It's been 21 weeks since the Super Bowl. Since then NFL players have been very busy -- getting arrested.
Twenty-nine guys have been taken into custody for all sorts of misbehavior. On average that's once every five days an NFL player's mug shot was taken. The longest stretch without a police report has been three weeks. Before last week, the busiest one was right before the NFL draft, when four current players got pinched in six days.
More than half the league's teams (19 out of 32 teams) have had a player arrested. Six teams have had more than one guy on the news. The New York Jets may be heading in the wrong direction on the field, but they came in second with three players arrested this spring. Even more impressive, the trio all managed to pull it off in a 15-day period in May. Outstanding work, guys!
The Jets and everyone else must take a back seat to the Cleveland Browns. Oh, sure, they've never been in a Super Bowl, but the Browns did manage to have four, count 'em, four, players arrested this offseason.
The offseason kicked off exactly five days after the Baltimore Ravens held off the San Francisco 49ers. On Feb. 8, Michael Boley of the New York Giants was arrested and faces a charge of child abuse.
Since then nine guys have been taken into custody accused of DWI/DUI. Four are facing gun charges (police say one tried to board a plane with his. This just in, we started frowning on that 12 Septembers ago). Four others are accused of assaulting women. Police say three players were smoking or in possession of a little weed. Two thought that the police officers' instructions were mere suggestions and were quite surprised to find out that they are in fact, mandatory.
One is accused of cheating at craps in Las Vegas. Police say one wanted to get a little lucky, unfortunately with an undercover policewoman. One player didn't show up for court but he compounded that by getting suspended for failing a drug test.
Titus Young got released before he was arrested three times in one week, including twice on the same day.
All of this pales in totality to Aaron Hernandez. I don't want to say that he's making the NFL look bad, but when a league is hoping that he's only going to face one murder charge and not the two others he's been linked to. Yeah ...
RELATED STORY: Aaron Hernandez pleads not guilty to murder, gun charges (http://bit.ly/aaronhernandez)
Psst! Don't tell anybody, but three players have been arrested since Hernandez. I know what you're thinking, that was a long time ago. Yes it was, all the way back to this past Wednesday.
Do you know who one of the luckiest people in America was this week? Ausar Walcott. He was a Cleveland Browns linebacker before he was arrested on an attempted murder charge. Nobody even talked about him because Ausar got into the back of the police car a few hours after Hernandez.
My favorite arrest though was No. 28, Josh Brent. Brent is a defensive lineman for the Dallas Cowboys. Last December, police say he got hammered (toxicology had him twice the legal limit), drove his car more than 100 mph and crashed it, killing teammate Jerry Brown. Brent was released on bond but ordered to take random drug/alcohol tests. Well, he's failed two such tests in recent weeks. Apparently the second failed drug test was the last straw, because now Brent is behind bars.
Of course, he's still a member of the Dallas Cowboys because apparently it's really hard to get kicked off that team these days.
Then while I'm writing this piece, word comes of No. 29, Indianapolis Colts safety Joe Lefeged. This brain surgeon is accused of trying to elude police in Washington, D.C., (because doesn't everybody outrun the cops?) only to be chased down and arraigned on multiple gun-related offenses.
So there you have it. Just think, there's still a month left in the offseason. Who knows what can still happen?
Forget player safety, how about our safety?
Football is our national pastime. The NFL is the most popular sports league in our country. It's often said sports reflect our society.
If so, our society is in a lot of trouble.
(Contact David Moulton at email@example.com.)
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