The other day I was chatting with a friend and co-worker who is part-time sportswriter about the current NFL free agency madness when Adam "Pacman" Jones name popped into our conversation. We made some joke or biting reference about his current troubles when one of us spit out the name Lawrence Phillips--the poster boy for troubled NFL stars.
That got us to thinking, could we put together an entire team of troubled NFL players at each position? As it turns out, it was disturbingly easy.
Did we have any criteria as for what constituted a troubled NFL player? Not really. Some guys, like Phillips, have been found guilty of crimes; others were found innocent (Chmura); and still others you may wonder why they even made the list. In Ken Hamlin's case, he made the list because A.) He's a local guy and we had to have at least one Seahawk on the team and, B.) When you're in a brawl outside a nightclub and get hit upside the head with a 'No Parking' sign and subsequently miss the rest of the season with a skull fracture, that qualifies you. You could also make the team by creating a firestorm with your mouth (White). And finally, but not in the least, the all-star backfield is anchored by none other than OJ Simpson.
Other than that, the only real criteria a player had to meet was that his offense had to occur off the field. So that rules out guys like Jack "The Assassin" Tatum and Albert Haynesworth, whose infractions occurred on the field.
Several interesting notes, too. None too surprising were the plethora of Cowboys and former University of Miami Hurricanes that made the list. We're also lacking a punter (no one came to mind), a linebacker, a tackle and we're short on players pre-1980--which just can't be; somebody must've done something notorious. Weirdly enough, the team is really pretty talented and loaded with Pro Bowlers. Which makes it all the more pathetic that these nitwits did something so idiotic to land on the list in the first place.
That's where you come in. Add to the list, and I'll revise and post it again.
Oh, and if you don't hear from me, it probably means one of these guys on the list have read this and I've had to enter a Witness Relocation Program and am currently hanging out playing canasta with Henry Hill.
QB: Art Schlichter
RB: Lawrence Phillips, Maurice Clarett, OJ Simpson
FB: Jamal Lewis
WR: Rae Carruth, Chris Henry
C: Barrett Robbins
G: Mark Tuinei, Nate Newton
T: Erik Williams
TE: Mark Chmura
DL: Darrell Russell, Tank Johnson, Reggie White
LB: Ray Lewis, Joey Porter
CB: Adam "Pacman" Jones, Mike Doss
S: Ken Hamlin, Eugene Robinson
K: Mike Vanderjagt, Sebastian Janikowski