The stereotype of the “dumb jock” has been disproven time and again by world-class athletes who also happen to be first-rate thinkers and scholars. Then there are these guys.
The following stories are not to say that this round-up of college and professional football players are unwise in all areas of their lives. Hardly. Alas, at least once, some dopey decision tarnished their gridiron glory days by kicking off an out-of-bounds interception involving the society’s referees — i.e., the police.
Cliff Harris Commits Arson Against Grassy Street MedianOn November 12, 2016, former Oregon Ducks cornerback Cliff Harris, 25, continued a sad slide away from gridiron greatness and further into criminal chaos when he got busted for theft and possession of drugs and paraphernalia. Harris has had numerous run-ins with the law in recent years, thereby cutting short what looked to be his promising future in the NFL. This most recent arrest also violates Harris’s plea agreement he cut after a 2015 incident wherein he purposefully set fire to a patch of grass on a street divider, then stood and watched the blaze while smoking marijuana. A passerby extinguished the flames with a bottle of water. Harris was found to be in possession of six lighters at the time. [Deadspin]
Golden Tate Tempts Fate for Maple Bars
In 2010, Seattle Seahawks wide receiver violated the rules of Top Pot Doughnuts. The popular café wasn’t scheduled to open until 7 A.M., but Tate and a cohort made their way inside sometime around 3 A.M. and proceeded to feast on maple bars. Responding officers let Tate off with a warning, apparently satisfied with his explanation: “They’re irresistible. It was kind of a foolish mistake that won’t happen again.” The player also personally endorsed Top Pot Doughnuts, adding: “If you want some maple bars, that’s the place to go.” Just wait until they’re opened. [Seattle Times]
Dhani Jones Can’t Stop — Won’t Stop — Dancing in the Street
You can try to tackle Philadelphia Eagles linebacker Dhani Jones, just don’t try telling him the party’s over. On March 26, 2006, police arrested Jones outside a Miami nightclub for refusing to stop dancing in the middle of the street. Other revelers moved after officers told them they were blocking traffic, but Jones just wouldn’t surrender his asphalt dance floor. He was booked on a misdemeanor failure to obey a lawful command. [USA Today]
Former New England Patriots offensive lineman Kenyatta Jones added a genuinely offensive ingredient to a Florida nightclub called the Blue Martini in 2008, when he urinated on the club’s dance floor. Jones then fought with security guards and police officers who attempted to escort him outside. It all ended with a taser blast, followed by charges of battery on a law enforcement officer, obstruction, and trespassing. [CBS News]
Najeh Davenport Crashes Dorm, Defecates in Student’s Laundry Basket
In the wee hours of an otherwise quiet night on the campus of Barry University, Green Bay Packers fullback Najeh Davenport broke into a dormitory, slipped into a sleeping female student’s room, and defecated into a laundry basket in her closet. The student bolted awake and called police, who arrested Davenport for burglary and criminal mischief. He eventually pleaded down to community service. Forever after, though, Davenport’s fellow players nicknamed him “Dookie” and “The Dump Truck.” [ESPN]
Raheem Brock Burns Copacabana for $27, Resists Arrest
Veteran NFL defensive end Raheem Brock bolted on a $27 bar tab in 2011, then tangled with off with responding officers at the Copacabana club in his native Philadelphia. An issue arose over Brock’s female companion bringing in food from an outside establishment. It ended with the former Seattle Seahawks and Indianapolis Colts player spending the night in jail. [NFL]
Louis Murphy Goes Down for Viagra
Raiders wide receiver Louis Murphy pulled a real boner back in 2011 after police pulled him over for playing his car stereo too loud. He agreed to a search of the vehicle, during which officers turned up an unmarked prescription bottle containing 11 Viagra tablets. Murphy said he peeled the label off because he didn’t want his girlfriend to know they were his. Alas, he could not produce a legitimate prescription, and he resisted being handcuffed, leading to misdemeanor charges of possessing a bottle of Viagra with no prescription. [Yahoo]
Plaxico Burress Shoots Himself in the Leg, Puts Foot in Mouth
New York Giants receiver Plaxico Burress was apparently dressed to kill — or at least accidentally injure — on November 28, 2008, when he stuck a Glock pistol inside his jeans and went out to party at the LQ nightclub in Manhattan. As the gun slide down his pants, Burress attempted to retrieve it, and accidentally pulled the trigger, blasting himself in the right thigh. Burress recovered from the wound, but he ended up serving 20 months on a multitude of charges. [New York Times]
Fred Smoot and Various Minnesota Vikings: The Love Boat Scandal
On October 6, 2005, at least 17 Minnesota Vikings players were among the 90 or so revelers who set sail on Lake Minnetonka aboard a pair of pleasure vessels loaded up with live, professional entertainment in the very specific form of strippers and prostitutes. An all-out seafaring orgy ensued with crew members complaining of passengers engaging in sex acts in plain sight. As a result, the planned three-and-a-half hour cruise was cut short at 40 minutes, and the yachts returned to their docks. Four players got busted for misdemeanor charges. The entire affair came to be known as the “Love Boat Scandal” and, in the eyes of some, cornerback and alleged ringleader Fred Smoot remains a legend. [Star Tribune]
O. J. Simpson Beats Murder-of-the-Century Rap, Can’t Resist Six-Minute Vegas Heist
Buffalo Bills superstar turned American justice system icon O. J. Simpson hardly needs an introduction. His 2007 robbery of a pair of sports memorabilia dealers in a Las Vegas hotel room, though, may well forever lack any kind of rational explanation.
On September 1, Simpson led a group of accomplices, one of whom brandished a gun, into a room occupied by collectors Alfred Beardsley and Bruce Fromong, where vintage O. J. Simpson items were laid out on a bed.
Simpson insisted the items had been stolen from him, and he was there to take them back. His accomplices stuffed the material into a pillowcase and they fled. The entire exchange took six minutes. Afterward, O. J. and everybody in his posse got arrested.
Simpson received a sentence of 9 to 33 years behind bars on October 3, 2008 — exactly 13 years to the day from when he’d been acquitted in the murders of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman [Los Angeles Times]
Main photo: Football referee, Pixabay