It just seems that the Donovan McNabb-Terrell Owens feud that was allegedly at the root of the Eagles post-Super Bowl implosion in 2005 just won’t seem to go away.
More than six years later, the Donovan-T.O. feud continues but this time another former Eagle is also unwillingly dragged into it.
On Thursday, former Eagles Pro Bowl linebacker Jeremiah Trotter -- who once lobbied to have Owens restored on the Eagles roster after months of quarreling with McNabb left Owens suspended -- got dragged into the mostly one-sided (T.O.’s side) feud thanks to a recent GQ Magazine interview.
Owens, who before his suspension hinted that the Eagles would be undefeated if Brett Favre was their QB instead of McNabb, told GQ that Trotter instructed him not to read part of this apology letter written by the Eagles back in 2005.
I’ll let Philly.com’s Les Bowen pick it up from here:
Maybe you recall that the crisis caused by the "undefeated-with-Favre" interview was nearly defused, when Owens was dispatched to the NovaCare auditorium to read an apology dictated by the Eagles. That effort failed when Owens chose to read only part of the apology, leaving out the part that dealt with McNabb. Reporters found this out when he left the entire text lying in his locker stall. Comcast filmed it there, and reported on the full contents.
Shockingly, this is not the official T.O. version of events. In GQ, Owens reimagined the scenario, and cast Trotter in a pivotal role. (Oh, and in another twist, the GQ interviewer somehow thought the apology had to do with T.O.'s assertion that he "wasn't the one who got tired in the Super Bowl." That happened the previous spring, and had nothing to do with the suspension.)
“Well, I probably should have done...,” he begins, rubbing his hand along the contours of his massive shaved dome. Then he stops himself. “No. No. Listen, I was in the locker room before the press conference, and my team captain, Jeremiah Trotter, read through that apology they wrote for me. He got to the bottom part, the part where it had the stuff about Donovan, and he did this.” Owens snatches a piece of paper from the table and rips off the bottom three inches. “This is the team leader we’re talking about; he told me not to do it.”
Bowen claims the apology wasn't torn when reporters later saw it sitting in T.O.'s locker.
Trotter, who currently does sports radio over that 97.5 the Fanatic denies tearing the letter as well -- something that GQ noted.
Trotter's response: "Totally inaccurate. I would never do anything like that. I never even saw the letter. I'm the one that told him to apologize to get back on the team."
“I did not tear the letter,” Trotter told NBC10.
“I tried to talk to T.O. for at least 30 to 45 minutes about apologizing because he wasn’t going to do it at first -- he was adamant about not apologizing. So once I talked him into apologizing he was like, ‘I’m not going to apologize to Donovan (McNabb).’”
Trotter says he spoke to T.O. Wednesday night about the article and that T.O. claimed he was misquoted.
“We talked about it and we’re just gonna leave it at that -- it’s not true. My teammates know that I always protect my teammates and I got a tweet form one of my ex-teammates, saying ‘why would he lie on you like that? Because you’re one of the main guys trying to help him out through that whole situation.’”
After tweeting back and forth for T.O. to give him a call, the Axe Man took the high road with his former teammate.
“@terrellowens despite your recollection and my recollection r different I still love u man!!!!”
Now if only that love would have resulted in an Eagles Super Bowl win. Instead Trotter is retired, McNabb is without a job and Owens is attempting a comeback via arena football -- none of them ever won a Super Bowl.