Ravens Bench McAlister For Looking Like A Slob?

If you or I are hanging out at a hotel lobby on a Sunday morning, shorts and a T-shirt are acceptable fashion options. Granted, I’m usually hanging out at the Continental buffet at the Holiday Inn Express and not a four-star hotel, where it the dress code would be a little more strict.

Chris McAlister and a large truck

Also having a strict dress code: the Baltimore Ravens’ team bus. That’s what three-time Pro Bowler Chris McAlister learned, as the CARROLL COUNTY TIMES reports that new head coach John Harbaugh benched him for last week’s game against the Dolphins for “undisclosed reasons,” but on his weekly radio show he insinuated that it was partially because he didn’t meet the team’s strict dress code.

In Harbaugh’s mind, that means suits and ties. Which I don’t get, and never have when it comes to athletes on game day - they are getting ready to go take part in a physical sport, not go into work at Sterling Cooper. Maybe cut-offs and a “Bikini Inspector” T-shirt might be a bit much, but who are we fooling here?

But then there’s the matter of the fact that McAlister was accompanied to the team lobby with “three young women” despite having had an 11 p.m. curfew the night before. Harbaugh wasn’t as clear about this issue, as he said that he didn’t see the women, but he thought they met him there to pick up tickets to the game.

This is’t the first time that McAlister has been in trouble for violating team rules. The BALTIMORE SUN thinks this is part of a larger problem of a lack of personal discipline for the star defensive back, and Harbaugh has been non-committal on if McAlister is going to be starting this week. And it might be part of the reason that Harbaugh appears to be taking some rather draconian methods to keep his players under lock and key on road trips:

“We’ve got a tight curfew. By 11 o’clock, they’re in their rooms and they aren’t coming out of their rooms. When we check into the hotel, those floors are locked down.

“We’ve got police officers at every elevator and exit. We want our guys to be secure, safe and focused.”

Right, it’s for the players’ safety. Sure.