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Talking Doesn’t Get You Into the Hall of Fame

Dwayne Bowe is a specimen. He’s 6’3″, 225 pounds, and can really move for a big guy. He has all the tools to be a Hall of Famer player – including having the mindset that he’s the best player on the field. However, he’s missing one important element for an all-world player- a brain.

(Actually, he’s missing the ability to catch, too – but that’s another story. Having a wide receiver who can’t catch is like having a chef who can’t cook.)

When Bowe introduced us to “The Bowe Show” the past few years, I thought it was cute. Here’s another wanna-be diva wide receiver, trying to get himself noticed amongst the other loud wideouts (T.O., Chad Ochocinco, etc.) – but essentially, he was harmless. Then the red flags started showing.

Bowe’s appearances on “Hard Knocks”. The double thumb point to the name on the back of the jersey after a touchdown. The countless (countless!) drops on what should’ve been routine catches during games. The drops were bad – what was worse was that he didn’t seem to care.

Now – we get the “importing girls into hotels” story – and now that he’s probably threatened to get his ass whupped in the locker room (Mike Vrabel would be my leading candidate for that job), Bowe is clumsily trying to retract his statements. He’s even gone so far as to indicate that ESPN: The Magazine misquoted him. That argument might hold water…if BOWE HADN’T BEEN RECORDED ON TAPE.

(Sorry to go all caps on you – but I needed to get my point across.)

I used to be a “real journalist” – I wrote for the sports section of a newspaper. I interviewed people all the time, and I used a tape recorded to insure that I got everything written down accurately. You may be shocked to hear this, but people tend to say things they regret – especially in the sports world, where bravado and confidence are almost as important as speed and hand-eye coordination. I recall one high school wrestler saying he would not only win state, he would pin everyone within one minute during the tournament. I gave the wrestler three chances to retract the statement, and ended up burying the quote to protect the kid.

(In a related story, he was pinned within 95 seconds of his opening round in the state tournament. Karma, baby.)

Would this guy’s quote have made for a great lead? Absolutely. But I wanted to protect the athlete from himself – much like ESPN seems willing to do. But Bowe is headed towards a battle he can’t win – and if he doesn’t shut up, he’s going to be even more humiliated and embarrassed when ESPN reveals the tapes of his interview. While I realize that “my quotes were taken out of context” is the leading “Oh crap, my ass is in a sling, time to spin this” defense (with “My Twitter account was hacked” coming up a close second),Bowe doesn’t have a hook to hang his hat on here.

My suggestion – stop talking (which for Bowe, would be like telling him to “stop breathing”), work on making the 12-yard slant route a success, and try and fulfill that great potential you’ve shown in flashes. I’m all for the “Bowe Show” – provided it’s on Sportscenter and not TMZ.

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