To My Fellow Americans and Fans around the Nation,
I am sure you share my horror and disbelief over the devastation along the Gulf Coast in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Never in my wildest dreams could I ever imagine the things I see on television as I watch the coverage of the destruction, the floods and the plight of the hurricane victims.
With the help of NFL Auctions, I am auctioning off my 2004 Philadelphia Eagles NFC Championship ring, in order to raise money for hurricane relief. My hope is that one of you with a generous heart and hopefully a big pocketbook will see this as an opportunity to do your part to help those that have lost everything.
I urge each one of you to place a bid, as much as you can afford for this worthwhile cause. All proceeds from the auction will go directly to hurricane relief. If you don't win this auction I ask you to consider donating the value you were willing to bid directly to the relief effort. Although you didn't win my ring, I believe you will find your generosity just as rewarding.
To my NFL teammates I urge each one of you to do what you can for the victims, be it an auction or monetary donation. Many of us are from the affected states and together we can make a difference.
HERE'S HOPING Terrell Owens' planned auctioning of his NFC Championship ring on his Web site nets plenty of money for the victims of Hurricane Katrina. But, as is often the case with T.O., there's a subtext to this generous gesture.
Several weeks ago, a rumor circulating among media people friendly with Owens contended T.O. had sent his NFC ring back to the Eagles, unopened, as a demonstration of his unhappiness over the team's refusal to revise his contract. At the time, the Eagles hadn't issued any rings, so the rumor didn't spread far.
Last week, the Eagles handed out the diamond-encrusted rings, whose value an Eagles spokesman declined to reveal. This week, Owens seems to have found a way to avoid accepting the ring, while also avoiding any criticism he might have encountered for just tossing the ring back in management's face.
In his ESPN interview with Michael Irvin this week, Owens referred to things he'd said "out of emotion, out of frustration" - presumably, like calling Donovan McNabb a "hypocrite."
"That means I'm human," Owens concluded. "If you're going to say I was wrong, maybe I was. Maybe I wasn't."
Indeed. Maybe that rumor accurately reflected what T.O. planned to do with his championship ring. And maybe it didn't.