by Joe Fortenbaugh
June 11, 02013
June is supposed to be the NFL’s off month. The operative word being “off,” as Monday was anything but thanks to a trifecta of intriguing professional football stories that had this writer captivated to the point where some semi-incoherent ramblings seemed worthy of publication.
So after a day spent sloshing around the flooded bentgrass paradise known as Merion East, I nestled up next to the old MacBook Pro in an effort to provide you fine upstanding individuals with a few minutes worth of work-killing material.
And for the record, I’ll leave the Tiger predictions to the mainstream media. Give me Henrik Stenson (60/1) and Thorbjorn Olesen (100/1) for the 2013 United States Open Championship.
1. Chad Johnson butt slaps his way into the bin: Humility is a character trait often lacking in those who have achieved a certain level of prominence within our society. Case in point: The wide receiver formerly known as Chad Ochocinco, who broke the cardinal rule on Monday when he raised his hand in victory before the sounding of the final bell. In a Florida courtroom thanks to a probation violation stemming from a domestic violence arrest last summer, Johnson butt-slapped his attorney just moments before Judge Kathleen McHugh was about to accept a plea deal that would have resulted in a hand-slap ruling of community service and counseling instead of jail time. The courtroom erupted in laughter at Johnson’s antics, which embarrassed McHugh and caused the County Circuit Judge to yank the plea deal off the table in exchange for 30 days in the clink.
I’ve laughed at plenty of Johnson’s bullshit over the past decade, but the former Bengal wideout got what he deserved on Monday. Even the stumbling .30 BAC known as Lindsay Lohan knows that a celebrity repeat offender doesn’t pop champagne over a colossal joke of a ruling just 20 feet from the judge before the gavel comes down.
Whether you agree with what happened in Florida on Monday or not, the bottom line is this: Johnson pleaded no contest to a domestic violence charge last summer after being accused of head-butting his then-wife Evelyn Lozado. Johnson then violated his probation, which landed him in court on Monday. And after all of that (which, keep in mind, would be more than enough to put John Q. Public behind bars for an extended stretch), Johnson's lawyer was still able to set everything up for the wide receiver to walk, when the urge to emerge as the "alpha male" struck and, ultimately, pissed off the wrong judge. Simple rule to live by: When standing in front of an individual who possesses the power to decide the fate of your freedom, keep your mouth shut and your hands to yourself.
2. Tebowmania gets its second wind, ESPN gets aroused, society goes about its business: So you’re telling me that Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader are now working together in New England? That analogy might be halfway applicable if Luke Skywalker took just 77 snaps during his three Star Wars installments. But Skywalker was the star of George Lucas’ epic nerd fest (said lovingly), while Tebow was a third-string gimmick with a busted 6-10 New York Jets team last season. We shouldn’t even be talking about this relatively meaningless signing, but I couldn’t help myself after the Worldwide Leader plastered the walking ratings bonanza all over its front page in the wake of Monday’s monumental announcement. The only question now is which offshore sports book will be the first to offer the “Will Tim Tebow be on the Patriots’ Week 1 roster?” prop? I’ll go ahead and bet “no” once such an opportunity makes itself available.
3. The return of Pacman: This one was brutal to hear about as I was really hoping that Adam Jones had turned a corner and was past the nightclub nonsense. But sure enough, “Pacman” was back in the news on Monday after being arrested and jailed for assault for allegedly punching a woman outside of a downtown Cincinnati bar last week.
Agent Peter Schaffer was quick on the trigger when it came to damage control, insisting that Jones was acting in self-defense after having a beer poured on his head by the accuser. Here’s what we need to keep in mind:
1. Jones is innocent until proven guilty…
2. …but the court of public opinion is far different than the court of law. And when you have as many strikes working against you as Jones does, it shouldn’t come as a shock if the public is unwilling to buy into your self-defense argument.
3. What is Jones doing in a bar to begin with? To me, this is akin to the, “Why is Michael Vick pushing to own a dog?” question. When all of your problems stem from the same place (the bar), isn’t that the last place where you should be spending your time?
4. The lousy thing for Jones is that he may be 100% innocent, but given his history, the Bengals cornerback is a walking, talking target for drunk idiots looking to cause problems. The previous sentence reiterates the question in No. 3, which is why is Jones in a bar to begin with?
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