boxing Writer Association of America Journalist, Play-By-Play Commentator, Combat Sports Insider, and Former Mixed Martial Arts and Boxing Promoter. The New York City native honed his skills at various news outlets including but not limited to: TIME Magazine, Money Magazine, CNN's Wolf Blitzer Reports, and more. Rhett hosts the PRITTY Left Hook podcast, a polarizing combat sports insider's take featuring the world's biggest names.