You’re always told as a kid “think before you act,” or something more or less along those lines. Somehow we think that certain athletes never heard that saying. Here are two lovely examples.
Last Sunday, Ramonce Taylor, a running back for the University of Texas, was arrested for being named Ramonce. (Not really, of course, though we’re about 98.6% sure that Taylor’s parents intended to name him Romance, but were poor spellers at the time of his birth). Taylor, who scored a touchdown in Texas’ win in the Rose Bowl, was hanging out on a pecan farm in Little River, Texas prior to his arrest. A few things come to mind here:
1. Why the hell was Taylor hanging out on a pecan farm?
2. What the hell is a pecan farm?
3. Aren’t pecans nuts?
4. They make pie, right?
5. Are pecans a metaphor for, say, pigs and sheep?
So True Ramonce was kicking it on this pecan farm, enjoying the company, and certainly the pecans, when a fight breaks out. Taylor calls the cops who come to the farm and check out the scene. (Cops on a farm: a pig joke would be far too easy here). Officers at the pecan farm say Taylor left, possibly to get his gun.
While being interviewed by the police at a convenience store, Taylor is placed in handcuffs, but tells the deputies he has no gun and allows them to check his car. In the car they found ammunition and about five pounds of marijuana in a backpack.
1. Did Taylor forget there were drugs in the car?
2. Did he think pot was legalized?
3. Did he think he could say he was an athlete and get off with a slap on the wrist?
4. Did he measure properly?
5. Does he understand the metric system?
6. Was he high?
True Ramonce was charged with state jail felony drug possession of marijuana, but there will be lab results to determine the weight of the drug. According to the law, if it weighs more than five pounds, the charge will be upgraded to a second-degree felony. One of those suckas is punishable by two to 20 years in jail and $10,000 in fines, while a state jail felony carries up to two years in jail and a $10,000 fine. Uh oh.
This event brings former Dallas Cowboys lineman Nate Newton to mind. Newton was busted in 2001 for having 213 pounds of weed in his van and then caught five weeks later with 175 pounds of pot in his car. He likely had a few very fun days. There was no mention of former Longhorns running back Ricky Williams in this story, but there’s a very strong possibility that he and True Ramonce are close friends.
As they say: “Everything is bigger in Texas.” (That includes bags of drugs).
A second instance of an athlete acting before thinking came when former MLB pitcher and current ESPN baseball analyst Rick Sutcliffe showed up to talk for an inning on a local San Diego Padres telecast. The broadcasters were interviewing Sutcliffe, who used to broadcast Padres games himself, when it became apparent that Sutcliffe was downright hammered. Sutcliffe was slurring his words, saying inappropriate things and taking body shots of the play-by-play guy in the booth. (That last part we made up).
This is just pretty funny. The guy is sloshed and starts talking about hanging out with actor Billy Murray. The other people in the broadcast booth (presumably directors, producers, etc.) are covering their faces with their hands, and the guys interviewing Sutcliffe are desperately trying to talk about anything that won’t make Sutcliffe sounds so ridiculous.
This is pretty reminiscent of Harry Caray, the famed sportscaster, who would drink during games. And also the play-by-play guy in the Major League movies (played by actual broadcaster, Bob Uecker) who would down whiskey like it was water.
Sutcliffe apologized for his public drunkenness by telling ESPN news services “I was offered the opportunity to make a guest appearance on the air. At that time, I exercised bad judgment and accepted, even though I was not in optimum condition to go on live television. I regret that lapse in judgment and my decision and I sincerely apologize.”
1. Toe-up drunk isn’t ‘optimum condition?’
2. Did you operate any heavy machinery?
3. Would you do it again? Like, really. Bet it was fun!
So two more instances of jocks not using good judgment. Maybe other role models in the world will look at True Ramonce and Sutcliffe as examples of what not to do. Or, more realistically, bad jocks are thinking of ways to one-up these guys.
(This column was published in the University of Washington's The Daily.)
In other news: Miami beat New Jersey 102-92 after Heat coach Pat Riley put a hit out for Vince Carter.