Cedric Benson Arrested for Assault

When the Cincinnati Bengals acquired Cedric Benson two years ago, they knew they were taking a risk.  After showing some promise, he was released by the Chicago Bears following arrests for driving a boat while drunk and then drunk driving, both over a short time span.  The Bengals are certainly no strangers to hosting players who have been in legal trouble, so they probably figured it couldn’t hurt.

Now, they have to deal with another player who has been arrested.  Benson was arrested for assault in Austin, Texas for an incident that occurred on May 30th during which he allegedly punched a bar employee in the face, proving once again that he’s incapable of staying out of trouble.

The Bengals signed the running back to a two-year deal worth $7 million after he proved he has plenty left in the tank when he came to them in 2008.  Ironically, he was openly seeking a new deal a little over a week ago.  Considering he’s only 27, the Bengals said they were open to discussing a new deal at the time.  I’m going to go ahead and assume Cedric knew something was going to come of the bar incident and wanted to lock up a new deal before anyone found out.  Smart businessman.  However, he can certainly forget about any type of lucrative contract for the time being.

Cedric Benson busted for assault [Pro Football Talk]

Chris Henry Brain Report Seems Like B.S.

Ostensibly in an attempt to prove that football is dangerous to players’ health (like nobody watching the sport could figure that one out), a report was released suggesting that now deceased Bengals wide receiver Chris Henry had major brain damage at the time of his death. The report says Henry’s brain shows he had chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) — a form of degenerative brain damage caused by multiple hits to the head. See, it’s not that I dispute that taking hits in football can lead to concussions and brain damage — it’s dangerous the same way boxing and MMA is — it’s that I dispute the circumstances of the report. Let’s all actually use our brains here.

On December 17th, 2009, Chris Henry either fell or jumped out of a car and landed on the street. Considering the damage from the fall was enough to kill Henry, I’m guessing it also did some serious brain damage. And if the fall out of the truck didn’t result in some brain damage, I’m guessing all the weed Henry smoked didn’t help much either. Getting back to it, If the doctors doing the study don’t have a baseline for comparison from before AND after Henry’s death, then how are we supposed to know when the brain damage was done? Henry never had a concussion throughout his football playing career. Isn’t it quite plausible that the damage was done by the fall out of the car rather than football? Since the fall was enough to kill him, I’d say it’s a darn good possibility.

The other purported reason for the study was to ascribe blame elsewhere. See, saying Henry had brain damage from football leads to the following thoughts from the article: “Now … Henry’s family, friends and fans — will wonder if his neural damage contributed to his emotional volatility, including whatever problems he was suffering the day he died.” Please. Henry exhibited poor judgment and illegal behavior well before he started taking NFL hits. I’m not here to ruin the day for Henry’s family nor to sully Chris’ name postmortem. Rather, I just want to call out b.s. when I see it and this is b.s.

Researchers find brain trauma in Henry [Peter Keating/ESPN]

LT’s New Jets and Old Chargers Tattoos

It’s only June and we’ve already noted that LaDainian Tomlinson hasn’t impressed in a Jets uniform after signing there this offseason. Due to a combination of age and carries, LT’s body has already been breaking down and he’s just not the same. That’s why it probably wasn’t such a good idea to fully commit himself to his new team by getting permanent ink on his body. We mentioned how LT got a new Jets tattoo earlier this month and luckily for us, a Sal Paolantonio report on ESPN showed us those tats. Here are pictures of LT’s Jets tattoo and his old Chargers tattoo:

LT probably figures he has a few more years left in his career and doesn’t see what we do. It’s a shame, because if I had to make a guess, LT’s right calf will read 2010-2011 on it and that just won’t look very good.

Photo Credits: ESPN

Michael Vick’s Birthday Party: Cake and Bullets Not a Good Mix

Birthdays are a time for celebration. They indicate that you are another year older and wiser … unless your name is Michael Vick. Vick celebrated his 30th birthday by hosting a party late Thursday night at a club in Virgina Beach. The party was “all white” attire themed and the invitation included the names of some high-profile athletes who were supposed to be in attendance, such as Allen Iverson and DeAngelo Hall.

Apparently when the club was closing for the night Vick either threatened to or did shove cake in someone’s face which resulted in one of Vick’s co-defendants from his 2007 dog fighting case, Quanis Phillips, ending up being shot.  The injury wasn’t life threatening but this could bring a whole new mess of trouble for Vick. Here’s why:

1. Under court order, Vick isn’t supposed to be in the presence of his co-defendants.

2. Being anywhere around a firearm is not exactly following the terms of his probation.

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LenDale Unloads on Pete Carroll, USC

Remind me not to ever piss off LenDale White. It seems as if media outlets across the country are itching to get some time with the unemployed former USC star who’s become the Sarah Palin/Joe Biden of the sports world; he might not actually be doing much lately, but, jeez the guy is going is always good for a few soundbites, isn’t he? LenDale finally spent time as a guest on Clay Travis’ show on 104-5 the Zone in Nashville to talk several issues. When discussing Athletic Director Mike Garrett’s pleas of ignorance regarding many of USC’s violations, LenDale was dismissive, saying:

“I don’t want to bad mouth nobody, but as big as this scale is and as much as they (the NCAA) saying somebody took, for you not to know anything is kind of unbelievable to me. I don’t know. If you’re the athletic director I’m pretty sure you get wind of something, that somebody’s put something in your ear. When I was going to school there, and we were partying too much on campus, coaches could show up at our dorm room and tell us to calm the partying down. But you can’t tell if somebody took a $750,000 home? I don’t know. It’s weird to me.”

Don’t think that LenDale let his former USC head coach Pete Carroll off the hook either. Much like Taylor Mays’ complaint after the draft, LenDale doesn’t think Carroll was up front with him regarding his release from the Seahawks:

[Read more...]

Alex Brown Not Welcome at Halas Hall

On Tuesday New Orleans Saints defensive end Alex Brown decided it would be a good idea to go visit his former team, the Chicago Bears. Uh, what? Brown showed up at Halas Hall and expected a spectacular reception by everyone there. Well, that’s not what he got. Instead he was escorted from the premise by security guards.

Brown seemed confused at to why a team that he spent eight years with wouldn’t want him there. Here’s what he had to say about it on his Twitter page:

“To my surprise I was escorted out if the building. I guess I understand it somewhat but damn didn’t think I would get kicked out! Who Dat!!”

Who dat is probably what the Bears were thinking. It’s not like Brown is a former player who just stopped by for a visit; he is still playing in the league as a member of the Saints. The Bears said that the only reason that Brown wasn’t exactly welcomed into Halas Hall was because league rules prohibit current players to enter a different teams’ facility.

Chicago loves you Alex Brown, but next time you want to go visit the Bears, make sure you are either sporting the navy and orange or you’re retired. Until then, I look forward to seeing your “gator snap” celebration in New Orleans.

Bears Escort Brown From Team Facility [ESPN Chicago]
Alex Brown on Twitter

Panthers Won’t Punish Steve Smith for Flag Football Injury

On Wednesday, we told you about how Carolina Panthers wide receiver Steve Smith suffered a broken arm that required surgery while playing in an adult flag football league.  Obviously, participating in a recreational flag football league is in no way related to a club activity, so if the Panthers’ brass wanted to punish him finanacially for the injury they could have with good reason.

As we could have probably predicted, they aren’t going to.  I mentioned Wednesday that they could easily take the Ben Roethlisberger approach, meaning they don’t want to piss off their franchise player even though he injured himself acting like a bit of a bonehead.  However, I must say that I agree with Pro Football Talk’s Gregg Rosenthal that the Panthers are doing the right thing.

Unlike Big Ben — who has spent portions of his off-season boozing with college girls and putting himself in stupid situations — Smith was having fun with some friends and got a little too competitive.  They can’t expect professional athletes to refrain from doing anything physical for their own enjoyment in their free time.  The worst part for Carolina is that it’s the second time their star wide receiver has broken the same arm.  As of now it doesn’t look like he’ll miss any regular-season games, but the Panthers can only hope the arm heals properly and doesn’t become a liability.

Panthers won’t hit Smith’s wallet [ESPN NFC South Blog]
Panthers won’t go after Steve Smith’s money [Pro Football Talk]