Monday, June 06, 2005

Hurricane Penitentiary

It's been quite an offseason for the U.

The Miami Hurricanes turn out some of the best football players each season. The school also turns out some of the biggest scalawags in the league, too.

A couple of items that likely won't make the media guide include Kellen Winslow Jr., who made like Robby Kenevil in a parking lot while Redskins teammates Sean Taylor and Clinton Portis will fight court battles this offseason.

This is Miami football, no?

With all of these off-the-field activities one has to wonder how Jamal Lewis ended up at Tennessee during his college career instead of Miami.

The Winslow saga took an interesting turn when Papa Winslow decided to vilify the media for his son's irresponsibility.

"I'm disappointed in the way you guys have handled it. Twenty-one-year-old people make mistakes," he said. "He made a mistake. You made it a circus. Remember when you were 21? A human being at 21 makes mistakes. He's not a piece of property."

It's funny, when a player is holding out for more money football is a business. When a player does something stupid, he's just being human. It's convenient. It's also dead wrong in the case of the Winslows.

Remember that the Winslow family turned Junior's college letter-of-intent signing into a media circus. Most kids typically fax in their letters of intent, not have their famous NFL dads turn it into a televised affair. It was an on-going soap opera orchestrated by Papa Winslow, who obviously didn't have a problem with the media turing it into a media-whoring event. It's way too late to go to the "human card" now.

And besides, Winslow is a solider, damn it.

Winslow still has a long way to go before he can reach the level of frivolity set by Taylor. The standout safety has fired two agents, was fined for skipping one day of the NFL's mandatory rookie symposium and was accused of spitting on a player during a game at Cincinnati, although he wasn't punished because the league said there was no video evidence.

He also played a little football, too. Taylor is set to hold out this training camp showing that there is no U in team.

Portis comes off looking like the responsible one in the group. He only stiffed former teammate, Ifeanyi Ohalete, out of $20,000, in a jersey number transaction gone wrong. (Again, jersey numbers?) Portis agreed to pay Ohalete $40,000 for jersey number 26 when he came to Washington last season, but refused to make good on the payment when Ohalete was released from the team.

Do you think you could do that with your credit cards? If your creditor changed from Bank One to Chase Manhattan, would you still be liable for paying off the debt? What kind of classes are they teaching down at Miami? It's understandable that Hurricanes football players are not going to class or taking test or learning anything other than picking up a weak-side blitz. But shouldn't football players be given some sort of curriculum that involves teaching students not to point a gun at people? Maybe a class on contract law? Motorcycle lessons?

The U is doing one thing correctly, though. It is teaching players how to be future Raiders.

NEXT BIG IDEA

How long will it be before a video-game maker steps up to a create a "Grand Theft Auto" version of the NFL? Perhaps EA sports can add this into story lines where a star player is forced to sit out six games while he's serving time in jail. The game already features hold outs and malcontent players, why not have a player sue another because he won't give up a jersey number? People would pay good money for a game like that.

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