Tonawanda News

Columns

May 21, 2009

HOPKINS: An open letter to Terrell Owens

Dear Terrell,

T.O. Mania is in full force in Western New York and you got a good taste of what’s to come in Buffalo this year. However, I’d like to warn you that what we saw on local TV is showing the rest of the world a side of the region that would be better off being swept under the rug ... or over Niagara Falls.

Since you’ve landed in Buffalo, you’ve been greeted by hundreds of Bills fans, the Buffalo Jills and you’ve been given the key to the city. It made me wonder if this was a major league city or Andy Griffith’s Mayberry. Or worse yet, Hooterville from “Green Acres.”

I mean, no disrespect to you, but you have a one-year contract with a team that hasn’t made the playoffs in nine years and needs more than a wide receiver to take them to the promised land. You hadn’t even stepped on the practice field and you were treated like you’re a five-time Super Bowl winner when in fact you’ve never even played in the big game.

The national attention for the Bills is great. But, the reception has been overdone. Jim Kelly wasn’t given the key to the city when he finally arrived after his detour to the USFL. Neither did Thurman Thomas, Bruce Smith or Andre Reed. Heck, Drew Bledsoe — who is a Super Bowl winner — didn’t get the key to the city when he arrived.

Personally, I believe Mayor Brown’s key to the city presentation was a stunt to get some face time on VH-1, courtesy of your television show. When he was in college, the mayor worked at the Buffalo State College radio station, the same station that VH-1’s president worked at. That whole scene wasn’t about the bling; it was a collaboration to use your show to give the mayor some air time.

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