The year is 2012. I promise, it’s not four or five years ago. Seriously, even though Roger Federer, Tiger, and Serena are number one in their respective fields. Even though The US Men’s basketball team is gearing up to play Spain in the gold medal game. And even though Terrell Owens, Chad Johnson, and Randy Moss are three of the most talked about wide receivers in the NFL preseason. I guess we’ve gone back to the future.
While the consensus “G.O.A.T.” (greatest of all time) wideout by the name of Jerry Rice was very much a prima donna in his own right, the term “diva receiver” really became a part of the public consciousness when the three aforementioned stars rose to fame.
T.O. is likely to be a first ballot Hall of Famer when it’s all said and done, but his career has had extreme ups and downs. After leaving San Francisco and the shadow of Rice, he took his talents to the city of brotherly love where he played well on one foot in the Super Bowl but it ultimately didn’t work out with his Philly quarterback Donovan McNabb. Follow that by a less-than-ceremonious departure from his next stop in Dallas and then short stints in Buffalo, Cincinnati, and the Allen Texas Wranglers (Seriously?!), and what do you have? Only the new million-dollar man in Seattle to help Matt Flynn establish himself as a true starting QB. Head coach Pete Carroll raved about Terrell’s new and improved work ethic, attitude, and even speed in the 40-yard dash. So the question that will follow normally verbose aging star: is he the Team Obliterator or will the 38-year-old be Truly Outstanding as a Seahawk?
Randy Gene Moss has had more NFL stops along the way than even Owens, including a 2010 return to the Minnesota Vikings that didn’t even last an entire season. There was never any question about the man’s talent; the question has always been which Randy Moss will show up. Which one will show up to training camp, to practice, on game day. Like T.O. Randy has had an unsuccessful trip to the big game, a factor which many pro athletes will tell you is a great motivator to chase a championship ring until that goal is reached. The coaching staff and his new teammates in San Francisco, coming off their best season in recent memory, is publicly saying all the right things about the man who will likely be Alex Smith’s go-to guy in the deep passing game. The rest of us can’t wait to see how it turns out in 2012.
Chad Johnson, the artist formerly known as Ochocinco, is always open. At least, he thinks so, and his new teammate Matt Moore in Miami joked about that on camera for HBO’s hit docu-series Hard Knocks: Training Camp with the Miami Dolphins. According to Chad, his new wife is not letting him go home until training camp is over. He needs to succeed on the field before he can succeed in his own family, but for Chad, it will take a re-dedication to his craft in order to rebound from a season so quiet in New England it’s almost easy to forget he was on the Patriots’ roster. I would like to say that CJ has tasted Super Bowl defeat like the other two divas in this article, but Chad was so much an after thought on that team, it really doesn’t mean as much. Even had they won, he would hardly have credited him for helping to grab Brady and Belichick’s fourth rings.
All three of these men are saying the “right” things for the cameras. It’s not that they aren’t still making it entertaining, but this time around, they all seem to mean business on the field. They all three have plenty to prove and a decent opportunity to do so. Football is a game that relies on chemistry and synergy more than many other team sports. That is why, even though these three “divas” have been nearly model citizens when it comes to the law and even compliance with NFL rules, teams have been hesitant to bring them into their locker rooms. The past year should serve as a nice slice of humble pie for all of them, and hopefully, they’ll be eager to catch two years worth of passes this season. I’m rooting for success for the three of them (of course, as long as they’re not playing the Ravens), and we’ll see if their outspoken ways are justified when their careers come to an end and the book is finally written on them.
That all said, ARE YOU READY FOR SOME FOOTBALL?! I know this writer is.
Nelly Semela with The Arkitekt’s Perspective
Editor’s Note: One Diva Down!
In the few short hours following Nelly’s submission, I looked up and found that Chad Johnson had been arrested by the Miami Dade Police Department for domestic violence and subsequently released from the Miami Dolphins. Anyone need a receiver with drama who wants to do things his way?