NFL Lawbreakers


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Jan 22, 2006
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Lincicome: It's time to hold court with the lawbreaking NFL

July 29, 2006

Bailiff, please escort the defendant to the bar. For the record, please identify yourself for the court.
The National Football League, your honor.

Any aliases?

NFL. The pros. John Madden's computer game.

How does the defendant plead?

No contest, your honor.

You look very familiar. Do you spend a lot of time in court?

Mostly little stuff, your honor, civil cases, labor arbitrations, subcommittees, Congress, Supreme Court, like that.

You know this is a criminal court, this is hard time?

Yes, sir.

And the charges are . . . let me see. Bailiff, what is this stack of briefs? I don't have any place to bang my gavel.

Those are the charges, your honor.

What, from the beginning of time?

No, just from this offseason, judge.

My word. This will take longer than O.J. Simpson. He was one of yours, too, wasn't he?

Not at the time, your honor.

How about Darryll Lewis? Evading arrest, possession of methamphetamine, car pool lane violation. Sentenced to 32 months.

He's out of the league, sir.

Tim Smith, set a Super Bowl record, 204 yards rushing against the Broncos. Two and half years for cocaine distribution? Rabih Abdullah, gun and pot charges.

Lawrence Phillips, running down three teenagers with his car.

They are all out of the game, sir.

Maurice Clarett, assault and robbery?

Well, he was barely even in the game, sir.

You don't notice the coincidence? So many former players in trouble. Is there something about you that might cause this kind of antisocial behavior? Such as, they spend their entire careers beating each other up? They live in a state of perpetual rage?

You don't think the sport might have something to do with their conduct?

If I may, sir. I blame the media. It is the press' fault. They make these guys heroes, and they won't leave them alone when they make a mistake.

Is Chris Henry a hero?

Well, he is a wide receiver. He can be a hero. Plays for the Cincinnati Bengals.

Yes. The Bengals. Very thick file on the Bengals. I see five names here. Chris Henry, arrested four times in seven months in three states. Matthias Askew, zapped with a Taser resisting arrest, rookies Frostee Rucker and A.J. Nicholson, the first for spousal battery and the other for burglary.

That's only four, your honor.

Odell Thurman, suspended four games for substance abuse.

Well, sir, these players are innocent until proven guilty, aren't they? Give 'em a chance.

But Santonio Holmes, he is a hero.

Well, we hope he will be. He hasn't played a down yet in the NFL. He was the first pick of the defending champion Pittsburgh Steelers.

But he has already been arrested twice. In two different states. Disorderly conduct. Domestic violence. He may not be in Chris Henry's class, but that is impressive.

Yes. It looks like he will fit right into the NFL.

Do I see a quarterback named Jake Plummer kicked a car? And a linebacker from Philadelphia was arrested for dancing in the street?

Just misdemeanors, your honor.

No. More misdemeanors. There is a difference. Now, what about these San Diego linebackers, Steve Foley, Shaun Phillips? They're active players. Resisting arrest. Sam Brandon and Willie Middlebrooks of the Broncos. Todd Sauerbrun. And John Gilmore of the Bears. And Jamaal Brown of the Saints. And Sean Locklear of Seattle.

Sean Locklear?

Charged with assaulting his girlfriend. Two years community service.

Oh, that Sean Locklear.

And Jabar Gaffney. Carrying a handgun?

Well, he is allowed to carry it in Texas.

But he was in New Jersey. And Reuben Droughns, charged with throwing his wife out the door. And, Bryant McKinnie and Fred Smoot, pled guilty to lewd behavior on a boat? All are active players.

Well, your honor, Daunte Culpepper was on the same boat, and he was cleared of all charges. We respect the justice system, your honor.

You certainly make good use of it. Before I pronounce sentence, I have to know. Do you have any solution for all of this?

Yes, sir, we certainly do. Training camp. It started everywhere this week. We'll sweat the sin right out of these people.

You did say O.J. Simpson was one of yours?

Oh, a long time ago, sir.,1299,DRMN_83_4879333,00.html
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