Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Could We Have Hoped for Anything Different?

The Detroit Lions have a new coaching staff. They have a new quarterback. They have cut some dead weight by letting go a high profile problem receiver with Rastafarian aspirations. They are finished with fluffy practices and have vowed to play tough. True, the Detroit Lions still have a the same general manager that has lead them through five straight disastrous seasons (leading many to speculate on what weird acts of sexual perversion he is performing on various Ford family members in order to hold on to his job) but overall, hopes are high that our NFL franchise will have a better season this year than they have the past half decade. Statistically speaking, we can’t imagine how they can get any worse.

Then news broke last week that Joe Cullen, the Lions’ defensive line coach was arrested on Aug 24th driving nude through the drive-thru window of a local fast food restaurant. The Lions organization reported that “alcohol was involved”, which is kind of disappointing since it would have been far more interesting if the organization would have added, “so were three midgets in spandex, a monkey, a gerbil, masking tape and copious amounts of cherry flavored intimate lubricating ointments”. It may not have been true, but it would have been entertaining.

Eight days later on September 1st, Cullen was again arrested for driving drunk and reportedly had a blood alcohol level of .12. In Michigan this is considered driving while intoxicated, but I am personally going to give Coach Cullen a pass on that one. I am willing to bet that if Joe Cullen is as experienced as an inebriate as I think he is, since ordering takeout while driving drunk AND naked is beyond the capabilities of your average amateur, I am betting that few people would even have noticed that he had been drinking if his BAC was only .12. Hell, I’m betting that he probably needs a BAC of .15 just to keep the shakes at bay and he could probably still perform open heart surgery at .20 (not that I’m volunteering to test that little theory). I’d even wager that at .25 the officer administering the field sobriety tests would still be reluctant to break out the breathalyzer.

Despite my levity, there really is no excuse for Joe Cullen’s behavior. He is the DEFENSIVE line coach and overall, the Lion’s defense is the only thing the team has going for them so he really has little reason to hit the bottle that hard this early in the season. If we were talking about the OFFENSIVE line coach Larry Beightol on the other hand, I might be able to muster up a little more sympathy.

In the end though, the defensive line coach was suspended for multiple alcohol offenses and last Sunday, the team played one of the most spectacular defensive games I have ever watched. The offensive line coach, a respectably decent, sober chap from what I have heard, got into no trouble and his boys, in typical Lions fashion, could not keep the Seahawks on their side of the scrimmage line to save their lives. Maybe I should just get off of Joe Cullen’s back and suggest that maybe Larry Beightol go out, lush it up and booze his way to Burger King in the buff.

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