Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Football Tragedy: T.O. Attempts Suicide [J. Mark English]

DALLAS (AP) -- Flamboyant Dallas Cowboys receiver Terrell Owens tried to kill himself by overdosing on pain medication, even putting two more pills into his mouth after a friend intervened, according to a police report obtained Wednesday.
The report said Owens was asked by rescue workers "if he was attempting to harm himself, at which time (he) stated, 'Yes."'
The Dallas police report said the 32-year-old Owens told his friend "that he was depressed." Details of the police report were first reported by WFAA-TV. Police scheduled a news conference for later Wednesday morning.
This story will be covered in the media more then likely as an extension of the circus show that has surrounded T.O. over the many years.
Instead the media, and the football world should take a step back and realize that this is no longer a story about a football player's unsatisfied ego...but rather a person who is caught in the grips of depression. The hope is that T.O. will receive the help he really needs to escape the mental trauma that has led him to try to take his own life. More then likely this may require him to step away from football.
Many of us have at least known of people who have taken their own lives, or have tried. For the few that have not, they are lucky. Suicide, and attempted suicide is a human tragedy, and creates a sense of wonder of just how low one's confidence must be to take the final plunge.
This story transcends sports, and is much more important then anything T.O. has done on the field. There will be interviews on ESPN of headlining Psychiatrists analyzing what could have been going on in the head of such a talented football player. The hope would be that this can create national awareness to the severity of mental anguish. And the help that those stricken with mental despair really need.