In a week where it looks like Plaxico Burress might be soon catching passes from Michael Vick, it’s worth noting that NFL players with legal troubles are not a new phenomenon. Only the most diehard Lions fans remember Reggie Rogers, a promising DT taken seventh overall from Washington who was a month into his sophomore season when he drunken ran a red light and plowed into a car with three teenagers, killing them all.
(Rogers  in better times)
The former Huskies standout was charged with DUI again yesterday, for a hit-and-run incident last week. According to arresting officers, Rogers was extremely intoxicated, telling one officer in Joe Namath-like moment he wanted to “give him a hug and kiss him.” He also repeatedly called one officer “Coach James,” a reference to former UW coach Don James. Sad. (But it gets sadder, after the jump.)
Rogers is really racking up the DUI arrests. From his senior season in 1986 to a most recent arrest in 2004, he was booked four times for DUI (not including the fatal accident in 1988), though had the charges dismissed twice. That’s a .500 record, and I think Husky fans would slather at a winning percentage like that.
Just to be clear, we’re not talking about someone who had a couple drinks and forget to eat dinner here. (Or breakfast, as the latest accident took place around noon):
In his report, the initial officer on scene said he “noticed the strong odor of intoxicants” coming from the vehicle and from Rogers. The trooper, who was joined by another officer, said Rogers was incoherent and could not walk without aid.
Rogers was turned over to two other troopers — a cadet and his training officer — who had arrived at the scene. In their reports, they noted the smell of alcohol coming from Rogers and noticed his eyes were bloodshot. The reports also said that Rogers needed help being moved into a patrol car and that he was slurring his words.
The troopers reported that Rogers was belligerent, then fell asleep as they took him to the Tukwila Police Department for a breath test. At the station, Rogers was “swaying and hitting the side of the building” and required assistance to get inside the building, the troopers said.
Rogers refused a breath test and mumbled and cursed at the officers, telling one he wanted to “give him a hug and kiss him” and told the officers: “I want to go to jail. Can I go to jail?” before falling asleep. Rogers also slept in a patrol car while being taken to jail, the troopers said.
The family is no stranger to substance abuse. Older brother Don Rogers was a star-in-the-making as a safety for the Browns, when he died of cocaine poisoning after his second season. His death, just eight days after the similar death of Len Bias, brought the issue of drugs and athletes into the national dialogue.
Reggie still holds a grudge against UW, apparently for keeping him out of the Husky Hall of Fame because of his legal issues:
“Nobody really knows the truth about what happened that night,” said Rogers recently. “That accident is what’s really stopping me from getting into the Husky Hall of Fame. Right now, that Hall of Fame is just a place with a bunch of pictures in it. How can you justify not having the most decorated minority in the history of the University of Washington, and he’s not in the Hall of Fame? They told me that I am looked at as a bad guy because of the accident and that I will never get in there.”
“Did you watch that one award show?” he asked. “They gave Rick James an award sometime before he passed. I loved his music but I didn’t know him or the hell he was going through. But he talked about how someone at the back door wouldn’t let him in, just like what happened with me at the U-Dub. Rick James said, BUT I’M RICK JAMES, BITCH! And that’s what I’m telling U-Dub: BUT I’M REGGIE ROGERS, BITCH!”
After this latest arrest, I think Reggie Rogers might end up being somebody’s bitch.