I guess things have been going well for Pacman Jones since he signed with the Cincinnati Bengals. He hasn't worn one pair of handcuffs, made one headline, or gotten any attention in any way.
For most of us, that's normal. For Pacman, it represents enormous progress.
Peter King of SI.com caught up with him at Bengals camp, though, where Pacman talked about an incident in which he believes he was unfairly targeted and harassed by Cincinnati police. From Peter the King:
"Coming here was the best thing I could have done,'' he told me. "It's been all football.'' Except, I learned, for the two times cops trailed his car and made him sweat, including once when they told him to stay out of the car while they ran his plates -- to see if it was stolen. Which it wasn't, and which, to Jones, seemed like a clear case of police harassment. "Back a few years ago, I might have gone after the cop,'' he said. "Now, I've grown up. I just waited 'til the situation was over, and I went on my way.'' Good for him.
Yes, good for him, but if you're Pacman Jones, can you complain about being unfairly targeted by police? You've kind of made yourself an easy target, right?
If you're a second-grade teacher, and there's one kid in your class who has been caught super-gluing the class gerbil to a stapler six times ... is it unreasonable to be a little extra vigilant every time you see this kid near the gerbil?
Just to be clear, let me say that police profiling is absolutely wrong, and it's not like the Cincinnati police are above reproach here. Pulling him out of his car like that was excessive, no doubt about it.
But this is Pacman Jones we're talking about. I don't think an extra eyeball on him is unjustified. You can't tell me that if you were in a strip club, and Pacman Jones walked in and started making it rain, you wouldn't think that a little extra security around would be a bad idea.
Jones himself admits that a couple of years ago, he might've "gone after the cop," whatever that means. That's a Pacman attitude that existed in the past, and if there are still people out there who aren't ready to believe he's a changed man and will never break a law again, I can't say I blame them.