JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Although Terrell Owens' doctor said Owens' injured right ankle isn't strong enough to withstand the rigors of Super Bowl play, actress Nicollette Sheridan says otherwise. Sheridan, star of ABC's "Desperate Housewives," told Sports Illustrated's Rick Reilly yesterday that she had been working out with Owens for the past week and the Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver is "good to go."
The workouts, held at a secret location in Florida, were rigorous, said Sheridan. "We practiced ten sets of body catches a day, and his catching ability was as good or better than it was in the Monday Night Football spot. I even wore clothes for extra weight during the workouts, which were designed to build up strength in his ankle."
In that MNF commercial, which aired November 15 last year, Sheridan wore nothing but a smile as she ran across a locker room and jumped into Owens' arms. The commercial drew the ire of religious groups around the country, some of whom suggested that Owens' injury in the Dallas game five weeks later was "proof that there is a God."
"[MNF announcer] John Madden was the original choice for that add, but he declined," said Jerry Falwell. "And look what happened. Owens has a bad wheel while Madden's bigger than ever."
In addition to working on strengthening Owens' ankle, which is held together by two screws and a plate, Sheridan designed a series of end zone dances meant to sharpen Owens' agility and balance. "Opposing teams know that if T.O. has a weakness in his game, it's his inability to go to his left in end zone celebrations," said Sheridan. "We've come up with several new moves to correct that fault."
The usually talkative Owens wasn't immediately available for comment. He was believed to be on his way to Texas to seek a second medical opinion from Dr. Phil. Owens' publicist did issue a statement yesterday saying that Owens would visit "Dr. Ruth, Dr. Who, and any other damn doctor in the world" until he found one who would write a note to Eagles Coach Andy Reid saying Owens had permission to play in the Super Bowl. Eagles management requires the note to indemnify the team should Owens' ankle become unhinged during the game.
In related news, Reid announced yesterday that he was withdrawing from this year's Wing Bowl in Philadelphia. Reid, who was said to be downing 150 to 175 wings a day "with ease," told reporters that preparations for the Super Bowl on February 6 would be too great a distraction for him to give the Wing Bowl the attention it deserves. The Wing Bowl will be held in Philly on Friday February 4.