26 June 2012
The Detroit Lions' parade player of stupidity continues unabated, with cornerback Aaron Berry taking his turn to lead the circus.
According to WXYT-TV, Berry was busy this past weekend, driving drunk and hitting parked cars.
Lions cornerback Aaron Berry was arrested early Saturday morning in Harrisburg, PA on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol, two counts of causing accidental damage to an unattended vehicle or property and two counts of failure to stop and give information to law enforcement.
The only thing missing in the latest game of Detroit Lions Arrest Bingo is pot possession.
Berry released an apology on Facebook via (and likely written by) Paradigm Sports Management:
“I want to offer a sincere apology to the Lions organization, Lions fans, the coaches and all my teammates for my actions this past weekend. This is not the example I want to set for young people and it’s certainly not what my team and coaches expect from me. I promise to do everything in my power to make sure this never happens again. I understand these are just words and it will be my future actions that ultimately will speak for me.”
Berry was right in one way. These are just words. Considering he learned nothing from earlier arrests, I really have no reason to believe otherwise.
Player actions speak louder than words. Scream, actually. Not that it means much at this point, the Detroit Lions released more words a statement as well:
We are extremely disappointed in the reports involving Aaron Berry and the incident in Pennsylvania this past weekend.
This is not the standard of behavior we expect from any member of our organization. We have strongly and repeatedly emphasized the need to be accountable on and off the field, which makes this incident with Aaron all the more disappointing. We will have further comments regarding this situation when appropriate.
The Lions claim they have emphasized accountability. Too bad no one was listening.
As much as I'd like to believe the rash of arrests was nothing more than young knuckleheads being, well, young knuckleheads and not an institutional issue, arrest number 6 has me thinking otherwise. Busted once, shame on you. Busted twice, shame on me. Busted 3, 4, 5 and 6 times? Shame on the Detroit Lions.
I've defended the Lions, head coach Jim Schwartz and general manager Martin Mayhew after the earlier incidents. No more. Apparently there is little to no accountability in the Lions' locker room. The organization deserves all the brickbats they'll soon be receiving from fans and media for this latest embarrassment.
I don't mind players drinking, having fun, living life. But there are limits, a line you don't cross. These players have, and they will pay the price in public shame, along with fines and discipline from the NFL, along with a dirty look from Roger Goodell.
I suggest you bookmark the NFL Arrests Database. I'm sure the Lions' front office has, how else can they keep track of the numerous off season accomplishments of their players?
The scoreboard of shame:
Johnny Culbreath: Arrested for marijuana possession.
Mikel Leshoure: Booked on 2 separate charges of marijuana possession.
Nick Fairley: Busted twice, first for marijuana possession, the second being DUI with a chaser of eluding police.
Aaron Berry: Pending DUI.
The last Detroit Lion to break the law please shut out the lights while they're dragging you out of the locker room in handcuffs.
So what happens now? The same that happens with every NFL player. If the Lions can't find a corner better than Berry, he'll remain a member of the Detroit Lions. If they do, then it's "Have a nice life, here's your bus ticket."
In the NFL, teams care about 3 things. Talent, talent and talent. They're willing to put up with damn near anything short of murder if a player performs on the field. Arrested on Friday, but win on Sunday? A team will deal with it. But arrested on Friday, lose on Sunday? You're looking for a new employer.
I'm sure many fans (and especially newspaper columnists -- I'm sure Drew Sharp is in front of a keyboard right now, full of righteous indignation, as will Mitch Albom, once someone tells him who Berry is) will want their pound of flesh, a head on a pike, someone to be made an example, regardless of their own foibles and history with drugs and alcohol. (What glass house?) For all the gnashing of teeth, wringing of hands and calling these players public enemy number one, if the 2012 Lions play well, win games and make the playoffs, all will all be forgiven and forgotten.
For the most famous example in Lions' history, go back to Bobby Layne, who is canonized in Detroit lore. He was a raging alcoholic who wouldn't put down his drink until he put on his pads. But he won championships, so everyone wears blinders, saying Layne was just fun loving and a character.
Winning cures all ailments...and expunges arrest records from fan memory.