Weep not for Willie Tuitama. He was a highly touted prospect when he committed to the Arizona Wildcats back in 2004, and he had a super-productive career with the ‘Cats, racking up well over 9,000 yards through the air and 67 TDs.
(Here, he’s “serving” a handoff! Stupid joke? Bad schtick? Okay, we’ll stop.)
But Tuitama wasn’t drafted, something that may have something to do with his “extreme DUI” arrest a few weeks before the draft (special note to marketing majors: that it’s an “Extreme” DUI does not mean it’s spicy or comes with extra cheese). So now instead of living the life on an NFL rookie, he’s doing the next best thing - if by “next best” we mean “worst imaginable” - working at a local Buffalo Wild Wings as a server.
After yesterday’s sentencing of Plaxico Burress to two years in prison, it seems like you couldn’t turn around without hearing another person wailing, “Donte Stallworth gets 26 days for killing a man and Plaxico gets two years for shooting himself? Where’s the justice! I thought this was America!”
Okay. Back the truck up here. Stallworth and Burress’ cases have f–k-all to do with each other outside of the fact that both are in the NFL and they got sentenced in the same year. So let’s dispense with the flimsy comparisons of a DUI and a gun charge. And let’s also make one thing clear: Plaxico didn’t get two years for shooting himself.
Back in May, we reported that Bruce Smith had earned his third DUI arrest in 12 years. We use the term “earn” loosely; he wasn’t dragging mailboxes and chain-link fences behind his car or enjoying a boozeaccino for the road or anything. But 73 in a 55? That, sir, was a large mistake.
(Even retired and in police custody, I feel like he’s going to drop me for a loss if I pick up a football.)
You’ll also recall that Smith refused a Breathalyzer test on the scene, which isn’t much of a good idea. Ah, but it was part of a larger plan, you see. With that, Smith had an “out”: his unsteadiness on one foot was just a matter of poor knee health from his long NFL career! And the bleary eyes? That’s just the concussions talking. Surely a reasonable judge would agree, yes?
People are complex. They are not their stereotypes, and they are not only the bad things they do. Even the most habitual offenders of groupthink (usually stoners, hipsters, and, y’know, “thugs”) are, in nearly all instances, more than capable of a wide variety of views, emotions, and opinions.
Crazy like a fox, or crazy like a crazy person?
Associations do matter, though, especially when single issues define a person. Thus we had to shake our heads in amazement when we heard about Donte Stallworth’s off-season conditioning. As you’re no doubt aware by now, Stallworth is about to serve a 30-day jail sentence after his DUI conviction in the death of Mario Perez, a sentence some feel is inappropriate to convey the gravity of Stallworth’s crime. Even after the likely substantial suspension imposed by the NFL after his jail time, Stallworth still has the opportunity to put together an NFL career for a few more years, and it’s important for him to stay in shape in the meantime.
So as he awaited sentencing, he was still out there running hills with… Plaxico Burress? Oh, good lord, really?
Sometimes, all you can ask for is closure. Not revenge or punishment or the eye for the proverbial eye; just enough to begin the healing process.
And so, according to the MIAMI HERALD, the family of Mario Reyes, the man Donte’ Stallworth stands accused of killing in a March DUI accident, have been described by prosecutors as “the primary force” in a plea deal that is expected to be accepted today. And rather than spending years and years in prison, Stallworth may only have a short jail stay:
Cleveland Browns wide receiver Donte’ Stallworth is expected to plead guilty Tuesday to driving drunk when he struck and killed a pedestrian on the MacArthur Causeway in March, The Miami Herald has learned.
Stallworth’s attorney, Christopher Lyons, confirmed that the case was expected to be resolved Tuesday in court. Lyons declined to detail terms of the plea, which are not yet public.
While this is good news for Stallworth and his family, it doesn’t mean his NFL career is back in play; even after the jail stay imposed by the judge, Stallworth will still have to be reinstated by the notoriously unsympathetic Roger Goodell. This will be a remarkably tough decision for the commissioner; no matter what length of suspension he decides on, it’s still going to be met by (not entirely unreasonable) protests of “Oh, so that’s how many games a human life is worth?”
But all the same, the person who’s really going to be haunted by the specter of death here is Stallworth, not Goodell. That he, even accidentally, killed a fellow man is a fact that will saddle him long after he’s gone from the league.
*UPDATE*: Stallworth gets sentenced to 30 days in jail & two years of house arrest.
The milquetoast play-by-play announcer for FOX had put together a decent, meh-but-not-terrible first episode, with appearances by Brett Favre (more on him later), Michael Irvin, Chad Ochocinco, and other famous members of the sports world. And then to close it out, he had on longtime friend Paul Rudd, a practically non-existent Jason Sudeikis, and, inexplicably, Artie Lange.
The audio is ludicrously NSFW, but if you’ve got earphones and/or a door to your office, you’ll want to check out Lange single-handedly derailing the show:
And then yes, Favre. Favre Favre Favre. He was the first guest on the show, and allowed make unironic claims like he’s not looking for attention. While he’s on, y’know, a nationally televised talk show. And to his credit, the fact that this is his first public appearance while ESPN has hammered coverage of his dalliance with Vikings management into viewers’ brains (we think Ed Werder’s been tasked with rifling through the trash down at Favre’s ranch in Mississippi) should be noted. That said, this happens every damn year, and it’s so tiresome. Here we are in June, with training camps underway. Teams want to have their summer rosters in place. So is Favre going to play this year? “Maybe.”
(Here we go again.)
Also, the fact that Favre’s first public comments aren’t to ESPN should be noted as well. So rather than think of Favre as a caricature of an attention whore or drama queen or whatever, perhaps it’s best to - yes, we know this is neither fun nor easy - recognize the shades of gray and think that while he knows how easy it is to attract attention after spending two decades in the spotlight, part of him actually is a country-bred bumpkin from Mississippi who would play football forever if he could.
But then again, we don’t know where the annual retirement charade fits into either side. And how many years in a row is this? Eight? C’mon, man.
Look, this is clearly not the appropriate forum to discuss the ongoing turmoil in Iran. We’re not nearly qualified enough to comment on it, and that’s not what you’re here to read anyway. That said, if you’re wanting to find out more about watching the seeds of revolution occur in real-time, Andrew Sullivan’s blog is a good place to start. So why even bring it up? Only for the most epic picture in tOSU history, via 11W(click here for higher res, pops):
The federal judge in charge of the Phoenix Coyotes bankruptcy case has rejected their sale to Jim Balsillie, the Canadian billionaire who intended to move the franchise to Hamilton. This is a victory of sorts for the NHL and Gary Bettman, who has incredibly poor judgment.
According to the CELTICS BLOG, Boston GM Danny Ainge is reportedly shopping Kendrick Perkins and Bill Walker to Memphis GM Chris Wallace for the #2 pick in the draft. The Celtics aren’t actually that enamored with anybody in the draft; they just want to see first-hand how easy it is to rip off Chris Wallace.
Orlando’s 2010 hopes take a hit as the ORLANDO SENTINEL reports Hedo Turkogluwill opt out of his contract and file for free agency. It’s a shame; Dwight Howard is the “face” of the franchise, but anyone who watched the Magic’s playoff run could tell Turkoglu was the MVP of the team.
You know, the Dallas Cowboys might just want to stop building things from now on. As mentioned here earlier today, the new stadium opened this weekend with a gala concert featuring two of the most relevant country music superstars of 1985 — George Strait and Reba McEntire.
(”The margarita machine’s going over there.”)
Arlington police said that everything went really well for an opening night, and only one person who was at the event was arrested that night for drunk driving. Of course, that man was Jack Hill, the man who oversaw the construction of the stadium and is now the director of operations. Well, I suppose having a drunk guy in charge of building your stadium is better than hiring a criminal with no credentials to fix the roof on your practice facility. Baby steps, I suppose.
Let’s hope Hill put down the bottle long enough to get the building inspected before opening it to the public.
This wasn’t particularly newsworthy, mind you; everyone knew Brady would be back for the start of the 2009 season. Then his surgeon and golf partner, Neal ElAttrache (that’s a fake name if I ever heard one; what’s Brady hiding???), gave his first post-surgery interview to the LOS ANGELES TIMES, and with quotes like these:
“With regard to his recovery of strength, I’ve never seen anything quite like it,” said ElAttrache, an orthopedic surgeon specializing in sports medicine at the Kerlan-Jobe Clinic in Los Angeles. “With an average person, it would have taken probably twice as long to get range of motion and strength back.”
Said ElAttrache: “Let’s face it, guys that are athletes like him, they’re strung together different. By and large, they follow the same biologic rules as the rest of us. However, they’re able to do things with their neuromuscular control and their strength gains and how they respond to exercise a little bit differently.
…it was only a matter of time before ESPN pounced and showed that amateur Peter King what a real ball-washing looks like.
Speaking of comebacks, it’s time to welcome back another target of unbridled man-crushery: Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipović, the fearsome MMA fighter. He set the world on fire a few years ago, mainly via YouTube videos of him kicking people in the head, before an uninspiring 1-2 stint in UFC sent him back to fighting in Japan. But rest assured, I didn’t forget the kicking in the head:
And yes, $50 is awfully steep for one person to watch an event, but if you’re watching a pay-per-view by yourself, there’s something very wrong with you. Pay-per-views are the flimsy excuse you need to have a social event, one that often involves healthy amounts of imbibition. It’s probably not very hard to find a sports bar showing the event, after all. But if “drunk guys in Affliction shirts” isn’t your thing, no worries; 1) Giants pitcher Brian Wilsondoesn’t care for it either, and 2) just invite a half-dozen friends or so over and do it like that instead. But yes, six fights in one night is most certainly choice. Figure out a way to make it worth your while and make it happen.
And finally in more news of welcome returns, Phil Mickelson has apparently set a date for returning to the PGA Tour: June 11, for the St. Jude’s Classic in Memphis. Of course, the timing has everything to do with the U.S. Open the following week at Bethpage Black, right in Phil the Thrill’s haunt in New York.
Mickelson first thought surgery for his 37-year-old wife could happen as early as a few weeks since the announcement, but that has been pushed back for another month.
Her treatment and recovery will dictate whether he plays in the British Open, or how much he plays at all the rest of the summer. Mickelson already has won twice this year and is No. 5 in the FedEx Cup standings.
It’s both easy and tempting to say things like “Amy Mickelson is good reminder that life is more important than sports,” but that’s like saying “an apple is tastier than an aircraft carrier.” Well, yeah, but the two things don’t share the same useful metric. Of course life is important; nobody ever disputed that. But we’d be stunned if Phil’s return was spurred by anything but Amy telling him to get back on the course.
Proving she’s not a three-program robot (1: drive car fast, 2: make non-threatening remarks, 3: wear bikini), Danica Patrick ruffled some feathers recently by telling Dan Patrick (not the same person; not even related, as a matter of fact) that taking PEDs isn’t cheating if you’re not caught. Was that wrong? Should she not have done that?
Cheer up, Nike: there’s still a way to salvage your precious Lebron/Kobe puppet campaign!
Would you like to read about a blog duping a plainly moronic radio host into thinking they were going to interview John Daly? You would? Would you like to hear said interview too? You would?? Then you, my friend, are in quite a bit of luck:
(We got the strong Smith mug shot from the boys over at TBL)
Not only was Smith driving under the influence, he was speeding like a bandit, too. There’s no way that he’ll get out of the speeding ticket, and his refusal to take a breathalyzer or a DUI test means that he’s tacitly admitting guilt to DUI, unless his attorney has a really good card up his sleeve.
It’s pretty much a given fact of life that Zach Randolph is bad at things. We mean everything. If Zach were tasked to build a car out of Legos, he would end up handing you a dead fish covered in asbestos and lead paint. So when he decided to get sensationally drunk (on a Sunday night - that’s a school night, pal!) and get behind the wheel of his Bentley, well, you probably already know how that ended up.
As TMZ reports, Randolph got popped for a DUI last night, raising the total amount of DUIs by athletes to infinityleven. Seriously, how does this still happen? Zach Randolph makes almost $17 million per year. He can afford a limousine. Hell, he can afford a limo made of cocaine, platinum, and leprechaun femurs. At no point should he ever have to get behind the wheel of any car, drunk or not, for the rest of his life.
But he did anyway, despite having been busted for DUI before, and just like every time he tries to do something, he drove drunk poorly: Read more…
Admit it: We all love the Schadenfruede of watching prominent athletes and major figures in sports unravel in the hands of the law. As long as other human beings aren’t hurt, the entire experience is relatively harmless … except for the celebrities themselves, and they’re better financially equipped to deal with these crises than anyone else. That’s why, rather than tell you about one demoralizing, stupify Friday arrest, we’re going to tell you about two, then have you choose which one you think is worse. Think of it as the “Choose Your Own Adventure” of celebrity athlete stupidity! Prepare for tales of woe from former Jets-turned-Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma and Texas baseball coach Augie Garrido, one of the only coaches to win a national title at more than one school.
(You know, we’d be intimidated by Jonathan Vilma, too.)
Let’s start with Senor Vilma, the former Miami Hurricane who was arrested Friday afternoon. According to a police report obtained by the MIAMI HERALD, the former Pro Bowler was arrested for reckless driving and resisting arrest after allegedly leading police to pull him over after he nearly hit not one, but two different pedestrians. When police asked him to step outside his Range Rover because its windows were too tinted for them to see into, Vilma refused, leading to a confrontation where he moved aggressively toward an unarmed officer before being cuffed while thrashing and jailed for resisting arrest.