I watched as late as I could, but it was exhausting and I was exhausted: Some time around 1:30 this morning, Andre Agassi won his first-round match at the U.S. Open, and it was cheers and tears all round for the 36-year-old playing with a bad back and tired legs. He's a match away from ending his career, and the former rat-tailed warrior who once shared a bed with Barbra Streisand doesn't want to step off the court just yet. Which reminds me: In Dallas, we have a wide receiver who doesn't want to step on the field just yet. Terrell Owens has missed 20 of 32 practices, all three pre-season games and may not play in the Cowboys' regular season opener in Jacksonville on September 10. Says it's his hamstring, which approximately nobody believes--except maybe Jerry Jones, who's been in denial since the third facelift and fourth hairpiece. The only thing people are buyin' that Owens is sellin' is his "exotic popcorn." Not makin' that up.
Certainly nobody in the outside-of-Dallas media thinks the Owens-Jones marriage is gonna last. Opines today's New York Times, the $9,500 fine Owens got for missing a rehab session and Friday's team meeting "will fuel speculation that the union between the Cowboys and Owens is doomed for a nasty divorce, mirroring his tumultuous stays with the San Francisco 49ers and the Philadelphia Eagles." Sure, Owens and coach Bill Parcells are saying all the right things--Parcells joked, Owens sort of apologized--but it can't be a good sign that the coach keeps referring to his star receiver as "the player" and not by name. USA Today this week describes their relationship as needy "in a sort of sick, pathological way, which is what makes the Terrell Owens-Jerry Jones-Bill Parcells three-headed football Sybil in Dallas so delicious."
The T.O. Show's a national event. It gets coverage in St. Louis ("Soon the hammies may have their own book deal"), Ohio ("Heck, take part of that $5 million bonus the Cowboys paid you and hire a personal wake-up attendant. If you still can't get up, he could toss a glass of cold water on you") and, of course, Philly ("Jones said, 'We're going to be fine' [but] since we weren't at the press event, we don't know if Jones had his fingers and toes crossed when he issued that response"). Of course, most Eagles claim they couldn't care less--there's "not much interest among Eagles in watching rerun of Owens soap opera," says here--but in private, it's probably better than porn. Still this is my favorite description of the situation from a FOX Sports Net analyst: "The Cowboys have a diva and they need to squash her quick." Her. Funny. --Robert Wilonsky