Doc Gonzo: That Old Sulfur Smell

Doc Gonzo discusses T.O., Hugo and The World's Scariest Sex Tape

Who knew Terrell Owens was a Browns fan?

Obviously dismayed and dejected by Cleveland's winless streak, the uber-talented, ultra-narcissistic wide receiver/ego maniac is alleged to have attempted to meet his maker earlier this week by gobbling pain pills. Haven't we all been there after watching the Browns stumbling to yet another mind-numbing defeat?

Oh, my God, did I just make a lame joke about depression and suicide?

Before you hit "send" on your e-mails chiding me for callous, immature insensitivity, accept now that I simply don't care. We shouldn't make fun of anything because someone, somewhere, will be offended, right? "It's a serious matter! What if he were your son?"

If T.O. were my son, I'd do several things:

1. Cash in on it.

2. Try to remember if I was married to a black woman 30-some years ago.

3. Super-Glue his mouth shut.

4. Hide the pain killers and supplements.

There I go again, riffing on this poor man's situation. Excuse me, "alleged" situation, now spun by everyone involved into just a simple ol' pill mix-up that the Evil Media hijacked into a paper-sellin' drama (never mind the police report and 9-1-1 call). The egomaniacal, team-destroying cancer that is T.O. lost any shred of sympathy from me when he and his enablers tried to spin this into something innocent. It was a moment he could have used to highlight the dangers of depression and urge people to seek help. Instead, that circus down in Dallas – run by a pair of egomaniacal clowns that surpass even Owens – chose to spin this. Pathetic. Meanwhile, Owens continues to sell "exotic popcorns" on his Web site. Really.

Some people out there will say I shouldn't make fun of a depressed man. Others will say I can't make fun of him, and therein lies a mountain of difference. There's little humor among the dogmatic, self-righteous zealots out there. Unless you're watching Hugo Chavez rant and rave like a cartoon madman at the United Nations. That was funny stuff. The You Tube of it still smells like Sulfur.

And we're talking about T.O. here. It's always open season on him. So chill. At least I didn't say he prefers the team to use the shotgun to get into sudden-death.

Speaking of a lingering rotten-eggs reek, the Illegitimate Entity™ departed Cleveland last Sunday with a victory that it had to work a whole lot harder then it expected, to earn. Charlie Frye took a frightful pounding at the hands of those immoral, depraved and criminal thugs, but he showed enough moxie to carve them up, too.

"Moxie" is a term applied by journalists to quarterbacks who play well on bad teams, and to Hollywood starlets who act well in bad movies. Either situation fits Frye. He acted well in a bad movie. His gutsy performance made my four-hour drive from Michigan worth it. So did seeing the guy selling beer that looked like Lou Reed's doppelganger and the drunken father next to me teaching his fat young son how to swear at Brian Billick.

The question now is, will this movie get better? Or are we watching "Ishtar" on the 17-week installment plan?

If there's one tonic for the Cleveland's woes, it's the Oakland Raiders, a team in absolute shambles. But realize, dear fans, that the Silver-and-Black faithful are saying the exact same thing about their franchise. What better way to claw out of the grave they've dug than beating the Browns this afternoon?

This game is going to tell us a lot. If the Browns are a good team on the rise, they'll dismantle the Raiders and make it look easy. If Cleveland remains mired in the mediocrity coma that we've been bedside witnesses to since 1999, then they will play down to Oakland and very likely lose.

The cruel reality is we're the team that struggle teams breathe a sigh of relief when we come to town. We're just not very good. Our optimism always gets tempered but the absurd, nonsensical reality of this team, and we spend much of the season pounding ourselves over the head.

Oh, well. There are worse things that 0-4. For example, "Saved By The Bell" alum Dustin "Screech" Diamond could release a sex tape.

What? He did? Oh, God. Hide the pain pills and supplements. A Screech sex tape.

I imagine that took a lot of moxie on somebody's part.

And I bet it smells like Sulfur, too.


Former Ohio newspaper editor and reporter Bill Shea has written the Doc Gonzo column each week for The Orange and Brown Report for six years. He now writes for a business magazine in Detroit and was recently named vice-president of communications for the Port Huron Pirates of the Great Lakes Indoor Football League. You can learn more about his, frankly, disturbing life at or e-mail him at

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