MOORESTOWN, N.J. - Kody Amburgey’s ear infection kept him from making a trip to Philadelphia Eagles training camp this week, but the 11-year-old got an audience Thursday with one of the team’s stars in his own hometown.
Wide receiver Terrell Owens, kicked out of training camp a day earlier, held court with Amburgey and a few dozen fans gathered outside his home in this Philadelphia suburb. The receiver also jawed with reporters, shot hoops and spent time inside his huge stucco home with visiting relatives.
Wearing an Eagles jersey with Owens’ number 81 on it, Amburgey waited with his mother for about an hour outside the player’s house before getting the nerve to knock on the door.
Owens told the boy he’d be out in a few minutes to sign some autographs, and soon did.
Soon after, one reporter asked Amburgey if getting the autograph of one of his favorite football players made his summer.
“Being on the news is the highlight of my summer,” the boy replied, as four television cameras rolled.
Autograph-seeking fans bearing footballs and trading cards — some playing hooky from work — streamed through the neighborhood during the day.
People arrived in work vans, a Mercedes SUV, and two government vehicles marked “for official use only” just to get a glimpse of the star and the spectacle.
Mark Ediss drove an hour and a half from Vineland to hang out, if not with Owens then with other fans. “I don’t know what made me get in the truck and go down here,” he said. “Even if he doesn’t come out, this is just a neat experience.”
On Thursday, Owens told the gathered reporters that he would call a caterer to feed them and said he liked having the media around. “I’m going to go inside and get my camera and take pictures of you guys,” he joked.
He said he’d play one-on-one basketball with any comer willing to bet a paycheck on the game. He found no opponents.
Owens also was happy to discuss his lunch of eight egg whites and multigrain toast at Bob Evans.
Mostly, though, Owens retreated into his house where several relatives, his agent and publicist were also bunkered down.
He noticed some bees around the basketball hoop in his driveway. Within an hour, an exterminator’s truck pulled up.
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