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Sports blotter: "Past Pats" edition
By MATT TAIBBI  |  September 25, 2008

Lawyer can’t pass bar
Quick memo to Pats fans who might have been worried about their team’s paper-thin secondary after seeing this past week’s headline, O’NEAL, SON, ARRESTED IN DRUG SWEEP AT HOME: that wasn’t Deltha O’Neal, but Ryan O’Neal. Just because the wrinkly old actor pulled a Ty Law — “The drugs found were not his. He would never use them,” his attorney told reporters — doesn’t mean it was actually a football player getting busted. So, relax.

That said, there was a recent arrest of a onetime member of the Patriots defensive backfield — old friend Lawyer Milloy, who went from celebrating on a Super Bowl team to sucking in Buffalo to, now, patrolling the artificial-turf-covered purgatory that is the Atlanta Falcons secondary. Milloy was busted for a DUI in the Atlanta suburbs around 4:30 am on September 15.

This probably won’t be the last straw, but it might be — is there a phrase for this? — one of the last straws. “I’m extremely disappointed and I can’t stress enough — it’s unacceptable,” Falcons coach Mike Smith said before wavering on whether there would be concrete punishment.

Milloy has been playing for 13 years, hasn’t been able to cover a tight end since at least 2006, and is in the last year of his contract. Something tells me he’ll be riding the Otis Nixon/Andre Rison Oft-Troubled Retired Athlete Express before long. Give him the minimum points for the DUI. (That’d be 25.)

Minor league mischief
Hey, I didn’t know there was an “ABA” basketball league any more. Like most Americans, I thought the ABA of Dr. J, Artis Gilmore, and the tri-colored ball went out with Gerald Ford, Karen Ann Quinlan, and the Gang of Four. But apparently a new ABA, called “ABA 2000,” was formed in 1999. It also uses a red, white, and blue ball, and has more than 50 teams. Former NBA player John Salley was one of the founding commissioners; Sports Illustrated writer Alexander Wolff was the owner of one of the more successful franchises, the Vermont Frost Heaves.

Originally the league was semi-serious, as it cost $50,000 to start a franchise and most of the scheduled games actually occurred. Then disputes between the CEO and the COO, as well as several absurd controversies (teams flying to China to play the league’s Beijing squad were forced to spend a road game in a hotel that doubled as a brothel), basically knocked out the league’s credibility. By this year, multiple franchises were folding almost every week — any swinging sack with 10 grand could buy a team.

And now we have another fun headline for the league, because Jason Smith, owner of the (already defunct) Kentucky Mavericks, has been indicted on charges of passing bad checks in the Bowling Green area. ABA CEO Joe Newman reported that “I started getting phone calls from vendors saying, ‘Do you know Jason Smith? He gave me a bad check.’ ” Newman said he now has a folder full of Smith’s bad checks and forged documents.

The team has since been handed over to a new owner, has been renamed the Kentucky Bisons, and will play not in Bowling Green but in Owensboro. We’ll see where they are two weeks from now. In the meantime, 10 points for this loser.

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Related: Caged cat, Balloon wars, More bad news for the Mets, More more >
  Topics: Sports , National League (Baseball), NL Central Division, National Basketball Association,  More more >
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