Now we in Britain may not be the biggest bunch of American Football fans but there is a growing cult for the game and with 2 Wembley games selling out this year and plans to introduce a third game at in London shortly there are at least 2 NFL fans at TMT and as the game gets more and more exposure this side of the water we figured we’d chip in with our two cents!
Since the Super Bowl was played on Feb 3rd, 5 Months Later 29 NFL stars have been arrested. Most have been the usual mix of DUI’s fights and minor drug related charges but Aaron Hernandez takes the cake having been charged for the murder of a semi pro footballer in his home. The New England Patriots tight end has joined a growing and infamous list of NFL players to spend time behind bars.
Armed with this information at TMT we decided, with our albeit limited knowledge of the NFL, we’re British don’t you know to compile a Six of the Best dedicated to NFL Stars who’ve been behind bars.
Now, as there are no doubt more Knowledgeable people out there I’d like to Caveat early on these are six of the Best not the best six players or the six best crimes, and they are in no particular order.
6. OJ Simpson
Let’s get the elephant in the room out of the way early here. With all the hubbub surrounding Simpson and his move into acting its easy to forget that he was in fact when hell of a running back. The first man to rush for more than 2000 yards and the only one to accomplish the feat in a 14 game season compared to the modern 16 game season the Buffalo Bills 1st Round pick and Overall number 1 pick in 1969 would go on to be a cult hero. With an offence built to maximise his talents he certainly grabbed the opportunity. 4 Times NFL Rushing leader, 6 times Pro Bowler, Heisman trophy Winner in 1968 while there is No Super Bowl Ring in his collection his personal list of accomplishments certainly warrant his presence in this list.
Ignoring the Brown Simpson, Goldman Case for which he was acquitted of murder Simpson is currently behind bars for a combined total of 33 years for Armed Robbery, Coercion, Kidnapping and a host of other charges. Jailed in 2008 he will spend at least 9 years in Prison until he is even eligible for parole. He will be 69 years old if released at that time. A genuine fall from grace for a man who could be argued to be the best running back of all time.
5. Michael Irvin
Along with Troy Aikman and Emmitt Smith, Irvin formed one third of the Triplets who were so massively successful in the Super Bowl winning Dallas Cowboys offense in Super Bowl XXVII, XXVIII and XXX. The 5 Times Pro Bowler and the Cowboys’ 1st round Pick in 1988 Irvin would spend 11 years at the Cowboys winning a host of accolades. Inducted into the NFL hall of fame in 2007 Irvin has been arrested many times for a host of infractions.
Irvin was charged with possession of Cocaine in 1996 which caused him to miss the first 5 games of the 1997 Season and cost him a $10,000 Fine. He was arrested again for the alleged assault of a teammate in 1998 and further for alleged sexual assault, more drug possession charges and a sexual assault claim that resulted in a civil action against him. Minor infractions compared to some of the other charges to be laid against some players but like him or loathe him he was one hell of a player!
4. Mark Gastineau
A member of the famous NewYork Sack Exchange 5 time Pro Bowler Gastineau is a New York Jets legend. The 41st Overall Pick in the 1979 draft was ranked 8th in the NFLs top 10 pass rushers Gastineau was NFL defensive Player of the Year 1982 and holds the New York Jets All-time records for Most Sacks in a season (22), most Sacks in a Game (4) and Career Sacks (107 1/2) although Sacks didn’t become an official stat until 1982 that figure has been calculated retrospectively.
One of only two men, the other being the legendary Reggie White to be NFL Sack Leader for 2 consecutive seasons in 1983 and 1984 Gastineau’s misdemeanours are exactly that. He has had several run-ins with the law, including domestic violence and drug possession in 1993. In 2000, Gastineau spent eleven months behind bars in for violating his Parole.
3. Nate Newton
6 Times Pro Bowler and 3 Times Super Bowl Champion Dallas Cowboys Guard Newton will be pretty familiar with another player on this list in Michael Irvin. Newton Played all over the Cowboys offensive line between 1986 and 1998. Newton was part of the same Super Bowl winning streak as Irvin, Aikman and Smith. An absolute monster at left guard! He makes this list simply because of the absolute fuckwittery of his arrest!
In 2001 police in Louisiana arrested Newton after he was found to have 213 pounds of marijuana during a traffic stop of Newton’s white van. Five weeks later, on December 12, 2001, Newton was again stopped in Texas and was arrested after a search of his vehicle revealed he possessed 175 pounds of marijuana. He was sentenced to 30 months in federal prison for drug trafficking. In today’s money We reckon that’s well over £1.5m quids worth of weed handed over to the fuzz in a 5 week period! His dealer must have so pissed off!
2. Michael Vick
The only currently player on this list, Vick was the overall 1st pick for the Atlanta Falcons in the 2001 draft. He played for the Falcons until his Jail time in 2007. The current all-time leader for Quarterback Rushing Yards at over 5000 (though with the rise of the likes of RGIII, Andrew Luck and Colin Kaepernick we can’t imagine holding this too long) Vick is a 4 times Pro Bowler and winner of the 2010 Comeback of the year after his release from Prison when he joined the Philadelphia Eagles.
In terms of his crimes Vick was sent to prison for 23 months for his part in a Dog Fighting operation behind which he was basically the money for the operation! It cost him $20m that was paid to him by the Falcons as the demanded recompense for their inconvenience!
1. Lawrence Taylor
It would probably be quicker to write about what Lawrence Taylor hasn’t done in football compared to what he had, but I’ll try to give you a brief summary here. New York Giants Line-backer and 2nd overall pick in the 1981 draft is a 10 times Pro Bowler, 3 times Defensive player of the year and a double Super Bowl Winner. He is ranked 3rd in the NFLs top 100 players and even fought in Wrestlemania XI. So what could such an obvious Icon do so wrong!
His Rapsheet is pretty long so its probably easier to list it!
1988: Given 30-day four-game suspension for second violation of NFL’s drug-abuse policy for cocaine use.
1989: Fails breath test when police find him asleep behind the wheel of his Jeep beside the Garden State Parkway in N.J.
1995: Tries to choke a reporter after a Giants practice.
1996: Driver’s license suspended for outstanding parking tickets in Newark, N.J.
1996: One of 15 arrested in Myrtle Beach, S.C., for allegedly trying to buy $100 worth of crack from undercover police while in town for a celebrity golf tourney.
1997: Pleaded guilty to filing false 1990 income-tax return and failing to report $48,000 income from the now-defunct LT Sports Club in East Rutherford, N.J.
1998: Arrested in his New Jersey home in a roundup of deadbeat parents. Released after about 10 hours in jail when a friend pays $6,000 in child support and for an outstanding traffic violation.
1998: Arrested again, this time in Florida, for allegedly buying $50 in crack from an undercover cop and for possessing drug paraphernalia.
2009: Arrested in Miami for leaving the scene of an accident.
2010: Arrested and accused of raping a teenage girl at a hotel aged just 16 years old. He somehow escaped charges of statutory rape.