Ugueth Urbina has been arrested in Venezuela, accused of attempted murder of workmen on his property, with weaponry that included machetes, matches and gasoline.
And how could it be worse for him? If Drew Rosenhaus were his adviser.
|Get a good look, folks: This is the look of desperation. (AP)|
Consider his predicament. He has advised his client, the redoubtable T. Owens, to blow off a seven-year, $49 million contract with a good football team. His client, who has the self-control impulse of a Rottweiler, thinks that is a great idea, and then behaves so badly that his employers have fired him, his fans mostly loathe him, and most of his future employers will either hire him as a day worker or not at all.
In other words, through careful advice and tactical brilliance, Rosenhaus and Owens have become national laughing stocks, and their behavior indefensible.
So having served up this gravel-and-broken-glass soufflé, Rosenhaus has to figure out how to get the heat off his client before he turns into bird flu.
So Rosenhaus plays the jackass card, only with him as the jackass instead of Owens.
He has Owens read a statement that is 17 percent sincere, and 83 percent shut-the-hell-up-just-this-once-will-you-please.
And then he speaks himself. He blames the media for his client's behavior and for his own poor agenting. He praises the Eagles in that left-handed way of his. He stonewalls. He swears up and down that his client is (a) misunderstood, (b) an untrammeled delight, (c) a victim, and (d) a piñata of outrageous fortune.
In other words, Rosenhaus bombs so badly that even Owens' most strident defenders have changed their version of events to, "Well, he probably deserves what he's getting for having this cheese wedge as an agent."
At least that's how it's playing out now. Owens is no better off in the public eye except insofar as Rosenhaus' own public loathsomeness.
So maybe Rosenhaus really is serving his client, albeit by falling face first on a weed whacker.
That is, if you want to find some benefit of the doubt here. Most folks don't. Most folks want Owens never to play again, and have amended that opinion only to include the codicil that Rosenhaus never have another client.
But as philosophers like to say, "Needs must when the devil vomits in your kettle." In other words, when you have an industrial fire, sell gas masks.
And in a certain backward way, Rosenhaus is serving Owens quite well indeed. He is risking his own reputation and practice by trying to fight an unwinnable fight for an unsympathetic client. With every sentence at the Tuesday press conference, Rosenhaus was burying himself, and through sleight of tongue making people forget at least for a moment that Terrell Owens is blowing up his career to become a Tonya Harding-esque punch line.
Will it work? Probably not. Owens is too far gone, image-wise, and even if he does get another gig, he'll be a day worker, going year-to-year with below-market contracts for the few years he has left.
In short, he will be remembered as the guy who lost $42 million to make maybe $9 million, and became a figure of universal derision in doing so. I mean, how many teams in any sport would rather say, "We'd rather lose without you than win with you?" In the amoral world of professional jockery, you never hear that, ever. There's always a place for even the most heinous character.
Owens is not that. He's just selfish, and tactically stunted, and easily wounded, and pathologically unpleasant. But he risked it all for a better deal than the good deal he already had, hired Rosenhaus to get it for him, and now he is all but destroyed.
And Rosenhaus? He is going to have a harder time getting clients now, having advised this one so monumentally poorly.
But give him this. He stood up Tuesday and acted the colossal fool, taking heat off the colossal fool he represents. I guess that's serving the client.