In response to being criticized as “selfish” for returning to play in the Super Bowl:
As always, there is a lot being written and [reported] without anyone talking to me. I mean, I can’t do right and I can’t do wrong. It’s getting, in some ways, like it was for me in San Francisco. But the one thing that won’t change is that I’m going to show up to play to win. No one can ever [debate] that…
No one can ever accuse me of not being in great shape. Andy knows that. My teammates know that, when I show up, I’m ready to go. The biggest concern should be winning a Super Bowl. That’s what I show up to do. I’ve never been out of shape. I mean, this is my [livelihood]….
[Regarding the Super Bowl], I was trying to inspire myself. I wanted to prove to myself that I could do it. But why did I want to do it? To win a Super Bowl for the team, for the fans, for the city. I did everything they asked me to do. I played every snap they allowed me to play. I wasn’t even running until, like, two weeks before the game. But I made sure I was in the best shape possible. I wasn’t the guy who got tired in the Super Bowl.”
Owens’s response was a shot at the media; he was pointing out the irony in them questioning what kind of shape he would be in coming off the injury, and how that might hurt the team, and then the major story on ESPN and everywhere else at the time was about the other star’s physical conditioning, thanks to what Hank Fraley and Freddie Mitchell had told the media.