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TO: Media trying to 'stir' more sniping

PHILADELPHIA -- Terrell Owens insists he's not looking back
at his brief stint with Baltimore, even if the next chapter between
the Eagles' receiver and the Ravens has yet to be written.

Owens said Wednesday it was an "offensive" racial comment by
Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome that persuaded him to spurn an
offseason deal to Baltimore, along with not wanting to play with
Ravens quarterback Kyle Boller and a desire to play with
Philadelphia's Donovan McNabb.

In his recent autobiography, Owens wrote that Newsome told the
wide receiver's agent that, "He was a black man from Alabama just
like TO" and that "sometimes a black man's gotta be slapped."

"Initially, I was kind of stunned by it," Owens said. "My
agent was kind of reluctant to tell me about it at the time. What a
lot of people don't know, and I guess I'll let it out now, is that
was pretty much one of the main reasons I didn't want to go
there."

Asked about the statement, Newsome, who also is black, said he
didn't want to talk about it.

"Please, why should I respond to that? I did tell TO that he
should check with the veterans we brought in over the years," he
told The Baltimore Sun for Tuesday's editions. "I told him to call
Rod Woodson, Shannon Sharpe, Michael McCrary and Sam Adams, and
they will let him know how we treat veterans here."

Of course, even though he has criticized former teammate Jeff
Garcia, danced on the Dallas Cowboys' star and now this, Owens
wondered why these hot topics always arise as he prepares to play
those teams.

He then found a reason, saying it's, "the media's way of trying
to stir something" and that he knew, "They'd try and find
something."

Finding something controversial about Owens is like trying to
find a Space Needle in a haystack, especially when he writes about
these issues without any prompting from anyone with a pen and
notebook. Owens wondered why this particular excerpt was of any
consequence only days before playing Newsome's Ravens.

"Why didn't they bring it up last week or the week before?"
Owens said. "The book's been out.

"A lot of people are looking for me to fail. They're looking
for some type of distraction."

Owens proclaimed he'd rather do his talking -- or is that
writing, from someone who once yielded a Sharpie after scoring a
touchdown? -- on the field.

After a paperwork problem prevented Owens from becoming a free
agent, Baltimore acquired the outspoken receiver from the 49ers.
But Owens protested the trade, refused to show up for a physical
and insisted he wanted to play in Philadelphia.

The union then filed a grievance on Owens' behalf to make him a
free agent and the three teams agreed to a trade before an
arbitrator could rule on the case.

When the two teams played in the preseason, McNabb and Owens
connected on an 81-yard TD pass on Philadelphia's first play.

The trade has worked out well for Owens, who has a team-best 34
catches for 596 yards and eight touchdowns for the unbeaten Eagles,
while Baltimore (4-2) is 31st in the league in total offense.

"I'm just thankful that I'm here," Owens said. "That's what I
fought for. I knew for me to be productive and play like the
receiver that I knew I can be, then I had to be put in the right
situation. I'm just thankful for Donovan and our progress."

The End?