Let's forget for a second that the Seattle Seahawks already have about 10 receivers who fall into the "This guy may be good this year but he also may not be" category. Terrell Owens is his own phenomenon. He's like an episode of "House" -- once you've seen it, you know how every episode is going to unfold. With T.O., it's a very familiar script: The beginning is great, and everyone's singing "I Got You Babe" at karaoke. The middle gets a little tenuous, and relationships crack. The ending is so bad that both sides end up crying on a friend's shoulder saying "How could I ever think that was going to work out!"
But whereas in the past, sometimes the "beginning" for T.O. was two or three seasons, the middle was one or two and the end was one horrendous campaign, he's getting older now, so the timeline is speeded up. Want to know what 2012 has in store for the Seahawks and T.O.? No fear, it's here:
Preseason -- Week 3 at Kansas City:After a slow start in camp, T.O. catches his first touchdown pass from backup QB Tarvaris Jackson. Following the game, T.O. states that Jackson is good enough to start in the NFL. It's not really a shot at starter Matt Flynn, but it's taken that way because after all, it's T.O. and you can't ever let anything he says go unchallenged. Owens is upset because he feels the media is twisting his words, so he announces a 10-minute media blackout before resuming speaking.
Regular Season -- Week 1 at Arizona: T.O. is shocked to realize that once the season starts, the drama that is his career falls from the front page to page E6. Seattle wins at Arizona and his big contribution is splitting some Skittles with Marshawn Lynch on the sideline. That video is the last shot in the game's highlight package on every sports TV channel.
Week 2 vs. Dallas:Owens saves up a big performance for his former team. After a 10-yard TD reception in the second quarter, Owens pulls a bag of M&M's from his sock and starts to eat them. He can be heard yelling to fans to bring them to the next game to throw at him after he scores. Lynch laughs off the potential controversy. T.O. says he expects to score once a week, at least. This is the high point of the season.
Week 7 at San Francisco:After what passes for a quiet month for Owens, he has something special planned for his return to his original NFL home. Owens can be seen with candy not only in his sock, but also stuffed into the earholes of his helmet, his belt and tied to his cleats. On the second play from scrimmage Patrick Willis lays out Owens. T.O. slams into the ground and candy flies out everywhere. Kids come out of the stands to pick up all the goodies off the ground. Owens' new nickname becomes "The Pinata."
Week 10 vs. New York Jets: With Owens sitting on just two TD catches for the season, the pressure is on to produce. Fans are now freezing M&M's and throwing them at him. But he's shut out with no receptions against the Jets, who actually use third cornerback Kyle Wilson to cover him. Owens keeps calling him "Revis" in postgame interviews and when he's reminded that's not who was on him, he simply replies he was "just going with the plays that are called." Thank goodness for the bye week. (Or not ...)
Week 11 Bye Week: Owens accuses Flynn and the rest of the wide receivers (and tight ends, running backs, media members and assorted fans) of game-planning without him in Flynn's hotel room. He also promises a big game against the Dolphins and former teammate Chad Johnson because "that's the place I should have signed"( even though they never offered him a contract).
Week 12 at Miami:Owens has a limited role in the team's game plan, but does contribute a big first-down catch on a fourth-down pass in the final two minutes right in front of the Dolphins bench. Owens stays on the Miami sideline for the next three plays to try to convince Joe Philbin he wants to be there next season. Pete Carroll claims afterward to not have noticed this, which seems believable because Seattle played those snaps in question with 10 players.
Week 15 at Buffalo: The final (I swear) visit to one of his old teams comes in the form of a complete and total meltdown. Booed from the moment he takes the field, he resorts to a new gimmick: He no longer waits to score to perform his touchdown celebrations. Now, he does them after any big play made by the Seahawks. After a Flynn scramble for a first down, he mimes eating Buffalo wings. Following a long TD run by Lynch, he gets a couple of teammates to re-enact the Brett Hull Stanley-Cup-winning-goal against the Sabres from 1999, even spray-painting a small crease to show Hull being in it when he scored. Because of this, no one realizes he failed to make a catch during the game.
Week 17 vs. St. Louis:With the Seahawks still mathematically alive for a playoff berth -- and thanks to the mediocrity of their wide receiving corps -- T.O. still finds himself on the team. After a key third-down pass hits a wide-open Owens in the numbers and falls to the ground, T.O. is seen ripping into his teammates on the sideline. This is the last straw. T.O. is benched for the entire second half as Courtney Love tweets that T.O. has been misunderstood and she'll miss him when he's gone.
Jason Smith writes fantasy and other pith for nfl.com. He hosts NFL Fantasy Live during the regular season on the NFL Network, and you can download his weekly Cover 2 podcast with Steve Wyche at nfl.com. Talk to him on twitter @howaboutafresca. He only asks you never bring up when the Jets play poorly.