Ask any Iowa State or opposing Big Ten football fan, and they’ll readily point out that you can’t spell Iowa without the letters O, W, and I. Whether that maxim holds any merit outside of coincidence is debatable; after all, you can’t spell “theatrical” without H, I, T, L, E, and R, but that doesn’t mean that every drama major you know is a Nazi*. But it does underscore the fact that as college football programs go, Iowa has fielded a buttload of drunk drivers recently–three recently, and even one by current NFL star Bob Sanders in 2002 (which, for the record, we were unable to verify).
Unfortunately for Iowa fans, it’s time to add one more to the list. Shaun Prater, who was coming off a true freshman campaign where he established himself as a quality backup cornerback, was popped for an OWI around 1:00 a.m. Saturday morning. No crash, nobody hurt, but definitely not the right move in a football program where the coach is handing out 4-game suspensions for public intox or even suspending his own son for possession of alcohol.
The devil is in the details, though, and there appears to be more afoot than your typical OWI here. During the arrest, Prater told the police something that shakes this case - nay, society - to its very core:
When officers approached him, according to official reports, Prater had bloodshot eyes, slurred speech and smelled strongly of alcohol. He failed field sobriety tests, including a preliminary breath test that registered at .134. His blood alcohol content was recorded at .127.
Prater told police his bartender “must have put alcohol in his Coca-Cola,” the report said.
NOOOOOOO! That scoundrel! Treachery is afoot! Listen all y’all it’s a sabotage! Prater is 19, two years before the drinking age, so obviously the bartender (an undercover agent for Minnesota, no doubt) spiked his Coca-Cola. With the dreaded alcohol. Prater, not knowing intoxication, drove home like normal, oblivious to his peril. And then this.
Now, some of you may be thinking, “Prater blew .134! That’s a lot of alcohol! Do you seriously expect us to believe he thought he was drinking 7 or 8 Cokes?” YES WE DO. Athletes do everything at a higher level than you or I, and that includes drinking soft drinks. The caffeine buzz that normal people get after two sodas doesn’t actually hit an athlete until after three times as much. Clearly Prater was just trying to get some caffeine in him so he could go home and study for tests all night long like a good student. THIS IS ALL NORMAL DAMN IT.
Unfortunately, Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz won’t see it our way, saying he was “extremely disappointed” in the real victim, Prater. What’s worse, he’s going out of his way to punish him:
“[Prater] will be required to serve numerous internal obligations, set by me,” Ferentz added. “He’ll also face a multiple-game suspension in the fall.”
We have a better idea. Investigate the bar. Find that bartender and interrogate the hell out of him. Maybe even kill him. Then follow the paper trail all the way back to Ames and take down the corrupt Iowa State regime once and for all. This one stinks of conspiracy.
*Yes it does.