Judge this: Our third fan column Teresa España of Fresno, Calif., weighs in on Terrell Owens. Is Teresa the next Matt Mosley? Let us know. VOTE HERE! WHY I AM DEVOTED TO T.O. I have an unpleasant confession to make -- I’m hopelessly devoted to Terrell Owens, the athlete and man. This is not an admission I share easily in the company of strangers. Outside the refuge of a friendly football stadium, most folks express horror and bewilderment when a middle-aged, well-educated professional announces her admiration for a man the world loves to hate. How did it come to this? During his 1996 rookie season, I was at Candlestick Park for an exhibition game when Owens made an extraordinary backward, leaping catch in the 49ers endzone. That was all it took. His exquisite body intelligence and instinct for the dramatic made me an instant member of the T.O. fan club. It was a big club back then. But each subsequent year it has become more difficult to justify my admiration for America’s most loathed superstar. Think you’ve faced some challenges recently? Try explaining to your family, friends and curious co-workers why you’ve abandoned the team of your childhood -- the 49ers -- to hitch a ride on the T.O. Love Train with stops in Philly and now Dallas. Following his infamous touchdown celebrations at Texas Stadium (revelry on the star) and Seattle (Sharpie in sock), Owens’ every move and utterance has been interpreted in a thousand negative ways. Believe me, I do not embrace all his actions. I do not excuse every narcissistic display or controversial outburst. But, here’s the thing. I do defend T.O.’s freedom to be messy, wrong, and complicated because he is much more than that too. In addition to his exceptional athletic talents and work ethic, T.O. has the courage to speak with candor and, dare I say, intelligence about racial and economic relations within the NFL. He dares to make genuine and often unpopular comments in an otherwise controlled, scripted football universe that is more commonly known for its aw-shucks, American pie conservatism. In my mind, there is room for both the outrageous and more traditional personalities in the league. Call my crazy, but I can appreciate an athlete who scores a touchdown and hands the ball to the ref as well as a receiver who performs an extravagant, often humorous end zone celebration. I watch football to be entertained, not to be schooled in good manners and officially sanctioned end zone etiquette. I understand that many fans are uneasy with the self-absorbed attitude of numerous celebrity athletes. I really do. Maybe one day we can all sit around a tailgate and discuss the paradoxical roles we assume in crafting the altars at which we worship the superstar athlete, while also punishing him for enjoying that place of prominence a little too much. Until then, we’ll have to respectfully agree to disagree about proper megastar conduct when we’re not too busy enjoying the athletic brilliance on the football field.