Jimmy Farris + T.O.
While he was driving to the airport Wednesday night to catch his flight to D.C., new Redskins receiver Jimmy Farris called Terrell Owens, his close friend, former roommate and confidant.
"I had been meaning to get down [to Dallas] and just go hang out and go to a game or whatever, so I called him, I said, 'Hey, I'm thinking about coming down this weekend,' " Farris said today. "He was like, 'Oh really, ok, cool, cool.' I was like, 'Yeah man,' and then I was kind of silent."
Farris waited. Owens waited. Finally, T.O. figured it out. "You gonna be playing???" he asked.
And so the friends made tentative plans to have dinner Saturday night, 24 hours before the Redskins will play the Cowboys. Farris came to Redskins Park today filled with his usual assortment of T.O. tales, tales he's asked to repeat every time he move to another NFL city.
The 29-year-old befriended Owens when both were with the San Francisco 49ers in 2001 (Farris was on the practice squad), and he actually lived for a time in a spare bedroom in T.O.'s home in Fremont. They played video games and pool just about every night; whoever lost would have to count the remaining balls on the table, and do 10 times that many pushups or situps.
"I'm talking about for like five hours," Farris said.
He took advantage of T.O.'s chef, who came Mondays and Thursdays and made double portions for Farris, putting the extra plates in the fridge. And he took advantage of T.O.'s overflowing wardrobe. Owens had a deal with Nike, and would get crates of high-end gear and Jordan-brand sweat suits, which he would wear a few times, throw in the drier and accidentally shrink.
"I'm telling you, at least once a month he'd be like, 'Yo man, go get them clothes in there,' " said Farris, three inches and 22 pounds smaller than Owens. "And so I'd go in there with a duffel bag and just load up. I was in Terrell Owens's hand-me-downs my entire rookie year in the NFL....I still have a couple old Jordan sweatsuits that I think I wore three or four times a week at that point in time. He always makes a joke, he says if I wore a size 14, I'd be in all of his shoes too."
Sometimes it wouldn't even be the drier; Owens, for example, would buy designer jeans that were a tad too small, and so he'd hand them off to Farris. "Just a little bit big on me," Farris said, "but I made 'em work."
I asked whether that meant they shared the same fashion sensibilities.
"Totally," Farris said with a laugh. "I mean, I came out of Montana, man. I didn't know a whole lot, except for Levi's and freakin' sweatshirts. He put me on to a lot of nicer stuff. He just did a lot of nice stuff. When we'd go out, we'd go to the mall and buy stuff, and he'd say, 'Hey, you can get some stuff."
The media members chuckled.
"Seriously," Farris insisted. "He was like my big brother, for real."
Which is why Farris wound up at the Owens complex soon after the "accidental overdose" last fall, and why Farris said he's been rooting for both the Redskins and the Cowboys this year, the former because of his attachment to the organization and the people he's met, and the latter because of, well, Owens. The Cowboys?
"Hate to say that, but when I'm not playing against him...." Farris attempted to explain. "At the root of it, we're the same guy: just small-town guys, family guys, values. Small simple stuff. I say this all the time and people don't believe me, but the dude is a great dude, man, like a really good guy."
So if Farris scores this weekend, should we expect a Touchdown Towel or a Hall of Fame jacket?
"I'm kind of a hand-the-ball-to-the-ref type guy," Farris said. "That's the one thing I leave to him."
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