The man who now owes $11.65 million for his conduct in Las Vegas during NBA All-Star weekend five years ago told incoming rookies last week that he nearly spent 10 percent of that amount on another 48-hour period from Friday night through Sunday night.
Colts tight end Coby Fleener, sitting in this week for Peter King at the wheel of Monday Morning Quarterback, writes that Bengals cornerback Adam Jones explained at the Rookie Symposium that he once dropped $1 million in one weekend during his now-defunct “Pacman” days.
Said receiver Terrell Owens, who was on the stage with Jones at the time, in response: “Man, you crazy!”
Jones said that Commissioner Roger Goodell helped change “Pacman,” via the one-year suspension that was imposed within a couple of months after the camel-back-breaking incident that happened in Vegas, and that definitely didn’t stay in Vegas.
A third man who once played for the Cowboys — and who unlike Owens and Jones won three Super Bowls — gave the rookies another reason to stay out of trouble. Hall of Fame receiver Michael Irvin said that, after his son did a Google search on Irvin, Irvin realized he’d give back the rings in exchange for a clean name.
Other players may be getting the message. Per Fleener, players arrests have been on the decline, from 79 in 2006 to 62 in 2011.
If that means guys have come to better appreciate the privilege of playing in the NFL, that’s great. Whether they appreciate it or not, it’s fleeting, for most.
As Ravens receiver Torrey Smith told the rookie, “Congratulations on making it into the NFL. You’re now on your way out of the NFL.”
For some, that day won’t come for more than a decade. For others, it’ll happen sooner than they realize. And that’s all the more reason for all of them to keep the bigger picture of their lives in view, and to always be thinking about how the decisions they make now will affect them for years to come.
Hopefully, none will decide to spend $1 million in a weekend.