The NFL’s DUI problem just doesn’t make sense

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There seems to be a growing problem with drinking and driving among NFL players. Now, I used the word “seems” intentionally in the last sentence because I’m not sure if the number of DUIs recently is actually higher than in the past or if the media now just makes it out to be this way. (Think about the times back in the 60s when drinking and driving was the norm and guys like Max McGee and Paul Hornung were flying around…partying was almost glorified and my guess is that the raw percentage of players drinking and driving was likely even higher).

Irregardless (which, by the way, is not really a word, so next time someone you know uses irregardless trying to sound smart, correct them by telling them to just use regardless and throw in there that they must not be as smart as they think they are), these guys getting DUIs just doesn’t make sense to me. I’m not saying this from a moral high-ground position, I’m saying this from an economic position. When there is so much at stake for these guys (endangering their lives/the lives of others, suspensions, being cut, public ire, fines, shaming the family), why don’t they take a cab or hire someone to drive them? We are talking about people who earn more in one lousy practice than most of us do in many months of work. Why can’t they afford to take a taxi? Why can’t they hire someone to take them to/from a party if they know they’re going to have a few drinks?

Now, I know there may be puritan prohibitionists out there wondering why these guys even need to drink in the first place. After all, they’re athletes/role models etc. Well, I won’t go that far for several reasons: 1) they’re human and beer is good, 2) given most of these guys are in their 20s, a strong argument could be made that making sure to drink a few Pabst in one’s 20s is the objectively right thing to do, 3) it’s not necessarily the drinking piece to me that’s problematic (let me make my point here), but it’s the incredibly poor decision to, while drunk, get into a fancy car that is already noticeable and drive 70mph in a 30mph zone. Not only could all of these guys afford a limo to take them home, they could take a helicopter for the love…In fact, many of these guys have so much money, they could afford to buy the night club and have it moved to their backyard so they could just walk back home after the night expires. It just doesn’t make sense.

(Business idea: offer to be a team’s permanent designated driver and while these guys are hammered going home, obtain info from them re team secrets, sell the secrets to a website and make a fortune).

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6 Responses to “The NFL’s DUI problem just doesn’t make sense”

  1. Joe Says:

    This is not really related but … I know how Andy and Steve love Pabts (as they should – it is great beer), that said, I just got back to the office after attending the re-launch of Schlitz original formula (a/k/a Gusto). I have to disclose that Pabst (current owner of the Schlitz brand) is one of my clients but – the original Schlitz is fantasitc.

    It is sold in bottles only and the crap Schlitz (i.e post 60’s formula) is sold in cans. So buy bottles only. It just launched in Milwaukee today so it may not be available in your area for a few weeks.

    http://onmilwaukee.com/bars/articles/schlitzrelaunch.html

  2. Dan Hayes Says:

    Thanks for writing this. I think about this every time someone gets busted. I don’t think everyone in the NFL could afford a helicopter, but almost all of them could manage a full time driver. Irregardless, this needed to be said and I’m in on the business plan.

  3. Trav Says:

    As for your business idea, I think teams might have looked at it in more depth had the NBA not screwed it up for everyone in 2004.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jayson_Williams

    I would say that limo drivers, either from the story above or the Darrent Williams/Javon Walker incident on New Years in Denver, probably boycott driving stars for their own personal safety.

  4. awhayes Says:

    Good points Trav…

    Joe – Thanks for the heads up on the re-launch. I was just at a great liquor store Saturday (Ray’s in Wauwatosa) and happened to ask when the original Schlitz would be coming and he said they would have it starting yesterday. I haven’t tried it before but I really want to. Years ago a friend of our family spoke to me at length re how Schlitz was THE beer in the country until they mysteriously changed their formula, and then even more mysteriously, didn’t change it back.

    I have to admit, in college I probably drank more “crap Schlitz” than Pabst and while I extolled its virtues to anyone who would listen, I’m not sure it was that good. But like most beers I tended to celebrate, it was under $10 a case (Pig’s Eye, Huber Bock).

  5. Joe Says:

    The mysterious reason they changed the formula was becuase A-B went on stike and Schlitz wasa trying to brew more beer faster to try to move into A-B’s market share. It did not work and it killed what was the second largest brewery in the USA, but hey the chemist/brew-master has a valid patent on the process they used to shorten the brewing time.

  6. joshywoshy...etc. Says:

    I think it’s amusing that this post has received more comments about beer than about drunk-driving — but there really is something to be said for tougher laws/rules about DUI’s. I had an absentee landlord in Ohio that disappeared when it was time to move out. I found out he was spending 30 days in jail for his 5th DUI. You shouldn’t be able to drive for GOOD after your 3rd, and I might even say your 2nd.

    I realize that corporations and economic power create near impenetrable blockades to reasonable legislation (which should sometimes be used to help create/enforce attitudes – not often, but sometimes, and I think this is one of those cases), but it’s absurd how OK we all are with having 4 or 5 or 12 and driving the short, easy 3 mile trip home.

    I’ve also thought about if I had money near what these players have, that I would feel like my worries could be redirected at things like driving carefully and avoiding wasps nests and shotguns — if I ever find the ‘good-life,’ I’m going to keep it.

    I wrote a blurb in my not-so-frequently-added-to blog thingermajigger about our drug policy — not intended to be a commentary on specific drugs, just a glance at an astonishing inconsistency.

    http://teawithstavrogin.blogspot.com/2008/05/drugwar-policy-ssa.html


    football.

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