Texas stranger

A Dallas fullback plays cowboys and valets; Plus, the Laird brothers learn from their elders
By MATT TAIBBI  |  February 10, 2010

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Gilbert Arenas, you might've started something.

Yet another pro athlete has been busted in connection with a scary gun-waving incident. This time it was Dallas Cowboys fullback and former Connecticut Huskie Deon Anderson, who was popped in a weird one outside a restaurant in Addison, Texas.

It seems that the 27-year-old Anderson and his younger brother, Devon, got into a tiff with a parking valet at a restaurant called BlackFinn. According to authorities, the elder Anderson then went back to his car, retrieved a gun, and threatened the poor sucker with it. Off-duty cops in the area were alerted to the fact that there was a guy with a gun acting crazy in a parking lot, backup was called, and Anderson was hauled in. He was initially arrested on outstanding traffic warrants from the city of Irving, but ultimately was hit with misdemeanor deadly conduct, a real charge that could get him up to a year if local prosecutors want to run wild on him.

A subsequent search of the parking-lot area outside BlackFinn's uncovered a gun in the shrubs. It was loaded and had a round chambered (that detail — seizure of a gun with "a round chambered" — has been appearing with increasing frequency in sports-crime stories of late). Anderson's car was impounded, as was another unspecified weapon, and his brother was also charged with public intoxication.

Anderson initially refused comment on the incident, but later told ESPN Dallas that his problem was that his car wouldn't start after he used valet parking. That would piss me off, too — although I might stop short of pointing a loaded handgun at the guy responsible.

The Cowboys are refusing comment so far and NFL league spokesman Greg Aiello says the league is looking into it, blah, blah, blah, nothing to see here, hey, it's the Super Bowl!

There is, of course, a long and proud history of pro athletes and gunplay. In 2007, Carolina Panthers guard Jeremy Bridges was arrested and charged with waving a gun in the parking lot of a strip club (these incidents often happen in the parking lot of a strip club). Our own New England Patriots released little-used Willie Andrews in 2008 after he was charged with pointing a gun at his girlfriend's head. Then there was Tank Johnson and Plaxico Burress and a host of other NFL-gun incidents.

The recent blowup between Arenas and Javaris Crittenton obviously put the NBA under the microscope, but the gun thing is endemic to all the major leagues. Let's up this one in severity and give Deon a solid 50 points for scary violent behavior — who's next?

Dear old granddad
Remember that crazy story about a brawl at the US Airways Center after the Celtics-Suns game in Phoenix on December 30? Two pro baseball players — Detroit Tigers catcher Gerald Laird and his brother, Yankees prospect Brandon Laird — were arrested for allegedly scuffling with security guards in the arena lounge.

Well, we find out now that this whole thing started when — get this — the 70-year-old grandfather of the two Laird boys inappropriately touched the wife of our own Celtics sharpshooter Eddie House. The Lairds' 51-year-old uncle was apparently also involved and has been arrested on suspicion of assault.

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