He was a 6-3, 224-pound beast who was part gazelle, part enigma. There wasn't a d-back who could keep up with him and the only thing that could get in his way was his own mouth.
Terrell Owens is going into the Hall of Fame on Saturday, but he's skipping the ceremony. Pretty much sums him up. All of those glorious accomplishments and he still prefers his own island.
Here are 25 things to know about Owens, who came to Philadelphia in 2004 as a savior and left in 2005 as a pariah.
1. The Eagles were coming off three consecutive losses in the NFC championship when they traded for Owens, each one was uglier than the previous. They managed just a field goal against the Panthers in a dismal 14-3 defeat after the 2003 season that convinced team officials they had to get a playmaker at wide receiver. Even one as potentially caustic as Owens.
2. "In this offense, he may not get a hundred catches," quarterback Donovan McNabb said when Owens was acquired. "There are going to be times when he's going to get five, six, seven balls a game. But there also are going to be times when somebody else is going to have those identical numbers. I just want to do what's best for the team. Knowing that he's going to be on one side, it's not like I'm going to drop back every time and just look for him."
3. Owens is being inducted into the Hall of Fame along with Brian Dawkins, Ray Lewis, Randy Moss, Brian Urlacher, Jerry Kramer, Robert Brazile and executive Bobby Beathard.
4. Owens is the first honoree to skip the induction ceremonies. He's not happy that he wasn't inducted until his third year of eligibility. His erratic temperament was too much for some voters to overlook in Years 1 and 2. Owens will spend the day at his alma mater, the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga.
5. "I told him I am very disappointed, it is unprecedented, and we've certainly been trying to persuade him to come," said David Baker, the Hall of Fame's president and CEO. "He has a whole city here, with 4,800 volunteers who do everything to honor these guys. For him, this could be the opportunity to be honored the way I believe he always felt he should be honored. We respect he has strong feelings of his own and I respect his right to make that decision. I invited him to the hall, even at the last moment he would be welcomed, and he is welcomed every day the rest of his life. Even though he is not here, we will honor him to the best of our ability."
6. Owens' 15,934 receiving yards is second all-time (Jerry Rice) and his 153 touchdown receptions is third (Rice, Randy Moss).
7. His event Saturday at UTC is free and open to the public. It will begin at 3:17 p.m. (ET) because Owens is the 317th inductee in the Hall of Fame. Kind of sad, actually.
8. It was a legalese mess when the Eagles tried to acquire Owens from the 49ers, who felt Owens' agent missed a deadline to file for free agency. Meanwhile, San Fran had a deal with Baltimore for a second-round pick that was voided when a special arbitrator ruled in favor of the Eagles.
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9. The Birds wound up sending defensive lineman Brandon Whiting to San Francisco and a fifth-round pick to Baltimore for T.O. Everybody was happy, right?
10. Not the Ravens, who also needed an upgrade at wide receiver. They had lost out on Owens and had missed out on David Boston who was traded by San Diego to Miami during the Owens' free agency saga. "We had every assurance, at every level, that we were going to get Terrell Owens," fumed Ravens coach Brian Billick.
11. Whiting, who was a good rotational lineman for the Eagles from 1998-03, played five games for the 49ers before tearing a knee ligament. Tony Bua became the fifth round pick. His career lasted just seven games in 2004 because of various injuries.
12. Owens had no interest in going to Baltimore which was going with second-year pro Kyle Boller as its starting quarterback. (Joe Flacco, just a freshman at Pitt in 2004, was several years away.). He preferred Philadelphia which had McNabb, then a four-time Pro Bowler.
13. Owens caught an 81-yard touchdown pass in his first play at Lincoln Financial Field as an Eagle. Even though it was a preseason game, the town was abuzz. "It was definitely something to make a statement," Owens said. "It lets teams know why the Eagles brought me here."
14. Owens still holds the Eagles single-season records for touchdown receptions (14) and 100-yard games (seven), which he set in 2004.
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15. Owens, 44, was born Dec. 7, 1973 in Alexander City, Ala. He was raised by his mother, Marilyn Heard and his strict grandmother, Alice Black, who insisted neighborhood kids came to Owens' house to play.
16. "We were brought up the same way," Marilyn told the Vallejo Times-Herald in a 2001 profile of Owens. "We didn't get to participate in things and visit people … Sometimes when you grow up and don't get out as much, I think it distances you. Once you become of age and become an adult, you have to find yourself."
17. Owens was All-Pro five times and selected to the Pro Bowl six times.
18. Owens first game as an Eagle against the Cowboys was as notable for a provocative skit with actress Nicolette Sheridan as it was for the three touchdowns he scored.
19. The following morning, the NFL was miffed with ABC for the sexually suggestive skit, which promoted the network's show Desperate Housewives. It took 2.5 hours to film and about 40 takes. To be clear, it was NOT Owens' idea for her to drop her bath towel.
20. Owens had 77 receptions for 1200 yards in 2004 as the Eagles were the class of the NFC. His numbers would have been even better, but he sustained severe leg injuries when he was horse-collared by Dallas safety Roy Williams. Owens missed the final two regular season games (which were meaningless because the 13-1 Eagles had locked up homefield advantage) and the first two playoff games.
Postseason — Garcia 2, Young 2, Romo 1.
21. He returned heroically for the Super Bowl and had nine catches for 122 yards in the Eagles loss to the Patriots.
22. That spring, feeling he ought to be paid more than his $4.5 million contract, Owens melted down and feuded with just about everyone from the head coach to the quarterback. He played in just seven games in 2005 (six TDs, four 100-yard games), was suspended for detrimental conduct and released after the season.
23. Owens played five more seasons (three with Dallas, one each with Buffalo and Cincinnati). He was 37 years old when he led the Bengals with 72 receptions for 983 yards and nine TDs in 2010. Cincy was a 4-12 mess, but Owens still produced.
24. Owens tried to play through torn cartilage in his knee, but was put on injured reserve and missed the final two games of the 2010 season – his last in the NFL.
25. "I've always said Terrell lives at the center of the hurricane," agent David Joseph said after the flap between the 49ers, Eagles and Ravens in 2004. "There's a storm around him, but he has this ability to stay calm, this sort of clarity about him."