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Better Get That Book in the First Season

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(alternate text)Publishers Marketplace reported that controversial football star Terrell Owens signed a book deal for a memoir entitled Ineligible Receiver: The Real Story of My Journey from the Super Bowl to the Sidelines with Simon & Schuster. The book promises to detail the receiver’s two years with the Philadelphia Eagles, including explanations of his deteriorating relationship with Donovan McNabb. The book is scheduled for publication in July 2006 and will be edited by Bob Bender.    

It was a big couple of days for Owens. No word on the financial details of this book deal, but it surely pales in comparison to the three-year $25 million contract he signed with the Dallas Cowboys on Saturday.  

The receiver who has proven he can wreak havoc on or off the field signed a three-year, $25 million contract with the Dallas Cowboys on Saturday. That deal includes a $5 million bonus and $5 million salary for this upcoming season.

Most football observers point out that Owens tends to be on his best behavior the first year he joins a team. Former defensive back standout and current ESPN commentator Eric Allen wrote that “Owens has shown before that the first year of a contract is the honeymoon period for him. He has a ton of incentive to stay on his best behavior this first season and do what he’s told.” Sports Illustrated‘s Peter King wrote that the relationship between totalitarian football coach Bill Parcells and the star “might explode in 12 months, when this whack-job Owens will find some demon in his head to go nuts about. But it will not happen this year. There’s too much at stake for T.O. He knows the free world thinks he’s nuttier than a fruitcake. (There’s more than a little truth to that.) He knows he’s got $15 million over the last two years of this generous three-year contract riding on his behavior and his performance in 2006. He might be a little bit off, but he’s also smart … smart enough to know there aren’t many teams ready to give him another chance if he screws this one up. He won’t. At least not in 2006.”

So here’s hoping that Simon & Schuster does get the most out of Owens this year. Because if this goes into next season, then Owens will demand to renegotiate his book deal and he’ll throw the co-author under the bus by questioning his typing strength and his conditioning. “I wasn’t the guy who got tired in the rewrites,” Owens will jab.

He’ll ignore the editor’s directions and tell the press, “last time I checked, my name isn’t Bender – he can’t talk to me like that.” He’ll also consistently use the CEO of Simon & Schuster designated parking spot and refuse to move.

In the hallways of S&S, company ambassador, respected historian, and old-school writer David McCullough will accuse Owens of faking injuries to his typing fingers and the pair will scuffle before being separated.

A fed up Simon & Schuster will send the disgruntled receiver home where he will set up a typewriter and dictionary in his front yard and work on his book in front of television cameras and chuckling reporters.

Rasputin Superagent Drew Rosenhaus will hold a press conference and speak for Owens. “Drew, what have you done for Terrell besides getting him kicked out of Simon & Schuster?” a reporter will ask. “Next question,” will be Drew’s response. Rosenhaus will go on to issue eight “next questions” and four “I won’t answer thats” for the duration of the press conference.

Finally, at the end of their rope, Simon & Schuster will go to an arbitrator, seek the return of their advance and they’ll cut Owens loose. And he’ll promptly land at HarperCollins.