Some people just don#039;t get it
Published 12:00 am Saturday, July 28, 2007
Part of my usual morning routine involves checking sports websites like ESPN.com and reading about everything going on in the sports world.
Sometimes, there’s a story that grabs my attention, and I can sound off about it in my column.
The other day, it wasn’t one particular story that made me look twice, it was a series of headlines.
On the front page of the NFL section, you could find these headlines: &uot;Allen’s suspension for substance abuse violation reduced to two games,&uot; &uot;Dolphins wide receiver Chambers charged in N.C.,&uot; and &uot;Brown suspended four games for violating substance abuse policy.&uot;
Do you notice a trend here?
It’s an issue that’s been on my mind recently because of Adam &uot;Pacman&uot; Jones, but I’ll get to him later.
The first story was about Kansas City defensive end Jared Allen’s suspension getting cut in half after a DUI last year.
Since then, he has demonstrated remorse and begun working with several local charities.
Dolphins wide receiver Chris Chambers was arrested in North Carolina for driving while impaired, and Rams cornerback Fakhir Brown was suspended for violating the league’s substance abuse policy.
I’m not sure if it’s the first arrest for these guys, but I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt, and that it was just a stupid mistake.
For others in the NFL, it’s not just a first-time mistake - it’s blatant stupidity.
Ten Cincinnati Bengals have been arrested in less than a year.
Henry has had four arrests in 14 months for charges like marijuana possession, drunk driving and a weapons charge.
Linebacker Odell Thurman hasn’t been reinstated after a violation of the league’s substance abuse policy, and A.J. Nicholson was even released from the team after a domestic violence charge.
I guess I shouldn’t be surprised since Cincinnati once had Jerry Springer for a mayor.
Maybe it’s something in the water.
You would think that these guys would learn from their teammates that bad things happen when you get arrested.
This brings me to a couple of players who don’t play for the Bengals - Adam &uot;Pacman&uot; Jones and Tank Johnson.
Johnson was suspended for the first eight games of the upcoming season after violating his probation.
He also spent two months in jail.
Two days after the violation of his probation, Johnson’s bodyguard was killed in a fight at a Chicago night club.
He was finally released from the team after registering a blood alcohol level of 0.72, which is under the legal limit of 0.8 in Arizona, but apparently still to high for the Bears’ management.
&uot;He compromised the credibility of our organization,&uot; said Bears GM Jerry Angelo.
&uot;We made it clear to him that he had no room for error. Our goal was to help someone through a difficult period in his life, but the effort needs to come from both sides. It didn’t and we have decided to move on.&uot;
Bravo, Mr. Angelo.
Now, we’ll move onto Pacman Jones.
Some people have commented that he’s got more arrests than interceptions in the time he’s been in the NFL - for the record, that’s four.
Many of his run-ins with the law have centered around nightclubs, including an incident in which a security guard ended up paralyzed from the waist down.
Although it’s no laughing matter, one online website published a spoof article with the headline &uot;Pac-Man Jones: ‘I Will Be Nowhere Near Next Friday’s Strip-Club Stabbing’.&uot;
Jones has also been suspended for the entire upcoming NFL season.
You would think these guys would learn that they can’t keep doing what they’re doing.
I’m glad NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has taken a tough stance on players that get arrested.
What these guys don’t understand is that whether they want to be or not, they are role models.
Some little kid somewhere wants to grow up to play in the NFL, and he might be looking at these guys to see how it’s done.
They need to realize that being put under the microscope is part of the territory.
I would love to play professional sports, but unfortunately I have the hand-eye coordination and natural grace of a labrador puppy.
But if I had that opportunity, you’d better believe that I’d be doing everything in my power to keep that job and keep my nose clean so I didn’t endanger it.
Perhaps these guys have had one too many concussions.
Whatever the problem is, these guys just don’t understand what they need to do to fix it.