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Most Valuable Criminal
by Christine Whitmarsh
Feb 06, 2011 | 1127 views | 0 0 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Eric Holland
Eric Holland
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If Joseph Stalin was still alive, he might be a bit jealous of the NFL’s propaganda machine.

After all, the pretty pink, purple and rainbow colored ties worn by today’s NFL propagandists were outlawed under his regime. He even had special camps set up for men who so much as thought about brightly colored ties.

Fortunately, this year’s Super Bowl didn’t come down to a showdown between the field general who perfected the mass murder of canines and the alleged sex pervert and possible rapist. That might have been a little too much for even Fox’s stalwart NFL crew to handle. They could have had to resort to a two-hour montage of Frank Caliendo spoofs. We would all love to see Frank do the bit where he plays Andy Rooney: “Ya ever notice that no one on this show has ever wondered what would happen if Brett Favre and Mike Singletary got into a really long texting conversation?”

However, let’s not pretend that the NFL was unprepared for what could have been the inevitable. The Michael Vick narrative was already in place. He had a phenomenal year throwing the pigskin. He had become an outstanding member of the community by traveling to schools to tell children not to systematically slaughter dogs for sport. The president of the United States even got in on the action by personally thanking the owner of the Eagles as well as the NFL for its rehabilitation efforts.

Apparently we are supposed to believe that kids have absolutely no idea that killing innocent animals is wrong. According to the NFL’s story line, anyone could get swept up into the evil world of dog fighting by simply walking down the street to the supermarket to do something innocent like buy milk and a loaf of bread for the family. Vick will tell you that it happens all the time. For all we know, it may have happened to him again last week.

Tasked with keeping these gridiron warriors under control is NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.

He has done everything in his power to make things palatable for public consumption. Defensive players are no longer allowed to even think about hurting offensive players. This season he also had every player in the league wear pink for an entire month on Sundays to show their compassion in the battle against breast cancer.

George Carlin once joked that during games, the NFL should make it a rule that the injured have to be left on the field. Maybe this isn’t such a bad idea. Maybe if we take the restraints off our gridiron warriors while they are on the field, they won’t have to engage in the current trend of increasingly strange and brutal behavior off the field.

Everyone remembers when Big Ben chased Little Ben and that little girl into the bar restroom.

Who can forget Plaxico Burress’s expert marksmanship? How about the time Ray Lewis beat a murder rap by turning state’s evidence against his old neighborhood buddies? Then of course there is current Nevada resident and Hall of Famer O.J. Simpson.

However, there is much more to the National Felony League saga. The book by Jeff Benedict and John Yeager titled “Pros and Cons: The Criminals Who Play in the NFL” is an excellent starting point for anyone wishing to delve further into the subject.

This season’s first player to enter the ranks of the National Felony League is Minnesota Vikings defensive end Everson Griffen. On Jan. 30 he turned a routine traffic stop into a foot chase that ended in his allegedly grabbing the arresting officer’s crotch. After being Tased, Griffen explained that he had an invalid license, and that he, “didn’t want to go back to jail.”

Can you imagine what will happen if there is actually a lockout due to the current lack of a collective bargaining agreement? This could be the off-season to end all off-seasons.

Will Griffen’s crotch grabbing misstep hold up against the other off-

season hijinks? Where will Big Ben go bar hopping this spring? I’m guessing Lake Tahoe isn’t on his family’s list of favorite vacation destinations. Will Brett Favre get an iPad for extra large viewing capabilities? Whose loaded gun will fall down their designer slacks? And, for extra fun, I hear that Vick has asked permission to own a dog again.

The casinos should get creative and establish odds on off-season conduct. I wonder if the Cal Neva is taking bets on the “over” when it comes to player rap sheets between now and August.

Christine Whitmarsh is a freelance writer for the Sparks Tribune.
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Most Valuable Criminal by Christine Whitmarsh


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