In honor of last night’s first round of the NFL Draft, I decided to scrap my usual routine this week. That routine consists of combing the internets for sports stories that ever-so-slightly touch on legal matters and bringing those stories to you with a healthy dose of deranged non sequiturs. This column rarely makes sense and when it inexplicably does, it may be even more unreadable. No matter, as last night’s auction of human beings gave me an idea that, I hope, will really knock your socks off your now-naked feet.
Because football players are largely detestable human beings, I thought it would be interesting to take a stroll through the last twenty years of NFL drafts to recount the first round draft picks who have had scrapes with the law. From felonies to misdemeanors to a sidebar on the bizarre physical specimen that was Mark McGwire’s brother, herewith is the Rap Sheet Roll Call of the NFL Draft, Round One. The 31st and 32nd picks do not have a twenty year history and were, thus, omitted.
All facts cited come from the players’ Wikipedia entries, unless otherwise linked. Because I’m not going to the trouble of hyperlinking everything while the NFL Draft is on.
Let’s talk Mel Kiper’s hair and Mark Mayock’s lateral lisp…
#1- Michael Vick, Atlanta Falcons
I considered Jamarcus Russell and his love of syrup, but this was really the obvious choice. Vick was convicted of running a dog fighting ring back in 2007, which seems so long ago. In related news, a man was convicted of having sex with his pit bull this week and sentenced to 15 years in prison. If you’re reading this column for tips on life, remember to neither murder, nor sex your pit bull. Always keep relations with your pit somewhere between extreme love and hate.
#2- Ryan Leaf, San Diego Chargers
Again, the choice here was fairly obvious. Leaf is easily the most notorious number two draft pick in NFL history. Not only was he a terrible football player, but he was easy to dislike and root against. Leaf has bounced in and out of prison in recent years due to what is obviously a pretty bad drug addiction. Emeritus-of-this-list and former number two himself, Lawrence Taylor, nods his head knowingly.
#3- Vince Young, Tennessee Titans
Vince Young has a tattoo of his own name on his back. This is fairly damning in and of itself. But his recent legal woes have nothing to do with awful tattoos. Like many professional athletes, Young’s finances have led to several lawsuits. Despite making up to 34 million dollars during his playing career, Young took out a payday loan that he was unable to pay back. A payday loan.
#4- Cedric Benson, Chicago Bears
Young’s Texas teammate has been arrested for operating a boat while drunk, operating a car while drunk, and punching a bartender in the face. Cedric Benson likely tells people he doesn’t have a drinking problem. And does the little finger quotes around problem.
#5- Kerry Collins, Carolina Panthers
Benson should consider getting in touch with Kerry Collins. After a drunk driving arrest in 1998, Collins appeared to turn his life around, leading the New York Giants to the Super Bowl in 2001. While Collins didn’t win that game for the Giants, he won a whole lot more in getting there. He won a mention of him getting there in this Above the Law post.
#6- Lawrence Phillips, St. Louis Rams
Lawrence Phillips is a piece of s**t. Despite this, his usually depressing crimes gave way to hilarity when he was accused of trying to run over three kids after he had gotten into an argument over a… pick-up football game. The mental image of this crime falls somewhere between Benny Hill and the most frightening game of TV tag ever. WHO’S THE BOSS!!!
#7- Bryant McKinnie, Minnesota Vikings
The Sex Boat. The Minnesota Vikings Sex Boat. Here’s an ancient Deadspin article trying to make sense of it all. Many news outlets tried to call it the Love Boat scandal, because sex is icky and people loved that f**king TV show. I much prefer the Sex Boat. Because sex isn’t icky and f**k that show.
#8- Rolando McLain, Oakland Raiders
This man is the Energizer Bunny of athlete malfeasance. Just recently, he was arrested for shouting the wrong NWA lyrics at policemen. He would have been better off yelling Dopeman. Or better yet, Express Yourself. Cause that song is kinda corny. LOL at Dre rapping about not smoking weed.
#9- Brian Urlacher, Chicago Bears
You’re probably asking why Urlacher is listed here. It’s a solid question and I’m glad you asked it. Urlacher’s rap sheet appears to be completely clean. But it’s worth mentioning Urlacher in this space, if only to quote the one legal tidbit buried on his wikipedia page:
In June 2005, Urlacher filed suit to establish paternity of his son Kennedy. Genetic testing was completed and proved that he is Kennedy’s father. Kennedy’s mother, Tyna Robertson, was already well-known to the media, having made claims of sexual assault against famed dancer Michael Flatley and a doctor from Naperville, Illinois.
Any sentence you construct around famed dancer Michael Flatley promises to be random. But this one is… especially so?
#10- Travis Taylor, Baltimore Ravens
Taylor also was implicated in the Sex Boat scandal. In 2007, he brought his fists to a taser fight with police and predictably lost. It just occurred to me that “Don’t tase me bro” guy was definitely on the forefront of bro culture. Right? I mean, I barely remember ironic or even earnest use of the term bro before that. Sure, there were pockets. The occasional half-assed use of bro. But really, tased heckler bro was a trailblazer. Trailblazer bro.
#11- Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers
Rape bro. Roethlisberger was accused of sexual assault twice, which is very bad. Worse is that beating rape charges like Ben has done doesn’t earn one a cool nickname like Teflon Ben. Available nicknames include… umm… Black Mamba?
#12- Cade McNown, Chicago Bears
The Bears have no excuse for this turd of a draft pick. McNown’s rap sheet was already well-known when he entered the league in 1999. The whole world was privy to McNown’s penchant for no-goodery. But the Bears went ahead and rolled the dice. Rolled the dice on a sh*tty quarterback who had already been charged with illegal possession of a handicapped parking pass. Now that’s gangster.
#13- Donté Stallworth, New Orleans Saints
Stallworth killed a man while driving drunk. Before you exclaim that he must be an excellent driver if he can murder someone while driving, know that Stallworth hit the deceased man with his car. It’s not like he was steering with his legs while murdering a man in the backseat. That’s not what happened. It’s much more mundane than that.
#14- Bernard Williams, Philadelphia Eagles
I had to go back 20 years to find a reprobate amongst the 14th picks. Williams allegedly failed 15 drug tests and was arrested after wrestling with police once. The trail runs a bit cold after his comet-like NFL career ended. We can probably assume he smoked less weed once he had more time on his hands. Wrestled fewer cops.
#15- Albert Haynesworth, Tennessee Titans
Prince Albert seemed like a total wang on the field and it’s no great shock that he appeared to be a total wang off of it. His rap sheet involves multiple traffic incidents, including one in which he paralyzed a man after wrecking his Ferrari while driving over 100 mph. Three years after this, he allegedly punched a man after another traffic accident. Presumably the punchee was not paralyzed.
There’s probably several miscreants among the assorted 16s here. Quite a few names I don’t recognize, that’s for sure. But rather than drone on and on about some poor schlep’s misdeeds, let’s take this moment to remember the 16th pick in the 1991 draft, Dan McGwire. You remember this guy? He was the 8 foot tall brother of Mark McGwire. Together, they were the result of some horrible experiment gone wrong. Two mutant brothers sent to test the limits of physical freakery. Dan McGwire sucked at football, though. Like, really sucked.
And now back to #17 with a pick from the Oakland Raiders…