The Phoenix Network:
About  |  Advertise
Adult  |  Moonsigns  |  Band Guide  |  Blogs  |  In Pictures
Puzzles  |  Sports  |  Television  |  Videogames

Quiet before the storm

Sports blotter: "Good call, coach" edition
By MATT TAIBBI  |  November 5, 2008

QUIET BEFORE THE STORM: Belichick dropped cornerback Jeff Burris without explanation last year. Turns out it was a good choice.

So maybe that's why
There have been a lot of mysteries surrounding the Patriots in the Bill Belichick years, not surprising given the intense effort the team (read: Belichick himself) puts into maintaining airtight clubhouse and organizational secrecy in general. A Pats player might see his patella sheared off during a game, fly across the field, and hit a cheerleader in the mouth, and on the injury report two days later all you find out is that he's doubtful for the next game, because of "leg." Unlike other teams, where wide receivers do their complaining openly, in front of reporters, about not getting enough touches, on the Patriots all the idiotic in-house stuff happens in a way that passes mostly undetected.

Thus, we never really knew what Hakim Akbar did to piss off Belichick, never found out what Kyle Brady did (if he did anything at all), never learned the full story on guys like Steve Martin, Jonathan Sullivan, Fernando Bryant, Leonard Myers, and others who went the revolving-door route on the roster. Only occasionally, like when Pepper Johnson decides to write a book, or when some news report trickles out long after the fact, do we get some hint as to why this or that player didn't cut it in Pats-land.

Example: Jeff Burris. Anyone remember Jeff Burris? He was once a starting cornerback for the Colts, back in the days when "starting cornerback for the Colts" was a synonym for words like "consistently ineffective" and "posterized" and "total pussy." This was a while ago, back in the pre-Marlin Jackson, pre-Kelvin Hayden days. Burris left the Colts in 2001, played for the Bengals for a while, and then — this was after the Pats' most recent Super Bowl win — Belichick managed to get Burris to sign a one-year deal for less than a million bucks. It was considered something of a coup around here. We thought we had another bargain-basement pickup on our hands.

Then a funny thing happened: Burris didn't show up for training camp, and was quietly released. Nobody knew what happened.

Well, last week we got a little peek into the private life of Burris. He was busted for a very odd DUI in Carmel, Indiana — caught driving not only drunk but backward. . . not to mention west in an eastbound lane. This is a bad-driving trifecta perhaps never observed before, even among pro athletes: driving drunk, backward, and in the wrong direction. At the same time.

Why did he do it? Here, it might be useful to quote Belichick, when asked why Burris didn't report to training camp that time: "He made a personal decision." He sure did. Gotta give some extra points for this one — the usual 25 for a DUI, plus 10 more for the unusual circumstances.

Not really a football story
Okay, so this doesn't really have anything to do with sports, but it does sort of relate to football (the soccer variety), so it seemed worth a mention. This past week the United States did what it very seldom does — prosecute a US citizen for bad behavior abroad. The defendant was Charles Taylor Emmanuel, son of former Liberian president Charles Taylor, prosecuted in Miami for crimes committed in Africa.

1  |  2  |  3  |   next >
Related: Cheating rules!, Off point, Bang for T-Buck, More more >
  Topics: Sports , Sports, Major League Baseball, National Football Conference,  More more >
  • Share:
  • Share this entry with Facebook
  • Share this entry with Digg
  • Share this entry with Delicious
  • RSS feed
  • Email this article to a friend
  • Print this article

Share this entry with Delicious
  •   PUNCH DRUNK  |  October 28, 2009
    Charges have finally come in on Aqib Talib, the frequently high (if you believe his pre-draft drug tests) and drafted-up-high (20th overall in 2008) Tampa Bay Buccaneers cornerback who reportedly decked a cabbie because . . . well, it’s still not exactly clear why.
  •   NOTHING IS SHOCKING  |  October 21, 2009
    Time again for our semi-regular look at law enforcement’s current go-to gadget: the Taser.
  •   JUST FIGHT, BABY  |  October 14, 2009
    Things just keep getting exponentially worse (and more amusing) for the Oakland Raiders.
  •   THROWING STRIKES  |  October 07, 2009
    For us New Englanders, Chuck Knoblauch was always kind of tough to take.
  •   WILD, WILD WEST  |  September 30, 2009
    Former Celtic Delonte West has long been known as a clutch shooter, but he's apparently taking that reputation a little too literally.

 See all articles by: MATT TAIBBI

RSS Feed of for the most popular articles
 Most Viewed   Most Emailed 

  |  Sign In  |  Register
Phoenix Media/Communications Group:
Copyright © 2009 The Phoenix Media/Communications Group