After reading the TMZ story of a paternal court judge telling former NFL star Terrell Owens that his career was over I couldn’t help but think of former MLB star Barry Bonds and the similarities in the circumstances surrounding his exile from pro baseball. 

Much like Bonds in his final season Owens was an extremely productive player. In 2010 he played to the tune of: 72 receptions, 983 yards and nine touchdowns.  Also like Bonds, Owens has been blockaded out of the league, by what any reasonable person would deduce is a sad display of collusion. 

In an age when offense is so valued across sports, and stars that can sell tickets are as prized a commodity as a championship ring, it’s simply hard to believe that guys like Bonds and Owens could not find work after their respective final season of 2007 and 2010. 

 Both men are polarizing stars with influence that stretches well beyond the barriers of sport.  Both men were still highly productive players at the time of their exodus and perhaps most importantly both men sell tickets. 

Everything on the surface would point to Bonds and Owens being very employable men in their line of work. 

However, both men have been locked out and labeled as modern day lepers by an increasingly volatile media whose sole mission often times seems to be to build stars up only to tear them down. 

But still the media’s agenda driven coverage does not in and of itself explain the collusion that any reasonable person can realize has gone on in the cases of Bonds and Owens.  It goes much deeper than that. 

Because of the increasingly cooperative nature of professional sports and major media, it is not unreasonable to suspect that the angles which the media has used over the years to paint Bonds as a villain and Owens as a team cancer were at least, in part, orders from league powers.

As these guys get older teams are less and less willing to pay them what there performance and standing in the sport would still command.  The solution?  Have the league’s media partners cover Bonds’ and Owens’ off field issues hard enough, intense enough and long enough to allow the league to hide its collusion behind the lie of Bonds and Owens being team cancers, distractions and whatever other labels are applied. 

The truth of the matter is, Owens had not been a real team cancer in over five years, since his time with the Philadelphia Eagles.  Bonds meanwhile, while always a grouch to the media and a polarizing figure in the locker room, was still well respected for his ability within the baseball world by countless players and managers. 

 Because they fail to appeal to the media apparatus, Owens’ and Bonds’ careers were cut short due not to inability to perform or help a team win, but rather to owners/team executives who are spellbound by the negative coverage of these two men to see the obvious; they can help you win. 

To Bud Selig the name Barry Bonds is synonymous with cheating. To Roger Goodell the name Terrell Owens induces a massive headache.  To me the names conjure up a different adjective…


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