Wide Receiver Terrell Owens has made himself an easy target for controversy and criticism over the years with his on and off-field antics. Most of the time, T.O. has taken this criticism in stride, building the chip on his shoulder and allowed his play on the field silence everyone.
Every once in a while though, there's a story that pops up about Owens that gives you a rare glimpse at his vulnerability as a human being. For every "sit-ups in the driveway" incident, there's a tearful "that's my quarterback" episode. For every popcorn and sharpie comedy act, there's the tragic episode where Owens allegedly attempts suicide.
With T.O. recently opting for a football career outside of the NFL, he opened up to GQ Magazine, simply stating proclaiming: "I'm in hell".
Since last spring, when the Cincinnati Bengals declined to renew his one-year, $2 million contract, Owens has been a man without a team, making him arguably football's most talented unemployed player. Plenty of teams could use a receiver of Owens's caliber, there's no question about that, but no one has made even a lowball offer. His agent, Drew Rosenhaus, has tried to drum up interest by hinting that some unnamed club is sniffing around, but nothing has materialized.
This lack of NFL offers has led Owens to a league outside of the NFL, where apparently he'll be a co-owner of the team, as well as be the star player. But this lack of offers has also left Owens "friendless and broke":
The $80 million or so he had made in his career is almost gone, he said, but not because he lived a lavish lifestyle. In a profile story in GQ’s February issue, Owens said his financial advisers lured him into risky investments such as an Alabama entertainment complex that cost him $2 million. He later learned the venture was illegal in the state and violated the NFL’s policy of prohibiting players from investing in gambling, he said.
He also owns a slew of properties that he thought he would be able to rent before the housing market tanked, he said. He has a home in Los Angeles that cost him $499,000 and a multimillion-dollar home that is for sale in Atlanta. The home in New Jersey for which he paid $3.9 million was sold in late 2010 for $1.7 million, he said.
Owens also pays $44,600 a month in child support for his four children, ages 5 to 12. Three of the four mothers have sued him.
Though it's hard to feel sorry for a man who has put himself in the position he has with his attitude and poor life choices, some of these problems stem from Owens being swindled while having his trust taken advantage of. Frankly, it's sad to see a future Hall of Fame player fall from grace so quickly.
A lot of public incidents with Owens have been the root of him seeking attention. Let's hope that he grabs the attention of the right people to pull him out of "hell".