Interesting story by Rainer Sabin on on the Allen Wranglers and Terrell Owens.

ALLEN – Terrell Owens beamed his trademark smile Wednesday and listened to adoring fans scream his name at the Allen Event Center.
“We love you T.O.” one woman shouted.

OWENS  nodded his head as he greeted an estimated crowd of approximately 700 people at a celebration of the star receiver’s arrival as the newest member of the Allen Wranglers of the Indoor Football League. Owens said all the right things, said he was glad to be there, said he was excited to play in this suburb of Dallas. But it was easy to tell that Owens wanted to be somewhere else.

In so many words, he acknowledged he is eager to return to the NFL, the league where he spent 15 seasons catching 1,078 passes, accumulating 15,934 receiving yards, and creating countless headlines with odd behavior and antics that sparked controversy.

“I haven’t retired from the NFL,” declared Owens, the six-time Pro Bowler who played with the Cowboys from 2006-2008. “I want to play a couple more years. This right here will allow me to do that and assess where I am. I know I’m physically fit to play the game still.”

Owens, who was offered a compensation package of up to $500,000, said he will own a 50 percent stake in the Wranglers but doesn’t seem emotionally invested in the club. Right now, he is only committed to playing in the team’s home games, the first of which will take place Feb. 25 against the Wichita Wild. At his introductory news conference that featured a saxophonist playing the national anthem and an ice sculptor carving Owens’ initials with a chainsaw, the 38-year-old receiver expressed his desire to revive his NFL career that dissolved after the 2010 season and said that he could leave the Wranglers if an NFL team signed him.

As he dealt with financial trouble and recovered from a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his knee repaired last year, he waited for an NFL team to call. But none of the 32 organizations reached out to a player who has been dogged with questions about his character.

Owens called it “a humbling experience.”

“For whatever reason, I didn’t get picked up,” Owens said. “That doesn’t mean I can’t play the game. Everybody knows I’m in great shape. It’s just a matter of getting the opportunity.”

Yet Owens doesn’t know if his next chance will ever come. For now, he will try to make the most of his experience in Allen, where he will play alongside men in awe of their star teammate.

“Who better to throw to than a guy who has set records at the highest level?” said former Virginia Tech quarterback Bryan Randall, one of the new members of the Wranglers.

But even Randall isn’t naïve enough to believe that Owens wants to spend the rest of his days barnstorming in the IFL. And neither is Owens’ co-owner Jon Frankel.

“We want every player to go to the highest level,” he said.

As for Owens, he just wants to get back there. In the meantime, he flashed that big smile of his and told his new fan base to “get your popcorn ready.”

Read more by Rainer Sabin at

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