Joe Cullen, the man best known for going to a Wendy’s drive-through while completely naked during his time as an assistant coach with the Lions, has resurfaced in Jacksonville this year as an assistant with the Jaguars. But while the drive-through nudity is the reason most football fans remember Cullen’s name, Cullen says he doesn’t remember it at all.
“Well, it’s simple; it’s called a blackout, so I don’t know,” Cullen said in an interview with the Florida Times-Union. “When you have a blackout, bang. You realize through being educated [about alcohol consumption] that you drink too much. I’m sure there’s a lot of incidents out there where people don’t remember a thing they did the night when they were drinking. That’s basically what happened.”
Cullen is certainly correct that there are a lot of incidents in which people don’t remember what they did when they were drinking. But there aren’t a lot of incidents in which people go for a drive without any clothes on.
For his part, Cullen wishes people would just accept that everyone makes mistakes.
“First, if there’s anyone out there that’s perfect, I’d like to meet them,” Cullen said. “Number two, with me and my isolated incidents, I’ve never been in trouble in my life other than when alcohol was involved. So I made a promise to myself that alcohol and I weren’t going to be teammates any more.”
Cullen’s use of the word “isolated” is a bit surprising, considering that eight days after the nude driving arrest, Cullen was arrested again, this time for drunk driving. And Cullen was also fired by Ole Miss in 2005 after he was cited for public drunkenness.
But Cullen says he thinks he deserves the chance he’s been given in Jacksonville.
“I know my judgment — what I’m going to do and what I want to do — is clear,” Cullen said. “I think if you show true remorse, and you’re willing to do whatever it takes to better yourself, not just as a football coach but as a person, then, to me, people deserve second chances.”