Since Roger Goodell took over the reigns at the NFL he has attempted to clean up its bad-boy image by instilling a very tough line of punishment to dissuade its players from partaking in questionable off-the-field activities. Yet, somehow, that hasn't stopped trouble from finding a slew of the League's biggest stars this off-season.
First it was Ben Roethlisberger's much publicized Georgia bathroom incident where he allegedly sexually assaulted a college co-ed. Just as that incident seemed to finally come to a close, with Big Ben catching a hefty suspension, came some great footage of Vince Young throwing hay-makers in the back room at a strip club. That was followed up by the always dangerous Michael Vick being back on top of the news after one of his old dog-fighting cronies was shot at Vick's own birthday party (although supposedly #7 was no longer there). And, now, as if he was feeling somewhat left out, recurring trouble maker Cedric Benson has been charged with assault in Texas after a bar brawl in his former college home of Austin.
Add on to that the ridiculously awful story of former NFL great Lawrence Taylor, who has been accused this summer of basically violently raping an underage sex slave, and the rarely talked about police investigation into the claim that NFL good-guy Marvin Harrison (who still hasn't officially retired) killed a man in Philadelphia, and the commish has got to be really wondering when Ashton Kutcher is going to jump out and tell him he's getting 'Punkd'.
While none of these guys has been proven guilty in a court of law for these specific indiscretions, each of them has clearly made some very bad decisions and decided to associate with people and places that famous multi-millionaires have no business with. You don't ever hear about gunshots being fired at Jake Gyllenhal's birthday dinner or Tobey Maguire smacking around a strip club hostess - so why can't these similarly aged, similarly wealthy, similarly famous football players figure out a way to have fun and enjoy their lives without all of the drama?!
The strange part about this summers various incidents, is that its not a handful of lesser known third stringers getting into beef - these are some of the biggest names in the entire NFL and are guys who are considered the leaders of the most popular franchises. If Goodell's extremely strict disciplinarian record isn't persuading these guys to mind their P's & Q's, then what will?
We're not sure how we would handle this kind of trouble on our squad, but we sure can feel for Goodell as he's got the unenviable job of trying to sort out what appears to be quite a mess.