Bengals and Bulldogs

Cincinnati's back on the sports-crime map. Plus, a Georgia alum fills in the blanks.
By MATT TAIBBI  |  February 3, 2010

2002_rey_main
ILLEGAL MOTION Linebacker Rey Maualuga was recently arrested for a DUI after slamming into two cars and a parking meter.
There hasn't been a whole lot to cheer about in New England Patriots country of late, and I'm not sure that this will fit the bill, but let's try it on for size. Rey Maualuga, the outstanding former USC and current Cincinnati Bengals linebacker — a Samoan monster who hits like an 18-wheeler and has about 40 pounds of Pacific-afro on his head — was arrested last week for a DUI after striking two parked cars and a parking meter in a 2003 Pontiac.

How could this possibly be good news for the Pats? Well, Bill Belichick badly needed linebackers heading into last year's draft, Maualuga was a top-15 talent, and the Patriots had not one but three opportunities to draft him. They didn't, and by midseason, Maualuga had helped transform the awful Bengals defense into an at least occasionally frightening unit, while the Pats were rehiring 89-year-old Junior Seau to man the middle of the defense.

There was only one compelling reason to pass on Maualuga — he had a history of off-field problems, including a fight at USC that led to a misdemeanor-battery arrest. There were also whispers that Rey-Ma is not exactly a Rhodes Scholar, a fact borne out in his horrific pre-draft Wonderlic test score of 15. (The Wonderlic asks players to answer questions like, "A pad of paper costs 21 cents. What will four pads cost?")

But man, can he hit. In a lot of ways Maualuga was exactly the player the Patriots needed — a big, young linebacker capable of giving the team a physical presence on defense. Anyway, the fact that Maualuga has already racked up his first NFL-era arrest validates somewhat the choices some teams made to pass him up last year.

It seems Rey-Ma was driving in Covington, Kentucky, with two girls — one 18 years old and another who was underage — when he wrecked his car. He blew a .157 on his blood-alcohol test, which is almost more impressive than his Wonderlic score. And his mug shot is hilarious — he's grinning, like he's stoked everyone in the world is going to know he was about to bang two teenagers, and can't wait to get bonded out so he can go finish the job.

Give him 25 points for a DUI. Even still, the Pats should have drafted him.

Bad kuvs
So, from now on we're going to use a prefab template to do certain types of sports-crime write-ups. Since there are so many of this particular variety, you can just fill in the blanks yourself:

Authorities in the depressing-as-fuck, dead-end town/state of ___, ______,(A)arrested ____ _______(B), a former star player for the ____ ____(C), after a routine traffic stop in the early-morning hours. Police said that ____(B) had been driving erratically and that, when pulled over, there was an open container of ____(D) in the car. A subsequent search revealed _________(E) and an unregistered ________(F), facts that ultimately led police to charge the hulking 300-pounder with ________(G). ____(B) used to be a pretty good player; the ____ _______(H) had high hopes for him when he was drafted in the ______(I) round back in ______(J), but he eventually flamed out of the league because he spent all his free time getting baked. He was released on bond and is scheduled to reappear in court with whatever random lawyer he can still afford with whatever money is still left from his playing days. ___(B) was driving with ____(K) other friends who were just as high as he was at the time of the arrest.

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