All the angles are covered. The “he’s really a nice guy” story. The “those Jets are Animal House” column. The “risky off-season moves sure backfired” tack. The why didn’t he learn from Donte Stallworth” theme. The “black athletes need to step up” yarn. The joke columns. Etc. etc. etc.
Read them if you want. Then fly across the country and shake Jeff Miller‘s hand. The Orange County Register columnist penned the story that should (but, of course, won’t) be the defining legacy of the Braylon Edwards fiasco.
You know the deal: Thanks to the league’s substance abuse policy, the Jets are handcuffed in the penalty they can impose. He won’t be suspended. He won’t start Sunday’s game, but he’ll play. This is causing outrage. But, as Miller rationally notes, this shouldn’t be just about Edwards.
The scribe writes as the trial for the drunk driver who killed Angels pitcher Nick Adenhart and two others goes on in California. He offers a frightening observation:
As scary as the NFL’s wobbling stance on drunk driving is, even scarier is how ingrained in our sporting society drunk driving is. The incidents can be compiled as easily as an injury list. Just a few more turned ankles and popped ligaments. This past weekend – and this is only a partial collection – the football teams at Florida, West Virginia, Illinois, and Pittsburgh had players miss games because of DUI suspensions. An assistant coach with the Baltimore Ravens, Andy Moeller, was arrested the other day for DUI. It was his second offense that we know of. He was acquitted of the first charge just last month. NHL goalie Nikolai Khabibulin is appealing a 30-day jail sentence for blowing more than a .15 in Arizona. Former NBA player Rod Strickland just pleaded guilty to DUI, at least his second such incident in three years. And all of these examples, mind you, surfaced in research from just the previous week.
So yes, be angry when Edwards eventually takes the field this weekend. He shouldn’t be playing.
But the conversation doesn’t end there.