terrell  owens*It certainly looks like the sun is setting on the career of the great Terrell Owens – and, like a lot of great athletes, the end is getting messy. It’s never good when the death knell is proclaimed by a judge addressing your child support payments. However, here we come to praise T.O., not to bury him.

NFL wide receivers are a funny group – overwhelmingly talented but diva-like and neurotic, as a position of such high prominence and importance demands. After all, Keyshawn Johnson didn’t title his book “Pardon, But if It’s Not a Bother, I’d Like to Be More Involved in the Offense.”  Many of the greatest ones have also been some of the sport’s most compelling figures, for better or for worse. The G.O.A.T, Jerry Rice, may have been the picture of class – but men like Cris Carter, Randy Moss, Andre Rison and Chad Johnson have had careers pockmarked by controversies, arrests and other ugly incidents.

Terrell Owens straddled that line between brat and brilliance for 15 seasons, sometimes compelling and sometimes cringe worthy. There was the petulant Owens, standing on the Texas Stadium star after a touchdown. There was the captivating Owens, a star for every team he played for. There was the train-wreck Owens, with incidents like this, his VH1 reality show and the current legal troubles. However, throughout all this, T.O. was always productive and never boring – and how many current players can you say that about?