Football, Murder, Rape

Aaron Hernandez, Televised Golf, and Randomness

I used to watch a lot of televised golf. The Masters, the U.S. Open, the twee British one, that other last one. All the big tournaments, I watched. And I watched because Tiger Woods laid waste to an entire generation of golfers. Previously, golf had been an impenetrable bore to me. I was aware of who the best golfers were and I was also aware that every time I tuned in, they probably weren’t going to win. Golf was random like that, too difficult a sport for one man to dominate. Nicklaus had been the previous generational talent, but even his dominance meant that he won well less than half the tournaments he entered. Something inside of me hated this.

I don’t watch golf as much anymore because it’s reverted back to its random, boring self. Who wins this week will be a total crapshoot. Crapshoot, by the way, was an ancient sport that pit one white guy versus another white guy and each white guy had to defecate into a small white hole hundreds of yards away from his anus. Crapshoot. It was like golf and it was totally impossible to play and/or watch. Anyway.

I mention all of this because crime in the sports world has often resembled Tiger-less golf in its randomness. There has never been any way to predict who would rape whom and who would murder whom else. Total crapshoot. This week has brought us a bit of a referendum on this topic with one athlete dominating his field while another preaches randomness.

In one corner, Aaron Hernandez, who am become death, destroyer of worlds. In the other, Darren Sharper…


Yesterday, Aaron Hernandez was formally indicted for murdering everyone. Specifically, he was indicted on charges that he had participated in a drive-by almost a year before the murder that he was originally charged with. CNNSI’s indispensable law guy, Michael McCann, explained why the new indictments were potentially ruinous for Aaron Hernandez’s freedom:

This is devastating news for Hernandez’s legal team. For starters, it means that prosecutors now have two opportunities to convict him for murder.


Okay, that’s not fair. McCann actually had some interesting things to say about why the new developments are particularly bad for Hernandez. Chief among these seems to be that the indictment for previous murders helps to explain the murder of Odin Lloyd. Hernandez’s motive, it is alleged, for killing Odin Lloyd was to silence his former comrade-in-arms. Lloyd knew of Hernandez’s guilt in the previous shootings and was, thus, a liability who had to die. Q.E.D.

McCann also highlights the questions that Hernandez’s defense team will raise during the trial, some of which are quite strong. Among these are:

The fact that police have not found the murder weapon for Lloyd’s killing will also be emphasized by Hernandez’s attorneys, who only need one juror to have reasonable doubt for a hung jury. There is also an absence of video showing Hernandez killing anyone. Hernandez’s attorneys will also surely question why the description of a light skinned Hispanic man with short hair necessarily matches Hernandez and not countless other men who may have been in Boston that night.

Expect for the prosecution to call Steve Buscemi’s character in Desperado to the stand to fill in this vague description.


While Aaron Hernandez is collecting charges, Darren Sharper is dropping them. This, according to his attorney, who filed documents alleging that one of the myriad cases against Darren Sharper for rape had been dropped. The case, out of Miami, followed the similar pattern of drugging and raping that Sharper stands accused of in other locales. In addition to these dropped charges, Sharper’s lawyers also cast doubt on several of the other rape accusations.

Darren Sharper’s lead attorney is Blair Berk. In case you’re wondering who that is, she is like the Shadoe Stevens of the legal world, occupying the center square while surrounded by a motley crew of “celebrities.” From a 2006 profile:

Berk, a Harvard Law School graduate and North Carolina native, represented former “Saturday Night Live” comedian Tracy Morgan and “Growing Pains” child star Tracy Gold after their DUI charges made headlines. In November 2003, Berk represented actress and rapper Dana Elaine Owens — better known as Queen Latifah –on a reckless driving charge. She had failed a sobriety test and was later sentenced to an alcohol education program.

But Berk’s celebrity legal work goes beyond vehicular error. Berk got a call from Ozzy Osbourne after he was accused of causing the 1984 suicide of 19-year-old John McCollum with subliminal messages through the song “Suicide Solution.” She used a First Amendment defense of freedom of expression to get Osbourne’s case dismissed.

From Tracy Gold to Darren Sharper and all points in between. Listen, what’s important is that Darren Sharper get the same all-star defense that Queen Latifah got in her case. Even after the charges in Miami were dropped, Sharper still faces charges in Los Angeles, Arizona and possibly New Orleans and Las Vegas. Time for Berk to earn that Growing Pains money.


New double-murder charges devastating for Aaron Hernandez
Darren Sharper Defense Goes The Slut Shaming Route [Deadspin]

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