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July 23, 2007

[Business Day One] Make It Rain Dogs

Filed under: Business Day One,Football — Tags: , , , , — Serpico @ 11:00 am

What could be said about Michael Vick and Pacman Jones that hasn’t been said yet?  I won’t leave you in suspense – nothing.  It’s all been said.  Pundits weighed in and race relations were discussed and speculations on suspensions have been put forth.  Just so that I am not left completely off the “blog about idiots that forget they’re famous athletes” wagon, I’m going to weigh in for a paragraph or two before I get to the fun stuff I want to do:

One of my best friends in the world played Big East football for four years.  He was a popular and touted defensive player in a big time conference.  He was covered on national television, interviewed by local media and was someone that everyone on campus knew.  At last check (I e-mailed him about a week ago), he was not involved in any strip club fights, drug runs or illegal cabals.  In point of fact, he was going home to visit his family and get some quality video game time in.  Football obviously doesn’t turn people bad.  Pro sports as a whole doesn’t either.  Playing in front of the cameras runs someone through an industrial process, not an alchemical one.  They get pounded and sculpted and scrutinized, but their component parts do not change.  What you put in is what comes out, generally.

Pacman Jones came into the League with behavioral issues.  Vick had a hard knock life in Newport News before he got to VTech and eventually Atlanta.  These were guys with big chips on their shoulder and posses of folks that hoped they’d be earning enough bank to put them up in guest rooms.  These guys brought a lot of emotional and entourage baggage with them into the process, and this is what happened.

Alrighty, now that that’s out of the way, let’s get to the fun stuff.  I have compiled a Hall of Fame Jackass and Criminal All-Star Team for this upcoming season.  Here we go:

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June 13, 2007

Pay No Attention to the Man Behind the Curtain

Roger GoodellWe are approximately ten months into the Roger Goodell era and arguably the most significant development has been the controversial and often-discussed personal conduct policy for NFL players. (I don’t consider the international expansion of the sport, including the recently aborted China Project and next year’s London Game to be a Goodell decision, but a remnant of Tagliabue’s brilliant reign as commissioner.) My question is whether the policy, in its admitted infancy, has had its intended effect. (more…)

June 7, 2007

Double Secret Probation

In order to alter the size of the tagcloud to my left, your right, I’d like to talk about a sport that’s not baseball.

pacman.jpgOn Monday, June 4, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell handed down a series of suspensions for off-field misbehavior:

  • Tank Johnson, DT, Chicago Bears: for violating probation with misdemeanor firearms possession: eight games
  • Chris Henry, WR, Cincinnati Bengals: driving with a suspended license, supplying alcohol to minors: eight games
  • Adam ‘Pacman’ Jones, cornerback, Tennessee Titans: aggravated assault, inciting violence, travelling with gun-toting felons: one season

All three are appealing the suspensions.I don’t feel the least bit of remorse for either of these three. All of them are repeated delinquents: Pacman Jones has been arrested five times in two years, Henry a mere 4 times in fourteen months, and Johnson was already on probation for a firearms charge nine months earlier. Criminal charges clearly haven’t been sufficient, especially since these guys earn enough money to defend themselves out of anything short of assaulting a federal officer with rolled-up stolen missile plans.

sig229ba.jpgI have no sympathy for their plight, but I do understand how they ended up where they did. Each of these young men were earning more money in a month than I earn in a year. Tank Johnson’s suspension, for instance, is estimated to cost him $255,000, which works out to $42,500 per unregistered firearm (and you thought your hobby was expensive). College athletes at universities with strong football programs already live the life of Achilles – and that’s when they’re (technically) not allowed to be paid for their work (ha ha, wink wink). Throw $1,212,000 at me within my first two years out of college and some of it just might end up on a stage in a Vegas stripclub.
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