The word is out; the Buffalo Bills will meet the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium to signal the start of Monday Night Football on September 14, 2009. Bills fans knew that the addition of Terrell Owens would bring the team more attention in the national spotlight, but who would have thought the season premiere of Monday Night Football was in the cards!?

As expected, Buffalo fans have mixed emotions about the announcement. Here are some immediate reactions on the pros and cons of the situation:

tom_brady_doucheCONS

-The game is in New England.

-While Owens and Brady will be the talk of the game, inevitably the broadcast is going to turn into a Tom Brady love fest. With this being his first game back from suffering a knee injury in week 1 of the 2008 season, and Brady’s return taking place in New England the stage has been set. Also, it’s almost a given that somehow Teddy Bruschi will be highlighted as well. (I hate those guys.)

-Owens would probably very vocal after a blow out…

-The major con really boils down to this; the New England Patriots have totally dominated the Buffalo Bills over the last decade. From the Bills defeating the Pats only once in the new millennium (September 7, 2003/31-0), to the disaster that was Drew Bledsoe, to embarrassing prime time losses, the Patriots have slapped an “owned” label on Buffalo. Check out these depressing facts:

  • The Bills are 1-17 against the Patriots in the new millennium.
  • Buffalo has played New England 4 other times on prime time TV over the last 14 years. Here are the results:
  1. Monday Night, October 23, 1995 @ New England: 14-27 loss
  2. Sunday Night, October 27, 1996 @ New England: 25-28 loss
  3. Sunday Night, November 14, 2004 @ New England: 6-29 loss
  4. Sunday Night, Nov. 18, 2007 @ Buffalo: 10-56 loss (the worst defeat in franchise history)

-To continue with the history lesson, the previous two Monday Night Football appearances by Buffalo were some of the worst moments in recent Bills history. The 25-24 loss to the Dallass Cowboys on Nick Folk’s last second field goal in 2007, and Rian Lindell’s wide right kick in last season’s despicable 27-29 loss to the Cleveland Browns(tains), have become this generation of Bills fans’ Forward Lateral and Wide Right. (This humbled writer was present at the Cleveland game and, wow. What a bummer.)  The Patriots now have the opportunity to send Buffalo packing for the third straight year on Monday Night Football.

terrell_owens-2PROS

-Well, the reverse angle of this is that, hey, the Bills will be on Monday Night Football three years in a row! What fan doesn’t want to see their team get a prime time slot? Given how the Bills closed out last season, this is a boon for the team and it’s fans (especially since before T.O. appeared, the prospect of a Buffalo prime time game was all too laughable).

-More media attention for Buffalo and it’s Bills is always a good thing.

-If somehow the Bills can get over the hump and actually defeat New England, talk about a way to start off the season! What a momentum surge: poo-pooing on Brady’s return to the Pats, at home, and on national TV. Kick. Ass.

-If the Bills were to win, one can only imagine that Terrell Owens would play a major role in the victory. That would be a great way for T.O. to make his Buffalo debut by burning New England at home and helping to erase Buffalo’s 11 game, 5 and a half year losing streak to the Pats.

-The Pats and Bills will be donning their throwback AFL jerseys for the game. This should mentally return Bills fans to a time when Buffalo dominated New England. Happy days.

For the Bills, the 2008 season ended with a gutless 13-0 home loss to the Patriots. They have now been given the opportunity to make a statement to themselves, their fans, and the rest of the NFL that the Buffalo Bills are back and ready to compete. Brady, Welker, Moss, and Maroney had better watch out, because here comes Edwards, Evans, Owens, and Lynch!

Oh, and to the T.O. haters who are speculating why he has missed the first few days of a voluntary training session set to last 12 weeks with the Bills, chill out. Owens has been preparing for his appearance as an honored guest at the Alzheimer’s Association 6th Annual Gala in Washington, D.C. this evening. So chew on that.

Go Bills!

owens811Terrell Owens will wear the number 81 for the Buffalo Bills this season, and the news has sent some sports fans into an outrage. The number was previously worn by rookie wide receiver, James Hardy.

Like a cat waiting for the mouse to poke it’s head out a hole, Owens haters have sprung their unfounded jim-jam on the situation; claiming that Owens is already causing locker room conflicts by wanting the number. Hardy who had a mere 9 receptions for 87 yards and 2 TD’s in his over-hyped first season, will now wear #84. The Buffalo Bills have yet to report whether or not T.O. has compensated Hardy for the number (which is commonly done in the NFL), or if Hardy was told to surrender it.

Either way, who cares? Terrell Owens deserves to wear the digits he has worn his entire professional career of 13 years. Considering Hardy will likely miss a chunk of the beginning of the season due to reconstructive knee surgery, Owens deserves the number all the more. Still, the Owens haters can’t help but spread their speculations, putting a negative spin on T.O.’s need for numerical continuity. Let’s venture into imaginary fun land for a moment and assume that Trent Edwards wore #4 and Brett Favre signed with the Bills. Would anyone care if Favre requested to keep the number that has been his identity for his entire professional career? I doubt it.

So why is T.O. any different?

To the people who are mad because they just spent money on a new James Hardy jersey, I ask you this: What the hell were you doing buying a James Hardy jersey in the first place? Is Lee Evans not good enough for you?… or Trent Edwards? What about Marshawn Lynch, Roscoe Parrish, Paul Posluszny, or Kawika Mitchell? All are far better options for a jersey purchase over James Hardy. You should look on this as punishment for buying a jersey based on speculated talent as opposed to proven talent. 

So wipe your butts Owens haters, you’re leaking brown stuff all over the Bills new look!

What does the worlds most notorious villain think about Terrell Owens signing with the Buffalo Bills? Find out for yourself:

While I may not agree with everything that is said on this video about the signing, it is absolutely hilarious!! Bravo to whoever put this together!

Bills Owens Football

118-mccoy_sports_billsstandaloneprod_affiliate502Let me begin our discussion by reminding you that the Buffalo Bills have not made the playoffs in the new millennium and are going on 10 straight years without a post season appearance. This horrible statistic is second only to the Detroit Lions.

Bills fans, please keep these facts in the front of your mind as you proceed to read further.

Terrell Owens is now a Buffalo Bill.

The five time All-Pro wide receiver has signed a one year deal worth $6.5 million to don the red, white, and blue in Western New York. As a Bills fan, I couldn’t be happier. The signing of Owens, even for only one season, is a positive on so many levels that his main criticism of being a locker room cancer is almost irrelevant.

Here are some immediate reactions to negative opinions on the acquisition of Owens:

“Terrel Owens is a locker room cancer. He is going to tear the team apart!” To the people who think this way, let me remind you that the same thing was said about Randy Moss when he signed with the New England Patriots, and look how that turned out. Also realize that the Bills are no strangers to controversy in the locker room. Maybe controversy on a high school level when compared to T.O., but controversy nonetheless. Between the Willis McGahee drama, the Edwards/Losman conflict, and the outrage geared toward head coaches Dick Jauron, (and former coaches) Mike Mularkey, and Gregg Williams, the Bills have spent some time experiencing their own off field issues. Oops! I forgot to mention Marshawn Lynch’s hit and run and misdemeanor weapons possession charge over the last two years… If you’re among the fans who think T.O. is only going to ruin the Bills chances of success due to his personality issues, I ask you this: How have the Bills fared on the field all these years without T.O.? After nearly a decade of watching the Bills be monumental losers (especially after this season) Owens can open his notorious big mouth all he wants as along as he’s making plays and helping the Bills win games. Besides, if he does turn out to be the dreaded ‘cancer’ the majority of the world perceives him to be, he’s gone at the end of the season, no strings attached. I want a Championship in Buffalo, and T.O. helps the Bills get one step closer to that ultimate goal.

“This is an outrage! I refuse to buy a Bills ticket if Owens is on the team!” While you may not be the only fan who thinks this way, you’re probably in the minority. With the addition of Owens, the Bills have become a far more marketable team, and to be frank, won’t really need your ticket money. The Bills now have a serious (instead of hopeful) shot at getting multiple prime time games, and if that happens, ticket sales won’t be an issue. With the dying economy and the way last season ended, Bills owner Ralph Wilson had to do something to keep interest in the club in both Western New York and Toronto, Canada. The Bills first game in Toronto, was an unmitigated disaster. People had shelled out thousands of dollars to go to the game, and they weren’t even rewarded with a touchdown from the ‘home’ team. The Bills still have four more game dates with Toronto, and after last seasons embarrassing performance against the Dolphins, why would Canadians want to pay even $5 to see a crappy team try and play football? Terrell Owens now gives them a reason to come back. Besides, when was the last time a Bills jersey topped the sales charts? … anyone?

“Owens is only using the Bills as a springboard for opportunities to go elsewhere in 2010.” Assuming this becomes fact, who cares. Buffalo picked up QB Trent Edwards, RB Marshawn Lynch, LB Paul Posluszny, and WR James Hardy to be better later. T.O. makes the Bills better now. “I think Buffalo gave themselves a buzz [last season]. They were hot at the beginning of the season. They didn’t finish well. But with someone like myself, I can come in and add that extra piece and we can get over the hump,” said Owens, and I agree with him. If he wants to come to Buffalo and bring success to the team only to say next February, “See everyone! I can play for a bad club and make it elite. I’m available. Who wants to pay for me?”, so be it. If he left in 2010 after a successful 2009, Owens still has done a service to the Bills as other free agents will look on Buffalo as a team that can actually win. So even if he splits after a successful 2009-2010 campaign, he has still bolstered Buffalo’s reputation in the NFL. 

“We don’t need Owens. We’ve got Evans!” Since the departure of veteran WR Eric Moulds, Lee Evans hasn’t developed into the #1 WR Bills fans hoped he’d be. His average play can be faulted on both himself and the Buffalo coaching staff for not giving him enough looks to be effective. He’s also had trouble when being double covered, but with Owens on the opposite sideline, Lee can hopefully up his game. Last season Evans had 63 receptions for 1,017 yards and 3 TD’s, the fewest of his career. Owens caught 69 passes for 1,052 yards and 10 TD’s. With these two guys catching passes for the Bills, the club now has two of the top 15 players in yards per catch during the 2008 season. Evans was 10th and Owens was 15th. One could argue that Owens drops too many passes, as he’s led the league in that stat for the last two years. The counter point to this is that logically, the more balls you have thrown to you, the more you’re going to drop. The other league leaders in dropped passes are WR’s Braylon Edwards, Roddy White, Brandon Marshall, and Dwayne Bowe, all of whom have had solid performances in the last few seasons. With Evans and Owens as QB Trent Edwards’ top two targets, the Bills WR depth chart went from less than average to a threatening unit that deserves respect. Go-to man Josh Reed and the shifty speed demon Roscoe Parrish are ideal #3 and #4 wide receivers, and if things go well, Owens could serve as a valuable mentor to sophomore WR’s, Steve Johnson and (more importantly) James Hardy. Hardy failed to deliver on the high expectations that were placed on him after being drafted by Buffalo in the second round of the 2008 NFL draft. He had a mere 87 yards and 2 TDs in the 14 games he played last season. If he’s up to it, Owens can help the sophomore get those stats up. With Hardy’s development taking longer than expected, the Bills needed another WR and Owens was easily the best one available on the market (he was on a list that featured Jabar Gaffney, Laveranues Coles, T.J. Houshmandzadeh, Michael Clayton, and Hank Baskett). To put your mind at ease, Evans was both excited and surprised about the move, saying “It’s definitely a good feeling that they (the Bills) went out and got him.” 

“Terrel Owens isn’t a team player. His personality doesn’t fit with the system.” I agree with these statements. However, Dick Jauron’s ‘system’ has been less than mediocre as the Bills have gone 7-9 for three straight seasons. Owens’ personality may not fit the system, but lets face it, Buffalo’s system sucks. Owens is the spark the Bills need to be competitive and as mentioned above, he can help develop this young team into a squad of solid players. In addition to helping the Buffalo WR core, he’ll hopefully help the development of Trent Edwards as the young QB now has a handful of dependable targets with which to take shots down field. Edwards has proven that he has what it takes to be an elite quarterback in the NFL, provided he has a team around him and stays healthy. Said Edwards of Owens: “I am really excited about the addition of Terrell Owens to our team. We spoke earlier and both look forward to working hard this off season. We share the common goal of winning football games. His ability and experience will add to our offense and the weapons we already have.”Don’t forget that T.O. is second only to Jerry Rice with 951 career receptions and 139 TD’s. 

“What does the rest of the nation think?” Here are some poll results I found on espn.com and wgr550.com: 

What impact will Terrell Owens have on the Bills: 43% mostly positive, 36% mostly negative, 21% no significant impact (302,960 votes).

Do you think signing Owens was the right move for the Bills: 76% yes, 24% no.

Where will Terrell Owens be at the start of the 2010 season: 46% with the Bills, 46% with another NFL team, 8% out of the NFL (25, 354 votes).

How will the Bills fare in 2009: 49% borderline playoff team, 25% around .500, 22% legitimate AFC contender, 4% double-digit losses (17, 454 votes).

“The Bills won’t make the playoffs with T.O.” I wholeheartedly disagree with this statement. Sure, T.O. never won a playoff game with Dallas, but he helped bring them to two, one of which was a home game (please recall the very first points I made in this article). One of those losses lies solely on the shoulders of Cowboy QB Tony Romo, as he flubbed the hold of a Dallas 19 yard field goal attempt down 1 point with just over a minute to play. Like all Bills fans, I want a post season appearance in this decade, and Terrell Owens can help the Bills get there. The last time Buffalo was in the playoffs, I was 15. I am now 24. Deservedly, the Bills are categorized as one of the leagues worst, alongside teams like the Lions, the Browns, the Raiders, and formerly the Arizona Cardinals. Owens gives the Bills the star power they need in today’s NFL: the Patriots have Tom Brady, the Colts have Peyton Manning, the Chargers have LaDainian Tomlinson, and now the Bills have Terrell Owens. Like T.O. said in his first press conference with the Buffalo media:

“I’m leaving America’s Team to come to North America’s Team. Get ready.”

Terrell, Bills fans have never been more ready for success, so get your popcorn out; welcome to Buffalo T.O.

Go Bills!