Return of the Pac

Sports blotter: "Never coming back to the NFL at this rate" edition
By MATT TAIBBI  |  January 23, 2008

WRONG WAY: Just when it seemed as if Pacman Jones was on the road to NFL reinstatement, the serial bonehead got into trouble again — at a strip club, naturally.

Pacman returneth
The sad thing about Adam “Pacman” Jones is that we won’t have him to kick around in columns like this much longer. There are really only two outcomes left available for this kid, and neither of them involves any kind of celebrity as an active sports superstar. He’s either a) going to end up in a cell next to Cecil “the Diesel” Collins, drinking fermented prune juice out of a plastic bag and staring at a wall full of centerfolds for the next 15 to 18 hard years, or b) he’s going to graduate to the level of “former big-name athlete, often arrested on weird and disturbing minor charges,” à la former Nebraska Cornhuskers star linebacker Chad Kelsay — who, not long ago, was picked up for eating off of other customers’ plates at an Amigo’s in Lincoln.

It’s going to be one or the other, and there really isn’t any middle ground here. When last seen on the football field, Pacman Jones was the most dynamic and unstoppable athlete this side of Devin Hester, an absolute beast of a player who, on returns, walked through NFL linebackers like they were high-school cheerleaders, and on defense lit up wideout after wideout, leaving them shaking on the turf and communicating with team trainers using blinking eyelids. All this cat had to do to guarantee himself a $150 million career was not commit multiple violent felonies.

Think about that. How many guys currently in the prison system would be there if all they had to do to make $100K a week was not shoot, rape, or stab somebody? If you took all 2.7 million of America’s prisoners and asked each of them if they could handle a daily regime limited to playing football, getting repeatedly and spectacularly laid, drinking comped highballs, and buying gigantic diamond necklaces, how many of them would say, “No, sorry pal, I’ve got to work some A-felonies in there as well”? I bet you’re talking about maybe three, four thousand guys, tops. Not a lot.

And Pacman is one of them. Out of football this year after a pair of strip-club shooting incidents that in one case left a man paralyzed, Pacman stood a very good chance of being reinstated next season, provided he could stay out of trouble. Specifically, he had to stay out of strip clubs. But not only did he reportedly go to a strip club the night before a meeting with commissioner Roger Goodell earlier this fall, he also went again, and once again managed to get himself arrested. This time, he was accused of punching a female attorney in the eye in an Atlanta strip joint (sports-crime by-rule No. 16B: it’s always an Atlanta strip joint) called the Body Tap. Weirdly, the victim, a Wanda Jackson, was a lawyer handling a divorce case involving Jones.

The story goes that Jones accused Body Tap management of stealing one of his bracelets and stormed into the club office. When Jackson came over to “gawk,” as she put it, Jones allegedly lunged at her and punched her in the eye.

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