October 15, 2008
Every Wednesday, Shutdown Corner brings you a list of things that may have happened previously in the NFL, but will not be happening again.
Don't Count On ...
... Pacman Jones playing another down in the NFL. If you had to put a paycheck down right now on the future of Pacman Jones in the NFL, "not playing again" is clearly the safest play. I hate to say it, but betting on anything that involves a significant amount of faith in Pacman Jones feels like hitting on 17.
If he's going to see an NFL field again after this (minimum) four-game suspension, a few things have to happen. One, obviously, he's got to not fight anyone at a urinal at any point over the next four weeks. Two, the results of the psychiatric evaluation ordered by Roger Goodell (and I have to believe that's a first in NFL history) have to satisfy the commissioner. And three, the Cowboys have to not cut him.
That last one might be the biggest obstacle. Like everything else concerning the Dallas Cowboys, it's Jerry Jones's call, and I don't know how Jerry could not feel personally betrayed here.
He did everything for Pacman. Mr. Drummond did not do as much for Arnold as Jerry did for Pacman. This morning, Jerry has to feel like Mr. Drummond, if Mr. Drummond woke up one morning and found Arnold beating Mrs. Garrett with a tire iron in her sleep.
Jerry's already announced that he's getting rid of the four-man security team that was assigned to keep Pacman out of trouble around the clock. That seems like an indication that he's giving up.
And if Jerry Jones, the NFL's patron saint of lost causes, gives up on a guy,
that's curtains. If Pacman was still playing at a Pro Bowl level, it might be a
different story. But he wasn't. He was serviceable for the Cowboys. He was okay.
And no team is going to hire a private security force for one okay player,
especially when it's been proven that that isn't even enough to keep him out of bathroom squabbles.
... this being a good thing for society. That is not what I want to see happen. It's just what I think is most likely.
I believe in second chances. Even third, fourth, fifth chances. But that's not why I want Pacman around. I want him around for purely humanitarian reasons.
If he doesn't stay in the NFL, or at least maintain some hope of again playing in the NFL, I shudder to think of what might become of him. If he were to give up hope ... I don't even want to think about the ramifications for Pacman himself and society as a whole.
Not that it's Roger Goodell's job to worry about Pacman's well-being. There are cases where Goodell's been too harsh on players, even Pacman, but I don't think this is one such case. I don't want to hear that the latest incident with Pacman's been blown out of proportion. Any incident at all is sufficient cause for a suspension here.
Pacman had given up any wiggle room. He knew that. So maybe he didn't do much
in that hotel bathroom, and maybe it's understandable to experience a little
friction with a bodyguard assigned to be around you at all times. I don't
care. There was nothing left open for his interpretation.
Pacman knew that there were conditions he had to meet and rules he had to follow. He wasn't allowed to drink, and the NFL investigation determined that he drank. The Cowboys asked him not to attend high-profile events, and he was at a Ludacris-hosted movie premiere.
But I don't even care what those rules were. If Roger Goodell told Pacman he wasn't allowed to wear boxer shorts, his next move should've been to stock up on tighty whiteys. If Roger Goodell told him he wanted him to grow a huge beard, he should've contacted ZZ Top for growing and maintenance tips.
I'm hoping the commissioner can find just a tiny bit more room in his heart
for Pacman. If he doesn't, though, no one can say he didn't try.
... Roy Williams fixing what ails the Cowboys. Sticking with the Cowboys just a bit longer, I'm torn on the acquisition of Roy Williams.
On one hand, if you're close to a championship, you throw the kitchen sink at it. From that standpoint, I like it. The ring is the point of all this. You don't want to come up just short in the playoffs, then look back and think, "You know, if we had just made that deal ... ". I applaud them for going after it.
But on the other hand, the problems that the Cowboys have aren't related to a lack of talent. If they turn around this little slump they're in, it'll be because they fought through some injuries, got their minds right, found some focus, and they showed up and outworked the opposition on Sunday.
On talent alone, they were already better than anyone on their schedule.
... anyone in Detroit missing Matt Millen today. I like the deal from the Lions perspective. In fact, I love it. I want to make love to it.
Roy Williams is sitting there as their #2 receiver behind Calvin Johnson. Rod Marinelli wants the Lions to grind it out on the ground, yet 90% of his offensive talent is at receiver. You've got Mike Furrey and Shaun McDonald, both of whom have proven that they can produce if given the chance, spending their entire Sundays with their heineys pressed to aluminum benches, doing the Lions about as much good as Charles Rogers and Mike Williams.
And they're able to pry away half of the Cowboys 2009 draft, for a guy they don't really need? It's perfect. It is the first significant roster move in the post-Millen era, and it's a good one.
See what that feels like, Lions fans? Competence from the front office? It's a funny feeling, but you get used to it after a while.
... the Chiefs not getting a thorough smiting from the forces of football karma. For about twelve years now, Tony Gonzalez has been everything that's right about the NFL. He works hard, he plays well, he's good to fans, he's charitable, and he saves lives.
He's a walking NFL/United Way commercial. He's the kind of guy you'd like your sister to date, except he's way too good for your sister.
In their rebuilding phase, the Chiefs simply don't have any use for him. Everything in Kansas City right now is about what they'll look like three or four years from now. Father Time dictates that Tony Gonzalez won't be a part of that. He's 32 years old. Father Time is unflexible on this.
Gonzalez should've been traded yesterday. He should have woken up this morning on
the roster of a team that can make the playoffs. If that's what he wants at the
end of his career, he's earned that. This is something that should have happened.
Gonzalez says he's certain that teams offered the Chiefs a third-round draft pick for him. If that's true -- and that's a perfectly fair price for both sides of any potential deal -- GM Carl Peterson should have pulled the trigger. He owes that to Gonzalez. He owes that to football.
The only reason I can think of that Peterson would've held on to him was the potential loss of short-term ticket sales; i.e. greed. There's a lot of love for Gonzalez in KC, but the fans there aren't stupid. They know the Chiefs are rebuilding. It's not like getting rid of Gonzalez would be the move that sends the message, "We're not trying to win this year."
No, every move they've made over the last six
months has already hammered that message home pretty well.
What's Gonzalez going to do, make them a 4-win team instead of a 3-win team? Awesome. Congratulations on that. I hope that's worth a thunderous punch to your karmic groin area. I think an appropriate karmic response would be for Dwayne Bowe to announce tomorrow he's fired his agent, and from now on, will only be taking career advice from Terrell Owens and Drew Rosenhaus.
The Chiefs would deserve it.
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