T.O. admits he dishes more than he could take himself

Updated: July 19, 2006, 8:16 AM ET
ESPN.com news services

IRVING, Texas -- Terrell Owens blames the media for portraying him as a selfish player, but in two different interviews this week he didn't seem to be taking a backseat to anyone.

Terrell Owens

In an interview with Bryant Gumbel airing Tuesday night on HBO's "Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel," Owens acknowledges dishing out more criticism than he's willing to take.

"The only thing I can really think of is maybe it was the way I grew up, you know," he said, according to a transcript released Monday to The Associated Press. "I got picked on so much, and it's like I feel like I'm still constantly being picked on."

Owens said he doesn't think reporters are necessarily conspiring against him as much as using him "to gain viewers' attention." As a result, he believes that he is "misunderstood." He said other players have been, too, "but I feel like I have been one of the main guys who've been vilified."

"Why me? ... At some point it does get to me."

Terrell Owens


"That's the million-dollar question," he said. "Why me? ... At some point it does get to me. And I can't say it enough. Dude, I'm human and that's what I'm trying to get people to understand."

Owens also discussed his spat with quarterback Donovan McNabb that eventually led to his release by the Eagles.

As he wrote in a recently released book, Owens said he believes McNabb was jealous of the attention Owens was receiving in Philadelphia and that things boiled over when McNabb cursed at him in a huddle after a play. Owens said he took it as more than something said in the heat of competition.

"When I tried to address that after the game, he blew me off," Owens said. "So, that let me know it's more than just being competitive. It was more than that."

In an appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live on Monday night, Owens said that he and McNabb had clashed all season long. Asked if he could go the rest of his career without talking to his former QB, Owens said, "If that's possible, then I have no problem with that."

Kimmel asked about the Cowboys' game at Philadelphia this season on Oct. 8. Wouldn't that be a good time to make an effort to patch things up with McNabb?

"I will make an effort to beat the Eagles," Owens snapped back, smiling.

Owens is scheduled to report to his first training camp with Dallas Cowboys at the end of next week.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.