BACK ON TRACK? Dolphins linebacker Channing Crowder — at one time a promising up-and-comer in the world of sports-crime — is once again in a Florida police log.
No messing around with those long-ass crime-story write-ups this week. Those are a luxury that can only be afforded when the sports-crime rate is merely inordinately high, as in two or three major-college or pro jocks a week standing tall before the man.
This week is different. We just got a whole lotta stuff to get to here; our sporting men and women have been busy. Let’s start with the fun one, for it is always fun for us up in New England Patriots territory when a Miami Dolphin faces justice. This past week, linebacker Channing Crowder got himself cited for careless driving and charged with leaving the scene of an accident involving property damage (the latter a second-degree misdemeanor) in Hollywood, Florida, after he crashed his pickup truck in the early morning hours and then took off, leaving his car at the scene. It was a shades-of-Jerramy-Stevens sort of moment, except that Crowder crashed into a tree, not an old folks’ home. Cops recovered his possessions — including a firearm — from the truck, but it was too late at that point to test for drugs or alcohol.
What kind of blockhead leaves a gun in a truck for police to find? The kind of guy who once looked like a future superstar of sports crime, a guy who in college got popped for fighting with police, beating another man unconscious, and also for ripping the mirrors off of parked cars while drunk. He cooled off after his Florida Gator days, however, and has been merely a mediocre player on a crappy Dolphin team since. (Had to get that in.) Twenty points for Crowder.
And then . . .
Speaking of fighting with police, Oklahoma State tight end Brandon Pettigrew got rung up in Stillwater, Oklahoma, for doing just that early on the morning of January 20. Cops showed up at a residence to break up some kind of fracas, Pettigrew wouldn’t chill, and then sometime in the middle of it all, he elbowed a cop in the chest (as Jim Rome would say: allegedly). The police were not amused, tossing the big guy into jail and hitting him with felony assault and battery on a police officer, plus an additional charge of public intoxication.
Speaking of public intoxication, Pettigrew wasn’t the only jock allegedly stumbling around campus this past week. Two states east, in Tennessee, freshman Volunteer tailback Daryl Vereen was picked up by police, who were called in to break up a fight outside a campus dorm. Vereen got hauled to the pokey — the third UT football player arrested in two weeks — inspiring Vols coach Phillip Fulmer to punish the team by dragging them out to run at 6 am. You might recall the other two busts, which involved wideouts Ahmad Paige and Gerald Jones and the “unsmoked marijuana cigar” case described recently in these very pages.
Speaking of weed, old friend Dexter Reid this past week pleaded guilty to a count of possession with the intent to distribute. Reid was that guy who used to be seen around here giving up long touchdowns as a reserve safety for the Pats, before moving (Mid)west to give up long touchdowns as a reserve safety for the Colts. The Colts cut him almost immediately after the ’07 Super Bowl win, leaving Reid to face the music for a variety of charges stemming from an incident in which cops stopped his car and found him carrying three ounces of high-end tree in neatly wrapped baggies. Reid beat a concealed-gun charge piled on in that case, but faces up to 10 years on the weed. His lawyers say they’re asking the judge for leniency on the drugs, because, as they say, that shit was for his own personal use, not for sale.
I believe him. “Intent to distribute” is jurisprudential code for “black man carrying more weed than he can afford.” But when an NFL player has three ounces of weed, he’s planning on smoking it (probably that weekend), not selling it. Hell, if a player has two trash bags of weed, he’s probably not selling it. You have to get into Dennis McKinley territory — remember the Cardinals fullback who got arrested with 1500 pounds of weed, who had so much weed he had to rent a warehouse to hold it? — before you start assuming such absurdities as “intent to distribute.” Poor old Dexter, he always was in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Welcome to the club
Move over, Andre (Bad Moon) Rison, Bennie Blades, Zab Judah, Chris Warren, and 10 gazillion other deadbeat athlete dads. Now you’ve got a new member of the six-figure child-support debt club: former UNLV Running Rebel and Los Angeles Clipper Tyrone Nesby, arrested this past week on a charge of contempt of court. It seems Ty’s child-support payment in Illinois is in arrears $304,551, which may be the reason for his detention.