AFC East: Byron Brown

Welcome mat rolls only so far for T.O.

June, 2, 2009
Posted by's Tim Graham

Remember the outrageous scene after Terrell Owens touched down at Buffalo Niagara International Airport?

Two weeks ago, a crazed throng of proud citizens greeted the Buffalo Bills receiver when he arrived at baggage claim, camera crews from his VH-1 reality television show in tow. A man was dressed as a big popcorn box. There were cheerleaders.

A day later, Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown presented Owens with a key to the city.

Apparently, not everyone has been willing to roll out the welcome mat.

Owens, who still is searching for a place to live, posted a message on his Twitter page Tuesday night:

sittin here trippin about residents @ 1 DEER RUN wn't rent 2 me b/c they said they dn't want any drama n their neighborhood!! LOL!!! Wow!!

There is a house for sale or rent at 1 Deer Run Ct. in suburban Orchard Park, where the Bills train and play. List price for the 4,002-square-foot, six-bedroom home is $489,387 (how do you come up with that number, anyway?), while the monthly rent is $2,950.

So Owens is good enough to receive a key to Buffalo, but some folks don't want him moving in.

Of course, that's just Owens' take on the situation. Maybe he wanted to convert the second dining room into an apiary. A message left with the listing agent was not returned.

T.O. deal gets mayor's stamp of approval

March, 19, 2009
I spent a few days last week in Buffalo for a story about diva receiver Terrell Owens and how he will be embraced by a passionate community that's proudly blue-collar.

AP Photo/Mike Groll
Mayor Byron Brown is excited about the Buffalo Bills acquiring wide receiver Terrell Owens.
The first stop in my tour of the area was to see Mayor Byron Brown in Buffalo's city hall. I sat down with the mayor, Deputy Mayor Steven M. Casey and communications director Peter Cutler in offices that looked like sports shrines as much as political headquarters.

We easily breezed through my allotted time and went on to discuss all sorts of local sports topics when the recorder was turned off. The interview came full circle when I ended with a question I posed but no one could answer when I first entered the room:

Who in Buffalo history would be described as flamboyant?

All three men agreed Buffalo doesn't offer many examples of flamboyance, especially not in sports. The most famous name we could agree on was Rick James.

Only a portion of my interview with Brown ran in the story, but I wanted to share his unabridged thoughts on Owens joining the Buffalo Bills.

What was your reaction when you heard the Bills had signed Terrell Owens?

Byron Brown: My first reaction when I heard he was available was "I hope the Bills take him, but they never will because it's not their style." When I heard the Bills signed him, I was absolutely shocked.

Why were you so surprised?

BB: The Bills have been a very conservative franchise. They do a lot of background and testing of the people. They want good character players and -- not [to] question Terrell's character -- but he has been somewhat controversial, and I didn't think the Bills would go down that path.

Are you a fan of the signing?

BB: He is a proven commodity. The one-year contract, I thought, was brilliant because, looking at his background, he does extremely well in the first year of his contracts. I think he's a guy that wants to win and has been one of his most productive receivers during his tenure in the NFL.

He's going to add some real punch to their offense. He's going to be a real weapon, a real threat that teams have to guard against. I think he's going to help them open up their running game as well as their passing game.

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