In honor of Pacman Jones’ year long suspension for “Indian giving” (despite what the NFL wants you to believe it wasn’t the whole smacking a stripper/shooting bouncers incident) and Chris Henry’s 8 game suspension for committing every illegal act under the sun, I have been delving into the first and only season DVD of the classic ESPN show, Playmakers.
While everyone likes to talk about “keepin’ it real,” Playmakers kept it just a little bit too real. A quarterback who popped pills, a linebacker dealing with post tramautic stress (def not Romanowski), and a battle between an old and young running back. The older running back juiced in an attempt to get an edge as he smacked his wife around while the younger back (DH) loved crack more than DMX and happened to be portrayed by Cuba Gooding Jr.’s brother.
At the time ESPN cried foul and tried to portray Playmakers as not being representative of the league and the conduct of its players. Call me crazy, but this morning I swear I saw mad players’ mugs on the front page of USA Today’s sports section. They weren’t gracing the cover because they were doing community service voluntarily, but because they had been involved in illegal activities. What are some of the ridiculous events that Playmakers sensationalized? Let’s see- DH was at a club his boy did a shooting at, had a coke jones , and participated in Steve Smith on field theatrics. Were the similarities just a bit too much?
Had the NFL realized that ESPN’s soap opera drama for men wasn’t that far from the truth when it came to its depiction and cracked down on the bad boys they might not seeing half of the Bengals getting drunk and pulled over. Will this crackdown by the new commish send a message to the thugs of the NFL? Criminals are nothing new to the NFL (see Lawrence Phillips) but these sort of suspensions are.
I have to say I like the year long suspension of Pacman and 8 game suspension of Chris Henry because it hits them where it hurts most- their wallets. If homeboy is beating bitches down and turning bouncers into future Murderball stars over 81 grand then he is really going to flip his lid over missing out on his $1 million plus salary. Chris Henry, however, is so gully he may just drop his career altogether and attempt to earn his way into the NFL Criminal HOF.