Bored with “Wife Swap”? “John and Kate + Eight” continues to make you gag? Or have you “Survivor”-ed yourself into oblivion? Great – well, maybe not great, but certainly entertaining – news, fans of reality television. Terrell Owens has signed on for his own reality show, courtesy of that national brain trust, VH1.
This may end up confusing some of you. You may have thought that Owens was actually already living under the bright lights, given his proclivity for drawing attention to himself over the last several years. Surprise! It’s now official!
My family lives in Moorestown, New Jersey, a charming, historic Quaker-based town about 15 to 20 minutes outside of Center City, Philadelphia. The town is actually home to several Philadelphia Eagles players who have chosen to feather their nests there, including Donovan McNabb – who lives two blocks away. When Owens was signed with the Eagles for two years, he lived two houses away from us on the town’s cul de sac known as Peachtree Pointe.
What I always found really interesting and intriguing, then and now, was the home that T.O. chose.
Terrell Owens’ home was/is (it’s still for sale for the bargain price of $2,000,000, down from the original $4,100,000 price tag) located on a double lot that abuts one of the ugliest bodies of water in the country: a relatively narrow, dark and murky stretch of Rancocas Creek, which eventually leads out into the Delaware River. Much of the acreage that comes with the house – and commands its high property tax base – is literally under water. More disturbing, the house is completely open to the casual passerby. McNabb’s home base is on several heavily wooded acres at the end of a long driveway guarded by a security camera and gate (and more often than note, a bodyguard in an Escalade). Owen’s house? You can hit it with a pebble from the street. No fence. No gate. No privacy or protection. The house boasts both an indoor and outdoor pool; if one wanted to “crash” an outdoor pool party at Terrell’s place, it would involve climbing over a 4′ high decorative concrete barricade.
It was almost as if T.O. WANTED the public to have unprecedented, and to my mind, dangerously close, access to his home. It came as no surprise to us neighbors when he played basketball on the hoop attached to his garage (still there), or did sit ups on his front lawn (still there, too, but badly in need of re-sodding). Instead of discouraging the kids in the neighborhood from wandering over when he was outside, he seemed to actually welcome their presence. The man was a celebrity. Why wouldn’t he want, or need, security and protection within the comfort of his own home? I actually don’t have an answer for that; I think the only person who would is Mr. Owens himself.
It should come as no surprise that Terrell will be “shadowed in the off season by his best friends and publicists Monique Jackson and Kita Williams”, according to a VH1 press release, “as they battle the two sides of his large personality. Viewers will discover that behind the braggadocio, emotional histronics, and sculpted physique that is the outspoken media magnet known to the world as ‘T.O.’ – there is also a quiet, sensitive, mild-mannered guy from Alexander City, Alabama…that’s Terrell.”
Last year, Owens had a supporting role on a little-known cable series show in which he played a con man. He was actually quite good in the episode, and his presence was the only reason I watched that nameless show then, and since. With his 35th birthday now past, his time on the playing field is questionable, although no one can doubt his sincere dedication to maintaining his good health and that ‘sculpted physique’. Will the Cowboys cut Owens from their roster? Will Wade Phillips remain as the ‘Boys head coach? Will Tony Romo return with a changed, more focus outlook for a team sorely in need of a leader? Who really cares?
As much as I hate to admit it, I will be watching T.O.’s reality show, “The Terrell Owens Project”. I’ll be watching it because I honestly believe that this guy continues to be a work in progress, and maybe he’ll allow us to catch him in the act.