Terrell Owens (Christopher Polk/Getty Images)

You might ask what Terrell Owens was thinking when he agreed to appear on the Dr. Phil show. Let's hope that the cash-strapped former NFL star was well-compensated for showing up. But even then, you'd like to think Owens could earn money in a more dignified manner than going on national TV for a contentious meeting with three of the four women who bore his children.

I wasn't a big fan of his foray into indoor football earlier this year, but that's a lot better than putting his dysfunctional relationships on full blast. He's not denying paternity, but he might as well go on Maury Povich's show next. It can't be more dramatic or embarrassing than what Owens endured Tuesday.

Owens has always loved the spotlight and sought it earnestly. But listening to three women detail how lousy you are at being a dad isn't the sort of attention you should find rewarding. It's certainly a huge comedown from the eponymous venture he enjoyed on VH1.

The women, identified only by their first names, offered a laundry list of grievances. Kimber said that Owens owed thousands of dollars in child-support payments and had only seen their daughter 12 times in the 7-year-old girl's entire life. But T.O. had an explanation.

"The thing is, with me traveling back and forth, I don't have a set schedule," he said. When he does try to arrange a visit, "pretty much 90 percent of the time, every time I've reached out it's been a bad time."

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Another mother, Monique, said that Owens tried to improve his image by making some public appearances with their son. "He was trying to exploit his kid," she said. Owens claimed that he willingly increased Monique's child support from $6,000 to $8,000 to $10,000 to $12,000. Not sure where that fits in with the monthly payments he outlined — $20,000, $13,400, $11,200 and $5,000 — but we digress.

Owens accused them of being gold diggers. "The only time any of you have picked up the phone is because of money," he said.

At the end, Dr. Phil gave each of his guests advice on being better parents. Then he asked T.O. if he'd like to visit his kids backstage. It was an odd, awkward reunion, understandably so considering what had transpired for the last 60 minutes. The credits were rolling when Owens asked the two girls: "Have you been to Magic Mountain? Maybe I can take you guys to Magic Mountain. You can ride the roller coaster."

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I hope he realizes that while taking his kids places and buying them things is nice, spending time with them and developing a relationship is better. If that's his takeaway from appearing on Dr. Phil, it was worthwhile. Otherwise, it was a waste of time.

Deron Snyder's Loose Ball column appears regularly on The Root. Follow him on Twitter and reach him at BlackDoor Ventures, Inc.