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Squish the fish

Sports blotter: "Dolphin crime" edition
By MATT TAIBBI  |  July 18, 2007


Fish felony follies
Hey New England, can I get a “Sucks to be you, you got a DWI, you LOSER!” Can I, please? Because a Miami Dolphin got arrested this past week — an important Miami Dolphin — and it’s vital for the sake of regional unity that we laugh about that.

Wide receiver Chris Chambers — last seen running right past the Pats’ Ellis Hobbs whenever he felt like it — was arrested early Saturday morning in Charlotte, North Carolina, and charged with driving while impaired, reckless driving, and speeding. He was released on $1750 bond, and is expected in court on August 15.

Chambers is the third Dolphin to be arrested this offseason. I repeat: Chambers is the third Dolphin to be arrested this offseason. Third, as in, three more arrests than have happened to the New England Patriots. Defensive tackle Fred Evans was arrested on June 23 for a variety of charges, including trespassing and assaulting a police officer. And, back in March, the Dolphins’ marquee free-agent signing, linebacker Joey Porter, was arrested for getting into an altercation with Levi Jones, a tackle for the always-getting-arrested Cincinnati Bengals.

Evans, who happens to suck, was kicked off the team for his infractions by new coach Cam Cameron, who said he wouldn’t stand for that kind of behavior. Porter and Chambers, who do not suck, will not be kicked off the team.

Chambers is a Pro Bowl–caliber receiver whose obvious frustration with the Dolphins’ comedy carousel of piss-poor quarterbacks is one of the most consistently entertaining storylines in the NFL. Watching him jog back into the huddle and then stand with his hands on his hips staring blankly out at the crowd while Joey Harrington frantically tried to call out (or even remember) the plays was among the Top 10 Most Humorous Things to Happen at Gillette Stadium during the past year. Look for the show to continue in 2007 in the Trent Green era. As for the crime, give it the standard 25 points for a non-Steinbrenner-relation DUI.

Crimson pie
Yamene Coleman, a basketball player for the University of Alabama Crimson Tide, bought $200 worth of pizza at a Tuscaloosa Domino’s with some chick’s student credit card. That is the whole story. Except also that Yamene got caught, forcing campus police to arrest him for eight counts of fraudulent use of a credit card, in turn forcing Tide coach Mark Gottfried to issue a lame-ass, contorted, only partially sensical statement halfheartedly defending his player. “As the facts get here and we learn more about it,” said Gottfried, “I’m very confident this will not be as it appears to be at this particular time.” Here’s an interpretation: this will turn out not to be a player buying $200 worth of Domino’s pizza with someone else’s credit card; it will turn out to be a Tide player buying $200 worth of pizza with the credit card of someone who will end up with her $200 back and maybe even some help on her org-chem grades. Or maybe not. Coleman only averaged 1.8 points and 2.4 rebounds this year, so discipline isn’t out of the question. As for the rating system, give him 12 points for eating bad pizza.

Reaching new Hites
Attentive basketball fans might have noticed an unusual name gracing a roster in the Orlando NBA summer league this past week. No, it wasn’t the return of Celtics’ draft bust Kedrick Brown (may Allah curse his name). The name in question was Robert Hite, formerly of the Miami Heat and patron saint of Faulty Sports Arrests.

Hite, who was then on the Nets’ summer roster and might yet make someone’s team, was arrested earlier this year for a DUI while a member of the Miami squad, and was promptly kicked off the team by Pat Riley, despite playing well in a few regular-season games. But tests later showed that Hite was not in fact intoxicated, that his blood alcohol was well within the legal limit, and that he was unfairly held by police. Unfortunately, this little-known player missed a Heat game against the Mavericks because of the arrest, and his subsequent dismissal forced him to spend the rest of the year with Sioux City, of the NBDL.

Hite had an interesting quote about his fate when he resurfaced as a Net in Orlando. “No hard feelings at all,” he said. “It’s the business of the NBA.”

Getting kicked off the team for a DUI is the business of the NBA? Maybe that is true, if you only averaged 4.3 points and 1.3 rebounds per game.

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