The great 2006 defensive-back crime rampage continues, with the hammer coming down first in Buffalo, where rookie safety Donte Whitner last week won this year’s Travis Henry Domestic Dial-a-Date award, given to the Buffalo Bills rookie with the deftest touch in the home environment. Whitner, the shocker of the 2006 draft as the eighth-overall choice (a relative unknown, he was picked ahead of such luminaries as Matt Leinart and Jay Cutler), was arrested in the conservative Buffalo suburb of Hamburg last Saturday after police responded to a fight he was having with a woman.
DEFENSIVE DEFENDANT: Donte Whitner was picked up early and often.
Whitner is due in court November 20. He’s facing a relatively mild punishment: a fine of up to $250 and up to 15 days in jail. He is just the latest NFL defensive back to stand tall before The Man, in a year besotted with bizarre criminal charges for patrollers of the secondary.
Also busted last week was former Jet and Texan and (up until he got busted) current Dallas Cowboy defensive back Marcus Coleman, who came through the league as a corner but had lately, in between drinks, been playing safety. Coleman began the season on a four-game suspension for violating the league’s substance-abuse policy; he then lost his gig with the Texans and was been picked up by the Cowboys on the Bill Parcells–reclamation plan (Parcells coached Coleman back in his Jets days). No sooner did Coleman sign with Dallas, however, than he was run up on a DUI charge in Irving, Texas. The Cowboys promptly booted him from the team and flew out to Arizona, where they are awaiting the latest eruption of Mount TO. The Phoenix is betting on the surprise announcement of a secret New Jersey civil-union ceremony between Owens and Dennis Rodman, witnessed by Donna Summer and Jean-Marie Le Pen.
Finally, there’s 25 year-old Mark Estelle, a rookie defensive back for the Montreal Alouettes of the Canadian Football League. Estelle and fellow Alouette Alain Kashama, who were pulled over by Montreal police in a routine traffic stop last week, became agitated and were arrested after one of the players allegedly threw a ticket in the policeman’s face. The two players subsequently complained that they had been profiled, a charge which in this case rings true. Among other things, the charges were dropped against both players and there were hints that legal action was being considered against the police department.
“I'm not happy . . . it happens a lot to black people who drive nice cars,” said Kashama.
Rufi gone wrong
Meanwhile, down in Texas . . . Incidentally, what would a sports-crime column be without the phrase “meanwhile, down in Texas . . . ”? So, again: meanwhile, in Texas, there was a troubling story about a trio of former Texas Christian University athletes, one football player and two basketball players, who were busted on what appears to be a gang date-rape incident. Lorenzo Jones, 20, a former football player, and former basketball players Virgil Allen Taylor and Shannon Behling were nabbed after a woman complained that she had been slipped a mickey in her sports drink and used like a piece of livestock in her dorm room while unconscious. Jones, a former defensive tackle, is 6’4” and weighs 311 pounds.