It seems like any time you put a microphone in front of Terrell Owens, his words make headlines the next morning. Whether it's venting (or crying) about his QB or reacting to an NFL fine, T.O. has a knack for captivating an audience. Though he's currently without a team, T.O. has had no problem staying in the spotlight. With last week's premiere of the second season of his reality series, The T.O. Show (Sundays at 10 p.m. on VH1), the star wideout is giving viewers an up-close look at a future Hall-of-Famer who has the utmost confidence on the field but nagging insecurities when it comes to choosing the right woman. T.O. recently stopped by Complex HQ to discuss where he might play next, helping his buddy Ochocinco find a girl, and how it feels to get yammed on at the Rucker...
Interview by Dominic Green
Complex: You went up against Chad Ochocinco's squad at Rucker Park on Monday in the Entertainers Basketball Classic. How was that?
T.O.: It was fun, man. I obviously know they have a tradition here in New York and I realized there have been many guys that could have played in the NBA playing there and it was exciting. The atmosphere is still as electric, if not more, than before. So any time I can go out there, play, have fun, and display some basketball skills which I do in my off-time, I will enjoy it.
Complex: Cool. We left early so we didn't see who ended up getting the W.
T.O.: We won. I didn't see the score but we definitely won.
Complex: It's always a good look to get a win on that court. We saw you get a few buckets and catch a couple alley-oops.
T.O.: Yeah, I did my thing.
Complex: Unfortunately, you got caught jumping with the wrong dude and kind of got dunked on. The crowd went crazy, but it happens to the best of us.
T.O.: Yeah man, you know some of the best have been scored on and dunked on, so that's part of the game. I understand that's part of the hype and what everyone wants to see, so I gave them what they wanted to see.
Complex: Off the court, I know you have been playing wingman for Chad Ochocinco's dating show, The Ultimate Catch. How was it helping him choose the right chick?
T.O.: It's something that comes naturally. Everybody notices the relationship we have and it's good and they thought it would be a great idea, so he and I were definitely open to it. I understood the concept and once they brought me on, they explained what I need to do to help Chad out. Obviously, going through that whole process of dating girls, I felt like I was a big brother to him, trying to help him make the right decision. So that was my role on the show, as well as Bernard [Berrian].
Complex: Do you think there was a girl on The Ultimate Catch that would be good fit for Chad?
T.O.: Honestly, I did—but there were some on there that were very sketchy.
Complex: Yeah, on the first episode, you were trying to get that one girl's number.
T.O.: [Laughs.] Right. I feel like there was some young ones that probably wouldn't cut it, but there were a couple that were very mature and probably would have Chad's back.
Complex: The T.O. Show has returned for its second season. Was it good to be back shooting in L.A.?
T.O.: Yeah, it was good. The experience that we had the first season, I kind of took that and tried to build on it. I have a great staff who try to create the right stories and I think for myself, it being a reality show, I want to keep it really on what it sounds like: reality. I'm in the streets and I hear people talk about reality shows and there are people who don't know I have a reality show and I just listen to them talk. Some people are discouraged by some of the shows on these networks and I think my show brings substance. It brings a lot of relatable situations and that's why I think the show draws people in to watch it.
Complex: From seeing the previews for the upcoming episodes, people are definitely wondering who you proposed to. Can you go into that a little bit?
T.O.: Well, the thing is—it's life. It's what I really try to convey and have it come off when you watch the show. We are dealing with some real-life issues and situations. Nothing too drastic, but it really shows that even though I may be a celebrity in many people's eyes, I'm still human and I share some of those same ups and downs as somebody who looks at me as a superstar.
Complex: Your friends-slash-business partners Kita and Mo' are here with you. Did they help you with that choice?
T.O.: No, not at all. I don't really like them. [Kita and Mo' laugh.] But nah, they really have set themselves in a position to where people see them sometimes as good girl and bad girl or sometimes both bad girls and they are just trying to see who's good for me and who's not good for me. Overall, we wouldn't have this show if it wasn't for the chemistry we developed over the years, and I think that is really portrayed when you watch the show.
Complex: During the premiere episode, you said that you're struggling with getting back into football mode. Is that your mentality right now?
T.O.: Well, I think for the first episode, which was towards the end of the football season, I was just burnt out. Especially with so many things going on and going wrong from the standpoint of losing our offensive coordinator at the beginning of the year, and then losing a lot of players due to injuries, and losing our head coach—it was just a lot of things that happened. So, at that point in time, it just had me down in a funk, so I really was just trying to get away from football and just kind of get to the summer and start all over. I am definitely confident that I'll be playing again, so it's just all about the right opportunity presenting itself.
Complex: Have your heard from a few teams already?
T.O.: There are a few teams right now that are interested, and like I said, it has to be the right situation. I'm going into my 15th season, so at this stage I want to win a championship and I feel like I would be setting myself up for failure if I'm saying I want to win a championship but put myself with a team who is not in the right situation to do that.
Complex: Is it possible for you to list five teams you would want to play for?
T.O.: It depends. I think that's a good question of who is on the list but that's a hard question to answer. There could be five teams, but what are those teams that need a receiver? The potential playoff contenders may already be solid at their receiver position so that's what a lot of people don't understand. Yeah, I can ramble off a number of teams but they already have their stable and core group of receivers, so it just has to be some of those teams that are on the bubble that can get into the playoffs and make some things happen. A lot of people have been saying Oakland and Seattle, but it's not a dire situation right now so I have to just sit back and wait for the right opportunity.