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Chin music would do Owens some good

October 21, 2002|by MARK KELLER

keller@herald-mail.com

Terrell Owens called it a way of celebrating.

Whatever.

By now, everybody has seen how the San Francisco 49ers receiver "celebrated" Monday night. After scoring a touchdown in the fourth quarter against the Seattle Seahawks, Owens pulled a pen from his sock, signed the football and tossed it to his financial adviser in the stands.

That's what I call spontaneity.

For a guy who claims to have the best interests of the team at heart, Owens does love having the spotlight all to himself.

Most of his teammates laughed off the incident. "Oh, that's just Terrell," they shrugged.

Do you think the 49ers would have been laughing if any Seahawk, having been shown up by Owens on his home field, would have had the nerve to teach the receiver a lesson in etiquette and given him a shot on his next catch?

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Or would they have been crying foul, calling said Seahawk a dirty player and demanding a suspension?

Two years ago, when Owens went out of his way to show up the Dallas Cowboys on their home field, George Teague rightfully took offense and made a run at Owens.

That should have sent the receiver a message. Obviously not.

He continues his dances and his celebrations, but what's worse is that his opponents let him get away with it.

The Seahawks should have made Owens pay for the celebration. Give him a shot when he goes across the middle.

Make it known on the field that you don't like what he did. Don't wait to do it in the papers the next day.

It happens in baseball all the time. A player stands in the batter's box just a little too long to watch his home run sail over the wall.

Next time up? High heat, just enough to make him hit the deck. Some unfortunate souls get one right in the small of the back.

Is that right or wrong? Depends on who you ask.

Is it morally the right thing to do? Nah, probably not.

But is it a part of the game? Absolutely.

Athletes talk all the time about pride. Owens trampled all over the pride of the Seahawks on Monday night ... and the Seahawks allowed him to do so.

Nobody would have blamed the Seahawks if they had exacted a little revenge on Owens, so long as it was done on the field and done legally.

The problem is nobody stepped up to do anything about it.

Seattle goes to San Francisco on Dec. 1. We'll see if a Seahawk ... any Seahawk ... will feel the need to throw Owens a little chin music.

Mark Keller is sports editor of The Herald-Mail. His column appears every Sunday. He can be reached at 301-733-5131, ext. 2332, or by e-mail at keller@herald-mail.com

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