Just two days after he met with President Obama at the White House as part of the New York Giants' Super Bowl coronation, and just a few hours after he was watching Croatian soccer and attending a charity event at Westchester Country Club, Giants offensive lineman David Diehl was charged with driving while intoxicated after he hit two parked cars in Queens.
"The defendant is accused of getting behind the wheel while under the influence of alcohol and crashing his vehicle. Luckily, no one was injured. Drinking and driving is never a good idea - and can often have serious consequences," Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown said.
Diehl's court date, July 26, also happens to be the first day of the Giants' training camp.
Reports indicate that two different accidents were called in at around 8:45 Sunday night, and when police responded, they found that Diehl was driving a BMW that struck the parked cars down 35th Avenue. When Diehl blew a .18 BAC (more than twice the legal limit) during his Breathalyzer test, he was booked into the 114th precinct in Queens. There were no passengers in Diehl's car, and according to reports, nobody was injured.
Neither Diehl nor the Giants organization had released statements or comments through early Monday morning. When asked by reporters to comment, Diehl's agent, Peter Shaffer, emailed that "I am honored to represent David Diehl. One of, if not the classiest, most humblest New York Giants ever."
How the Giants feel about this will be another matter. It's a black eye the organization would like to avoid, especially coming as soon as it does after the entire team cut such a positive profile with the president. Diehl even talked about the fact that he shares common Chicago roots with Mr. Obama.
"I grew up a little more than a mile away from where he grew up — he grew up in Hyde Park, I grew up in Gage Park," Diehl told the team's official site after the Friday ceremony. "It was great to be able to talk and meet him. We went to the same breakfast spot, Valois — they have an Obama special there — that I've been going to since I was a kid. It was cool to meet him and talk and meet someone else who's successful from where you grew up who's now the president. We also share the same love for the Chicago White Sox. All in all, it's a great experience but even more so, it's great to meet someone who has the same roots as you."
Diehl has no history of incidents such as this -- he's been one of the Giants' stalwarts for a long time. Since his fifth-round selection in 2003, he's missed just four regular-season games, and he's been a key cog in two Super Bowl lineups. He was given the team's Wellington Mara Man of the Year award on May 22.
That said, this incident is especially troublesome coming so soon after Jacksonville Jaguars rookie receiver Justin Blackmon was arrested and charged with a DUI in Stillwater, Okla., on June 3. Diehl, who is of Croatian descent, tweeted out that he was celebrating Croatia's victory over Ireland in the European Championships.
If you're at a bar, celebrating a sporting event, and you know there's a good chance you're going to drink -- well, there's no excuse for getting behind the wheel. Especially when you're a 10-year veteran who's supposedly providing an example for your younger teammates.
Diehl's just VERY lucky that nobody was hurt. And if you're ready to say that Blackmon's DUI was worse because he blew a .24, I'd respond by adding Diehl's 10 years in the NFL to his total, which would put him both ahead and behind.