It seemed like yesterday when the accomplished cast of NFL wide receivers was overshadowed by the look-at-me twosome of Terrell Owens and Chad Ochocinco. Well, look at them now.
Owens, whose No 6 ranking on the all-time receptions roll would be higher had he fully applied himself, invited all 32 teams to a recent workout intended to demonstrate he could contribute. Not one showed up.
Maybe they chose to watch the workout on TV; it was aired live by news channels. Video cameras might follow this human reality show wherever he goes, but not NFL scouts. Owens did generate media interest a few days later - an arrest warrant was issued for his absence at a court date related to child-support payments.
Ochocinco is employed by the Patriots, but perhaps not for long. He has just nine receptions this season. Buying him time in New England is a new approach with the media: he avoids them. That has earned him points with Bill Belichick, who reportedly values Ochocinco as a positive, if unproductive, influence on the team.
That does not mean he always zips his lip; he and the Lions' Ndamukong Suh shared first choice as the league's most prolific trash-talker in a survey of players. He also has drawn the most followers among players on Twitter.
The Owens-Ochocinco ticket's time has passed, giving way to a quieter generation of receivers featuring Calvin Johnson, Andre Johnson and Julio Jones. Their actions speak loud enough without an excess of ego-driven words.