T.O. admits tuning out Parcells' championship speech
"The championship speech? I must have went to sleep on that one," T.O. said, laughing.
Parcells gave his speech Monday, a day after a pivotal win in New York and hours before Owens flew to Los Angeles for an ostentatious 33rd birthday party he threw himself. All sorts of Hollywood types showed up and the Maloof family, owners of the Sacramento Kings, gave him a diamond-crammed watch worth nearly $50,000.
Back in the locker room Wednesday, Owens insisted he didn't recall Parcells' words of wisdom about the things the Cowboys (8-4) need to do down the stretch as they try to win their division for the first time since 1998.
"I can't remember. I had my mind on the party," he said when asked a second time about Monday's speech. "I have no earthly idea of what you are possibly talking about. I don't remember. I was already in L.A. ... He'll have to redo it."
Things have been pretty quiet on the T.O. front since Parcells changed quarterbacks, dumping Drew Bledsoe for Tony Romo. The Cowboys are 5-1 since, with four straight wins, and Owens' numbers have shot up, too.
Yet Owens always seems to be a story waiting to happen.
Last week, it was criticizing the team's decision to cut kicker Mike Vanderjagt. Now, even if he's only pretending to have tuned out Parcells, Owens comes across as ignoring what could be his coach's most important advice of the season.
At least T.O. shares his coach's sentiment that the Cowboys are a Super Bowl contender.
"I think he has every reason to really kind of speak positively because there are some positive things that have been happening here the last few weeks," he said. "Early in the year, we knew we had a good team, we just weren't playing four quarters. Obviously there were some inconsistencies with our play. Now we're jelling.
"We've put ourselves in a position to really make a push for this thing, get home-field advantage and maybe a first-round bye. We know we have a good team here. We're just looking forward to finishing the season strong, then starting a new season in the playoffs."
Owens flew to Los Angeles on a private jet Monday afternoon, accompanied by three teammates, all defensive players: linebackers Akin Ayodele and Kevin Burnett, and safety Abram Elam. Fellow receiver Sam Hurd was supposed to join them, but made a rookie mistake by being unreachable.
"Just from some of the feedback from my friends and some of the guys who went to the party, they definitely told me they enjoyed themselves," said Owens, whose actual birthday is Thursday. "Overall, it was a good time."
Owens rated this his best party yet. He also called the watch from the Maloofs "definitely, by far, the best gift I've ever received."
"I think it's about 6 carats. It's definitely an eye-catcher," he said. "I started to wear it today in practice, but, you know, I didn't want to blind anyone."
Parcells, by the way, said he wasn't invited to the bash.
"I didn't think he was going to make it," Owens explained. "I gave the invites to the guys I thought maybe might make the trip."
Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press
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