Another DUI without a logical excuse

Ever since the Cleveland Browns made him the third overall pick in the
2005 NFL Draft, Braylon Edwards has been somewhat of an enigma. There
have been times when the talented 6-3 receiver would demonstrate the
ability that made the high pick justified and there have been countless
other times when it seemed like Edwards wanted to be anywhere but on a
football field.
Edwards.jpg
Last night Edwards wanted to be out drinking until five in the morning
and when he did decide to call it a night, he jumped in his Range Rover
and headed for home. But Edwards never made it home last night. Instead,
he spent the night in jail after being pulled over for erratic driving
and blowing a .16 into a breathalyzer just prior to being arrested for
DUI in Manhattan. His arrest came less than 48 hours after he played a
key role in the New York Jets 28-14 upset win over New England on
Sunday. The arrest also comes less than a year after Edwards was
arrested for aggravated disorderly conduct for punching a friend of
LeBron James outside a Cleveland nightclub. That led to the trade that
sent Edwards to the Big Apple, with the Jets throwing caution to the
wind in acquiring the troubled wideout just days after the incident
occurred.

Not sure why it seems every wide receiver in the NFL comes with more
baggage than a 747 but they sure are a mercurial bunch aren’t they? But
the part of this story that really confuses me is that it could have
been easily avoided. The Jets are one of several teams in the NFL that
adhere to to the Player Protect Program. For those unfamiliar with the
program, it was setup to provide a car service for players at any time
so if they’re out enjoying a few beverages, they can simply make a call,
enjoy a safe ride home and avoid any nasty legal entanglements that
might come their way if they elect not to use the service. Other than assigning an intern to each and every player to drive them around, what more can the league do to try and keep its players safe?

Seems like a great program but it does have one minor flaw — you have
to actually make the call for it to be effective. Most of us have taken
the wheel after a few cocktails and in my younger days it was probably a
roll of the dice that I took more times than I care to remember. But
the big difference between my stupid choices and Edwards’ is that I
didn’t have the options that he does. In addition to the Player Protect
car service option at his disposal, I’m fairly certain a simply wave of
his hand on the curb would have drawn the attention of one of the
thousand of cab drivers motoring around downtown New York as well.

Before the season started Edwards signed a contract that will pay him $6
million this year. Back when I was tempting fate and driving home after
a night at the bar, I was working at a restaurant to pay for college
and was making a little more than minimum wage. My budget didn’t afford
the car service or a taxi as an option but if I was making $6 million a
year and couldn’t make myself avoid the nightclub scene, I think I’d
either utilize the service, flag down a cab or hire a personal driver to get me home
safe.

There’s no shame in handing your keys to somebody better suited to
drive, especially when you have more than enough resources to do so. If
these high-profile, highly paid athletes realize could just realize
that, they could go out clubbing every night and the only news they
would make would appear on the Sports Page instead of the police blotter
like it should be.

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