No winners or losers in Terrell Owens-Donovan McNabb debate

No winners or losers in Terrell Owens-Donovan McNabb debate

No matter your opinion on Terrell Owens being left out of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, we can agree he’s done nothing to help his own cause. Going on television wearing a counterfeit gold jacket with his accomplishments printed on the back makes a mockery of everybody involved, and his incessant whining won’t garner sympathy from members of the selection committee, either.

At least the Hall of Fame is a battle he can theoretically win. Given enough time, Owens should get in – that is, if he ever gives it a rest, and probably even if he doesn’t. Where Owens will never be able to claim a victory is his feud with Donovan McNabb and the Eagles, no matter how much of the public is on the wide receiver’s side.

Owens spent over seven minutes regurgitating his side of the McNabb-Eagles soap opera in his latest tell-all with busybodies Skip Bayless and Shannon Sharpe on Wednesday. This past January, it was 97.5 The Fanatic promoting more of the same sob stories we’ve been hearing since 2005. Nothing changes. Owens is justified in all of his reactions and behaviors, and he’s all too eager to explain why.

For the record, I’ve always maintained he was wrong about his contract dispute with the Eagles. Owens complained he was underpaid in ’05 and the club could get out of the deal the following year. The contract did pay a low base salary for that season, but made him among the highest-paid receivers in the NFL over the first two years on average, and there was no reason for the Eagles not to honor it as long as he was performing and focused. Maybe Owens feared frequent tiffs with McNabb would be reason enough for the front office to cut bait. Then again, maybe Owens could have simply bit his tongue, too.

But, in all honesty, who really cares who was right or wrong at this point? That was 12 years ago. Whatever Owens’ issues – business with the Eagles, personal with McNabb – nothing is gained by debating them any further. If you disagree with my assessment of the situation, fine. There are far more relevant topics to debate.

Yet, Owens is always going be on the losing end of any argument he finds himself because of his inability to be the bigger man. He may have overmatched defensive backs in the NFL and muscled his way out of Philadelphia back in the day, but in 2017, Owens comes off small when talking about the past.

Want to impress Hall of Fame voters? Try this gimmick on for size: Instead of seizing every opportunity to air dirty laundry with McNabb or the Eagles, simply say that chapter is closed and you wish everything would have turned out different. It’s not an admission guilt of wrongdoing, or even burying the hatchet, but it’s not pointing the finger and making excuses, either.

Until Owens learns to do that, he will lose every fight he’s in until the end of time.

Which is not to say McNabb or the Eagles won with Owens. Nobody did. Not the quarterback, not the team, not the head coach, not the front office, not the franchise, not the fans. Nobody. Had McNabb been able to make nice with Owens for a few years longer, he would’ve posted numbers that make him a lock for the Hall as well. If the Eagles had only found a way to placate Owens, they may have won a Super Bowl or two.

Instead, everybody came away scarred and with nothing to show from the debacle. That’s true no matter whose “side” you take, which is why Owens needs to stop trying to play defense.

Every time Owens attempts to delegitimize the Hall and the people involved with the process, he puts himself further away from Canton. Every time he makes an excuse for what transpired with McNabb and the Eagles, it accomplishes nothing – only to serve as a reminder of what could have been, as well as an example of why Owens finds himself in this predicament in the first place.

The Game of Zones-Joel Embiid mashup you didn't know you needed

The Game of Zones-Joel Embiid mashup you didn't know you needed

There are times in all of our Internet lives when we come across a piece of content that we don't quite understand, that we didn't really know we needed, yet fills our black Philadelphia sports fan hearts with joy anyway.

Today is one of those days.

And that piece of content is this Game of Zones x Embiid mashup.

If you're unfamiliar, this is the latest in Bleacher Report's fun take on a Game of Thrones/NBA mashup.

There's the mountain of a man that is Joel Embiid laid up with a presumably bum knee. There's the Temple of Shirley potion to give him life. There's the maester Sam Hinkie shouting off his analytics spells. There's Hinkie talking about growing the seeds and reaping the harvest. There's a terrifying looking Dario. There is a raising of the cat. 

Perhaps the best part is Jahlil Okafor attempting to hold the door.

What does it all mean? I don't know. But I trust it.

Jim Harbaugh takes blame for Jim Schwartz handshake feud

Jim Harbaugh takes blame for Jim Schwartz handshake feud

With one season in Philadelphia under Jim Schwartz’s belt, Eagles fans are well aware of the intensity the defensive coordinator brings to the sidelines. But before joining Doug Pederson's staff, Schwartz attracted plenty of attention during a five-year stint as head coach of the Detroit Lions from 2009-2013. A highlight of his tenure in the Motor City developed a new wrinkle this week.

Maybe the most memorable moment during his time in Detroit was the unnecessarily ugly midfield feud in 2011’s Week 6 with then-49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh. Schwartz marched to midfield for the postgame handshake after his Lions took their first loss of the season. Harbaugh, a usually-excited guy with cause for a little extra enthusiasm after a fourth straight win, came in too strong for Schwartz’s liking. Schwartz chased down Harbaugh as he ran for the tunnel and the two exchanged some choice words. Coaches and players flocked to the tussle. What started as standard postgame procedure became the national talking-point nobody needed for the ensuing week.

The six-year-old incident returned to the conversation this week with Harbaugh, now the head coach at the University of Michigan, admitting on Barstool Sports’ Pardon My Take podcast (and as transcribed by ESPN) that he was to blame for things getting out of hand. 

"I went in too hard on that, too aggressive on the handshake," Harbaugh said on the podcast. "We've talked, and we're good. We're back to friends. ... There is a protocol in a postgame handshake. I've been there as the winner. I've been there as a loser. You just, 'Nice game,' then go celebrate. Premature celebration there, in the wrong."

On top of discussing his gifting Pope Francis a pair of Jordan sneakers and his theory that bringing a glove to catch a foul ball is acceptable for fans, Harbaugh went on to explain the last time he got in a real fight, as opposed to the silly scrum that went down at Ford Field that fateful day. He was 39, at the end of his days as a player, and got into it with two men at a restaurant.

"I did not win," he said. "I cannot say I won. I didn't get crushed, either. I got some blows in."

Harbaugh has a reputation for his passion, and the handshake debacle with Schwartz was no exception. It’s just that his passion often translates to doing things in a non-traditional way. He’s the khakis guy, always sporting his trademark dad-pants on the sidelines — he even tucked an Allen Iverson jersey into them once. He’ll do anything to get a leg up in recruiting, for example, sleeping over at a recruit's house for some “Netflix and Chill.”

Schwartz, similarly, is frequently fired up, and that aggression bleeds into his defensive scheme. 

Harbaugh is in the college game now, so the development in this nearly forgotten exchange isn’t life-changing. But if he ever returns to the pros, it’s good to know a postgame handshake with Schwartz wouldn't revive any bad blood.