Die-hard Patriots fans will remember Joe Panos as one in a very humorous sequence of nearly washed-up interior linemen brought in annually by Bill Belichick to Pats' training camp, with each one abruptly retiring before the season started. The names were all ugly and the guys attached to them were also sort of ugly — guys like Rich Tylski, Brendan Stai, Bill Conaty . . . wait, Bob Hallen might have been in there, too. They'd show up, jog around for a few days, and eventually disappear to do whatever it is washed-up interior linemen do after football.
We got some hint of that last week, when Panos was arrested. It seems the ex–Buffalo Bill went home to Wisconsin and became a minority owner of the Milwaukee Iron, an Arena Football League franchise. He and his wife filed for divorce this past November, but Panos must not have been over her, because he showed up at his wife's house on Valentine's Day and found another dude spooning out his grapefruit, if you know what I mean. The hulking ex-jock got so mad he went into the garage, raided a golf bag, and then proceeded to smash the interloper's vehicle with some of the clubs.
Cops arrived and charged Panos with disorderly conduct and criminal destruction of property. The police report said the woman and the victim have been dating for five months — you can do the math and see why the marriage went bad.
All things considered, you'd have to give Panos credit for not physically harming his ex's new beau. A lot of football players would have done much worse. Give him 11 points for breaking a windshield and being scary.
10 lords-a-leaping, 9 Henrys crying . . .
No golden rings!
Or so said a judge this past week, when constantly copulating ex-Bills/Titans/Broncos running back Travis Henry — he of the nine children by nine women — went to court to ask to have a $3000 child-support payment reduced. The judge denied the request, apparently accepting arguments from opposing counsel that Henry had made a great many irresponsible purchases (including a $100,000 car and $146,000 in jewelry) that could be liquidated if needed. When asked about a series of $70,000 withdrawals Henry made after he was cut by the Broncos this past year, however, Henry took the fifth. The man is under indictment on cocaine-trafficking charges, you see, and it seems the cash might be related to that matter. "All those big withdrawals have to do with my [criminal] case," Henry said.
Henry signed a contract for $22.5 million with the Broncos — $12 million of that guaranteed — just a few years back, but now he is apparently broke. This guy is rising fast in the sports-criminal pantheon. No points for this thing, it not really being a crime. Let's see where he ends up later this year after the court rules in his coke-trafficking case.
Meanwhile . . .
Henry, some folks might remember, originally came into this league as a hard-to-bring-down running back who packed unusual power and breakaway ability into average size and speed, breaking tackles with abandon in the snow of Ralph Wilson Stadium. Remind you of anyone?
How about current Bills running back, Marshawn Lynch, who — like Henry — also came into the league with a domestic-violence history? (Lynch's case, filed when he was still at Cal, was thrown out by the courts.) Marshawn was one of those guys who came into the NFL draft with so-called character questions. He ended up rather quickly validating those concerns by getting involved in a hit-and-run after his rookie year, striking a woman with his Porsche in Buffalo and then fleeing the scene.
He's now been popped again, this time for misdemeanor gun possession. Police in Culver City, California, approached a parked black Mercedes with tinted windows and no license plate. When someone inside rolled down the window, the cops found Lynch and two other guys — and a strong smell of marijuana. A further search produced four blunts and a loaded handgun, which belonged to Lynch.
No charges on the pot, but Lynch was slapped with one count each of having a concealed firearm in a vehicle, carrying a loaded firearm in a vehicle in a city, and carrying a loaded, unregistered firearm. This whole thing is a little weak, but we've got to give Lynch 25 points here — this isn't his first rodeo.
When he's not googling "killed Bills" and "Lynch pinned," Matt Taibbi writes for Rolling Stone. He can be reached email@example.com.