When Deadspin first alerted us to a video taken by Memphis Grizzlies forward Rudy Gay of teammate Zach Randolph failing a simulated (simulated!) DUI test, we immediately wondered why a player with some of the league's best footwork would have a tough time walking the straight line Memphis-area police taped down in the Grizzlies locker room as they performed what we're guessing is a league-mandated seminar.
And also wondering why Zach was wearing goggles — perhaps rehab goggles, for when he hits the pool as he recovers from the ligament tear he suffered last season — during the exercise? Could not understand. Did laugh a lot, though. Many times. Watch:
Then, a little bit of research revealed that those weren't just typical goggles or a goof, but something called "Impairment Goggles." Utilized by drivers instructors in order to inform those who think they can beat a DUI test just by moving with libation-aided confidence that they probably aren't going to be able to walk that proverbial line.
Here's a review of the driver's education tools from one instructor at Driver's Ed Guru:
When I put them on, I was immediately disoriented. These goggles induce double (sometimes triple) vision and extreme blurriness. At first, you'll find it almost impossible to perform the simplest activities like picking up a pencil in front of you. However, with practice, you can achieve some semblance of coordination. However, the experience is ultimately frustrating and an excellent learning opportunity for new drivers.
"With practice," you can achieve some semblance of not acting a stumbling goofball. As you can see, Randolph was afforded no such practice.
This, somehow, makes this all the more impressive. Randolph is a 6-11 guy with aching dogs, as he just finished his team's own basketball practice, asked to walk a straight line after putting on a pair of goggles that immediately skew your equilibrium in the same way that polishing off a six-pack would. Noting that a six-pack would do less to the relative balance of someone Randolph's size is a pointless exercise, haters, because the goggles are intended to disorient no matter the makeup of the student.
The fact that Randolph was just a step … or five … out of line is both a good warning shot (read: don't attempt to do anything but eat pretzels after you drink that six pack) and a good reminder of Randolph's solid balance.