Sports Blotter: Down, lineman

An arrest for the ages in Oregon. Plus, Jay Mariotti needs a timeout.
By MATT TAIBBI  |  September 1, 2010

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Brace yourselves, because this week we have, hands-down, the best sports-crime story of the year. Are you ready? Tyler Patrick Thomas of the Oregon State Beavers sure was — ready, that is — when cops showed up at the home of a 32-year-old woman in Corvallis, Oregon, last week.

It seems the woman had discovered the 19-year-old lineman in her house, drunk and buck naked, and naturally called the cops. When they arrived, Thomas was ordered to get on the floor. He refused, and instead reportedly dropped into a three-point football stance and prepared to charge the officers. There's no word on who provided the snap count, but at some point Thomas lunged at police, who lit him up with a gazillion volts of Taser juice, then dragged his idiot ass to jail.

Once they got him squared away (and clothed, presumably), Thomas was booked on first-degree criminal trespass, second-degree criminal mischief, and resisting arrest. Police spokesmen said Thomas "absolutely was intoxicated" when he committed the crime. It's still unclear just what he was doing in the woman's house, but his lack of clothes may be a hint.

Oregon State coach Mike Riley wasted no time in dismissing Thomas from the team. Thomas had already been cited for underage possession, so he looks like yet another out-of-work teenage college-football player with an already-developed drinking problem.

OSU's in-state rivals at the University of Oregon have had most of the arrest coverage in the past year or so, with stars like Legarrette Blount and Jeremiah Masoli making headlines. OSU, meanwhile, has been fairly quiet in that area, but have been gaining ground in recent months.

Thomas's stunt has to rank among the greatest collegiate sports arrests in the history of Oregon. Tough to say if it cracks the top-10 list of all Oregon sports busts, though — remember that the Trail Blazers play in Portland. Accused dog-fighter Qyntel Woods offering his basketball card to cops as a license and proof of insurance is in the top three for sure. The infamous "I woke up with Zach Randolph's dong in my ass" incident has to be up there, as well.

Give Thomas 20 points, mostly for creativity.

The leader strikes again!
Previously, it looked like Clockwork Orange–style home invasions were the new new thing in sports crime, but we have another phenomenon to watch — arrests of ESPN personalities.

The latest bust involved the enormous gaping asshole known as Jay Mariotti, a Chicago-area sportswriter who all by himself drags the ESPN analysis team down two or three grades; while most of the network's on-air personalities know their jobs pretty well, Mariotti has always been a buffoon. He's probably best known for getting into public feuds with several White Sox stalwarts, including our own Ken Harrelson, who broke Mariotti's nose.

Now he's been arrested following a domestic-violence incident in Los Angeles, just the latest in a long line of caveman behavior by ESPN mouthpieces. Harold Reynolds got fired for over-hugging a production assistant, Sean Salisbury sent pictures of his wiener to co-workers, and Woody Paige hassled female employees for lap dances (he called them "perks of the job"). Chris Berman got pummeled after his infamous "You're with me, leather" comment to a woman wearing leather pants, and Stuart Scott was outed for texting "Lemme know, booty call?" to a former cheerleader. Mike Tirico got suspended once for putting his hands on female employees, and this year Jeremy Green was arrested in a kiddie-porn case . . . it's a very long list. Give Mariotti 70 points, and keep an eye on the Worldwide Leader.

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