Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Off-Season Mayhem in the NFL

Crimes are nothing but “mistakes”
by Robert A. Waters

With a new batch of thugs signing outlandish contracts, criminal lawyers have lined up like ambulance chasers outside the doors of the various NFL teams.  Since poverty is alleged to be the root cause of crime, you’d think multimillionaires could get through life without breaking the law.  But the transfer of funds to defense attorneys seems as natural for NFL players as breathing. 
In order to minimize NFL thuggery, sports writers and ESPN talkers use soft words to describe the offenses of those anointed to be our heroes: “mistakes,” “character issues,” and “personality quirks” are few of those terms.

So here’s a brief list of NFLers who’ve had recent “troubles.” 

Armonty Bryant.  The “troubled” defensive end was recently selected by the Cleveland Browns in the NFL draft.  Because of Bryant’s prior run-ins with the law while in college, Browns coach Rob Chudzinski felt the need to justify his selection, and told reporters: “We feel like [Bryant] is past the mistakes he has made and is ready to move on.”  Move on he did.  The ink wasn’t even dry on his contract before he was arrested for DUI.  In college, he was arrested twice for selling drugs on campus. 

Titus Young.  Last week, wide receiver Young became a double arrestee in one day, possibly ending his short, non-storied career in the NFL.  After being charged in California for DUI, the former St. Louis Rams trouble-maker allegedly attempted to steal his own car from the lot in which it was impounded.  He was arrested again.  Some of his previous “character issues” include sucker punching an opponent and intentionally lining up in the wrong position while with the Detroit Lions.  Sportswriters called Young a “troubled soul” instead of, well, a lawbreaker.

Cliff Harris.  The former New York Jets cornerback set an NFL record by getting arrested three times in nine days.  His last arrest, for beating up his girlfriend, occurred in the parking lot of Buffalo Wild Wings in Hillsboro, Oregon. This is the same guy whose college team, the Oregon Ducks, kicked him off the squad because of a series of run-ins with the law. 

Daryl Washington.  Immediately after he signed a 32.5 million dollar contract with the Arizona Cardinals, Washington celebrated by allegedly assaulting his girlfriend.  According to police reports, the linebacker choked his lady pal and pushed her to the ground, causing several serious injuries.  Just a few weeks earlier, he learned that he would be suspended for the first four games next year for violation of the NFL’s drug policy.  Notwithstanding, one of his teammates said Washington is “an awesome guy.”

William Moore.  Immediately after signing a 30 million dollar contract with the Atlanta Falcons, police arrested Moore for simple battery.  After an argument with a woman, Moore allegedly “threw the victim’s phone” on the ground and grabbed her shoulder.

Michael Boley.  In a secret deal with prosecutors, New York Giants linebacker Boley pleaded guilty to child abuse.  He’d previously been investigated for a separate incident of the same nature, and had been arrested for assaulting his girlfriend.  If he completes a “diversion program,” charges will be dropped.  Boley was recently cut by the Giants, not for his alleged crimes, but because he stunk up the field.

Tharold Simon.  The day before “Tharold Simon Day” in his hometown of Eunice, Lousiana, the “troubled” LSU cornerback was arrested on charges of public intimidation, resisting an officer and noise violation.  He bragged to the arresting officer, “I own Eunice.”  Then he threatened to get the lawman fired.  None of that stopped the Seattle Seahawks from drafting Simon in the recent draft.  He’d previously been suspended by LSU for violating the team’s substance abuse policy.  Because of his inadvertent error, the city canceled “Tharold Simon Day.”   

Tyrann Mathieu.  Speaking of LSU, Coach Les Miles kicked Mathieu off the team for numerous incidences of substance abuse.  But that didn’t stop the Arizona Cardinals from drafting him.  General manager Steve Keim told reporters that “at the end of the day, there is always an element of risk with any of these picks.  We're going to take the necessary measures to make sure he walks the straight and narrow.”  A week later, so far, so good.  But it doesn’t sound promising when a Phoenix “head shop” put an ad in the local paper welcoming Mathieu and inviting him for a visit.

Quentin Groves.  After signing a 2.8 million dollar contract with the Cleveland Browns, the linebacker made himself proud by getting arrested for soliciting a prostitute. 

Just a few “mistakes” here and there.

Nothing to worry about.

1 comment:

geri said...

I would have to put Michael Vicks at the top of the list. I know his crimes were mainly with animals but i would be very surprised if he did not do a lot more than we know about. If you can do what he did to those dogs, he had to have harmed a person along his path of evil.