It happened again this Sunday morning. As I trotted down my driveway to pick up the newspapers, a man was standing in the middle of my front yard. He was rather well dressed, especially for that hour of the morning, and was gazing intently at my neighbor’s home. “Excuse me, can I help you?”, I yelled, trying not to sound as angry and anxious as I was feeling. The man turned to look at me, then turned back to the object of his intense scrutiny and apparent desire: the home of Terrell Owens, perhaps the most talented – and certainly most well-known – wide received in the NFL. Ah yes, another day in the wacky, wonderful world of T.O.’s Neighborhood.
Now, it seems that everyone on the face of the earth knows where Mr. Owens lives in New Jersey; I believe his address is now actually a question on the standardized SAT’s. How, one might ask, does everyone seem to know this? Perhaps the answer lies in the summer workout sessions in which Mr. Owens engaged on his front lawn for the vast enjoyment of the media and several neighboring young men, all of whom appeared to own no footwear in their wardrobes (the young men, that is; I cannot swear that ALL of the media were barefoot as well).Everytime I see the footrage run over and over on television, it gives me great joy to pick out the stubby little toes of my neighbors’ children. Actually, I must say that Mr. Owens had been a really congenial neighbor. When he injured his ankle last season, my family sent him a get well card and wishes for a speedy recovery. Much to my surprise, a week later I received a carefully hand written note on letterhead from “Terrell Owens Enterprises” thanking me for our family’s good wishes and actually SIGNED by Mr. Owens himself. (I am still contemplating on whether or not to have the note framed.) Mr. Owens ia closely guarded by a very pleasant, very large gentleman who physically resembles a Cadillac Escalade in both size and proportions. The gentleman is always quite visible whenever and wherever Mr. Owens goes; we treat Mr. Escalade with the utmost of respect slightly tinged with a lingering sense of fear.
One of our neighbors, who has since moved out of the area, actually had a very large banner on her fence post last year, wishing Mr. Owens well in his season and counting down all of his touchdowns, game by game. It was quite a treat to see the banner week after week, shredded by wind, rain and snow, giving a blow by blow countdown to touchdown #100. Towards the end of the season, it became a little hard to determine what the banner actually SAID, but nevertheless it certainly gave us a colorful edge over other Moorestown neighborhoods. There were no banners in place for Freddie Mitchell!
To be honest, Terrell Owens has been a model neighbor. He keeps his property maintained, although his front yard seems to be in a constant state of vegetative shock. His trash cans are always placed outside by sunset, no sooner, according to township ordinance! (Note to local youths and fans thinking about rummaging through them to find the peel of a banana that Terrell Owens actually ATE: We see you, and we have the police department on speed dial!) He does not speed through the neighborhood, he waves to his neighbors, and does not host loud and lengthy parties. Even the excessive media attention that our neighborhood has received has had its benefits. Every time a parade of gaudy vans and vehicles emblazoned with the name and logo of whichever media group they represent comes tearing into town, they are followed closely by the black and yellow of the township’s finest. How special and secure we feel!
Chances that Terrell Owens will return to play for the Philadelphia Eagles are now, sadly, almost nil. He will be sorely missed for the excitement that he brought not only to the Birds’ playing field but to our neighborhood as well. How cool is it to have Terrell Owens as your neighbor? Very, very cool, my friends!