It’s hard to root for a guy who specializes in being a jackass.
But in the disheartening case of former-NFL-wideout-turned-sorry-sap Terrell Owens, there might be room for an exception.
Aside from crafting a hall-of-fame, 16-year career, Owens’ life is a tire fire, flaming out rapidly, in desperate need of intervention. After an ongoing series of locker room disputes, poor sportsmanship during games, trades to several different teams, and chronic injury, the poor guy finds himself on wrong end of retirement. Take away the myriad of reception yards and touchdowns he amassed on the field, and Owens becomes just another statistic–basically broke, owing thousands in unpaid child support, unemployed, disillusioned, not having the slightest clue of what to do next.
It’s clear he has issues, so many in fact that he appeared this past weekend on Iyanla’s “Fix My Life” in hopes that she could provide sound advice and a sense of positive redirection. To understand why Owens sits on the brink of self-implosion requires understanding of his past. Growing up dirt-poor in rural Alabama, the future pro-bowler’s mother was only 17-years old when he was born. Unable to provide a stable home environment for her newborn boy, she sent Owens to live with his grandmother, a stern disciplinarian who offered tough love, but refused to speak the words, he said. Tears in his eyes, Owens recalled moments in his youth when he was abused by the woman chosen to raise him. He also revealed that his biological father, who lived across the street, hadn’t come into the picture until he was 11 years old.
The hour-long episode proceeds to navigate through Owens’ childhood beginnings, starting in his hometown, where he and Iyanla attempt to connect his past issues to his present drama. She even reunites his broken family. If you have a soft spot for sob stories, get your tissue ready–this one’s a tear-jerker.