Sports is filled with air-kissed platitudes that mimic one another “The Butler Way,” “The Oriole Way,” “The Patriots Way.” So much for “The Patriot Way.” a better theme/mantra for the New England Patriots would be “ain’t nuthin but a gangsta party” or “Thug Life.”
Granted, they’re still not as bad as current Ohio State Buckeyes Coach UrbanMeyer during his University of Florida regime. How many college football players got arrested under his watch? And you have Aaron Hernandez, who was on both the Gators and the Patriots roster. He’s the poster child for all this. However, you’ve heard a lot about Aaron Hernandez already. There’s another Patriots player, or two, or three, or four or five we need to talk about.
At this point, the New England Patriots should change their team colors from red, white, blue and silver to…orange jumpsuits. If this keeps going, more Patriots will be wearing prison uniforms than NFL uniforms soon enough.
–Alfonso Dennard was arrested for DUI yesterday. More on this here. That’s his second in 15 months. He hasn’t served a 30-day jail sentence for an assault he committed outside a Lincoln, Nebraska bar on Apr. 21, 2012. That is scheduled to begin next March. He also was sentenced to two years of probation. That obviously hurt his NFL Draft stock as it happened right before the draft. Still the Patriots had no problem drafting the Nebraska Cornhuskers CB.
–Aqib Talib started opposite Dennard at corner. He missed his first game with the Patriots while completing a four-game suspension imposed by the NFL for violating its policy on performance-enhancing substances. Talib had been suspended without pay for the 2010 opener and fined one additional game check for violating the NFL’s personal-conduct policy. That followed an altercation with a St. Petersburg cab driver during training camp in 2009. He also had charges of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon in Texas dropped a week before he was due to be tried for allegedly firing a gun at his sister’s boyfriend. Sounds like a stand-up man! Just the type of guy you want to bring home to meet your mom.
– Willie Andrews, a defensive back drafted in the seventh round in 2006 from Baylor, was cut by the Patriots after being arrested twice following the 2007 season. Just marijuana charges though. I think weed should be legalized, so I’m not going to spend too much time on him.
– Nick Kaczur, an offensive tackle drafted in the third round in 2005 from Toledo, pleaded guilty in July 2008 to speeding in a deal with prosecutors and was ordered to pay $355 in fines and fees. He originally was charged with seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, a misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail, after being pulled over by state troopers near Utica, N.Y.
– Brandon Meriweather, “Hollaman” a safety drafted in the first round in 2007 from Miami, “what would she do with the 7th Floor Crew?” fired a gun at an assailant who had shot Dolphins backup safety Willie Cooper outside the house the two players shared with another teammate, police said. Meriweather wasn’t charged and police said he used the gun legally. And he also recorded this jam “V.I.P. on Swole.”
– Albert Haynesworth, a defensive tackle obtained in a trade on July 29, 2011, pleaded no contest the following month to a charge of simple assault in a case in which he was accused of touching a waitress’ breast at a Washington, D.C., hotel. He’s the more high-profile of the Patriots malcontents and problem children because he was once a star. And he was so highly paid. Haynesworth wasn’t that bad because he committed a lot of crime. He really didn’t cause that much trouble off the field. He just had a really poor attitude, severe weight problem, and issues following orders from a coach. He was a tremendous bust.
–Corey Dillon and Randy Moss had MAJOR ISSUES in the past, but they avoided off-field problems with the Patriots and were productive for several seasons.
–Chad Johnson, then known as Chad Ochocinco was considered a head case, but behaved himself. However, he produced nothing on the field.
Look, the Patriots are no longer the Island of Misfit Toys, where Bill Belichick and his staff, along with his staid band of good guy veterans rehab these miscreants. It’s not “boys will be boys” and then they join the NE Patriots to come find Jesus. Too much thuggery going on in Foxboro. So what’s the answer? The answer is the New England Patriots keep winning every NFL season because “character concerns” don’t concern them. It doesn’t matter what you’ve done- the Patriots will find a home for you.
Paul M. Banks is the owner of The Sports Bank.net. (“Quasi-endorsed” by Philadelphia Eagles Coach Chip Kelly) He’s also an author who contributes regularly to MSN, Fox Sports , Chicago Now, Walter Football.com and Yardbarker
Banks has appeared on the History Channel, as well as ESPN and CBS radio all over the world. The NFL, NBA expert does a weekly spot for 95.7 The Fan. President Barack Obama follows him on Twitter (@PaulMBanks), like him on FacebookPowered by Sidelines Follow paulmbanks