Thursday, June 27, 2013

The NFL's All-Prison Team

Who will join O.J. on our All-Prison team?
By Joe Parello  @HerewegoJoe

Ok, I know you've all been thinking it, so don't make me the bad guy for actually putting this list together. The moment Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez was taken into custody, Facebook and Twitter were ablaze with "Longest Yard 2 starring Hernandez" jokes, and everybody was talking about an All Star team you could make with players that have been to jail.

The first thing that came to my mind was, "Hernandez can't actually be the best tight end to ever go to prison, right?" Well, I did some research, and it turns out he's up there. So, without further ado, here is my All-Prison Team, comprised of NFL players that have served jail time at some point in their lives (Note that I didn't say convicted).


1. Ken Stabler: Oakland Raiders, Houston Oilers, New Orleans Saints
2. Steve McNair: Tennessee Titans, Baltimore Ravens

I know, I know, everybody had Mike Vick here. Well listen up, these two guys are former league MVPs, and each of them at least played in a Super Bowl. Stabler was a known alcoholic that was also known to drive after drinking regularly, while McNair had actually been arrested for being an intoxicated passenger while his brother-in-law was driving under the influence. McNair would end up dying in a murder-suicide perpetrated by a 20-year old woman he was having an affair with.

I was tempted to throw my main man Ben Roethlisberger into the mix, but since he was never actually charged with a crime or served any time, I guess he'll just have to make the All-Dirtbag team.


1. O.J. Simpson: Buffalo Bills, San Francisco 49ers
2. Adrian Peterson: Minnesota Vikings

This was an easy one, as the first 2,000 yard rusher ever (O.J.) is also the league's most notorious criminal (Though he was totally innocent and went on to live as a model citizen after). While Peterson's arrest was a simple disorderly conduct and resisting arrest, you can't deny the talent of the NFL's most recent 2,000 yard rusher.

Incidentally, three of the league's seven 2,000 rushers have been incarcerated, and that doesn't even count Chris Johnson being investigated in a shooting, or Terrell Davis losing most of his crime committing prime to injury.


Even the prison team has evolved passed the fullback, but I will give Jamal Lewis (Another 2,000 rusher) and Ricky Williams some thought here since they were physical running backs. As far as actual fullbacks, All Pro Vonta Leach was arrested in 2009 for assault.

Just for pure amusements sake, you could also throw in Najeah Davenport. The former journeyman running back was a star at the University of Miami, where he was arrested for taking a dump in a woman's laundry basket.

Wide Receivers 

1. Michael Irvin: Dallas Cowboys
2. Hines Ward: Pittsburgh Steelers
3. Plaxico Burress: Pittsburgh Steelers, New York Giants, Jets

Wide receiver was the NFL's most arrested position since 2000 (114 arrests), so there is plenty of depth at this spot. Unfortunately, there isn't a sure-fire Hall of Fame player in that recent bunch. The closest thing we have from that group is Hines Ward, Pittsburgh's All-Time receiving leader, and a brutal blocker that could help tie things together. Ward was arrested for a DUI.

His former teammate Burress was a great red zone threat in his prime, but shooting himself in the leg at a New York nightclub cost him some explosiveness (pun sort of intended). Still, "The Playmaker" Michael Irvin is our king criminal at this position. Irvin is one of the greatest receivers in NFL history, and the only thing he loved doing more than touchdown dances was cocaine.

Tight Ends

1. Shannon Sharpe: Denver Broncos, Baltimore Ravens
2. Mark Chmura: Green Bay Packers

So it turns out that Hernandez doesn't make the cut in our All-Prison tight end group. Sharpe, the second most prolific tight end in NFL history, was arrested in 2004 on charges of battery, while Chmura was a two-time All Pro before injuries ended his career.

But, Chmura is now mostly remembered for being accused of sexually assaulting his children's 17-year old babysitter, and later admitting that his activity at a post-prom party "wasn't something a married man should do."


Offensive Linemen

1. Bryant McKinnie: Minnesota Vikings, Baltimore Ravens
2. Nate Newton: Dallas Cowboys
3. Barret Robbins: Oakland Raiders
4. Kenyatta Jones: New England Patriots, Washington Redskins
5. Mike Webster: Pittsburgh Steelers

McKinnie is your run of the mill drinker and driver, while Newton was your run of the mill 90s Cowboys coke head. Robbins, who was diagnosed with bi-polar disorder and depression, disappeared the night before his team was set to play in Super Bowl XXXVII after not taking his medication. That isn't a crime, but punching a security guard and driving with crack in your car both are.

Kenyatta Jones kind of sucked, but he did win two Super Bowls with the Patriots in the early 2000s. He makes the list because his crime is just so weird. In 2003, Jones had an argument with his roommate, and chose to resolve the issue by pouring scalding hot water on him. The Patriots released him five days later.

Finally, we have Hall of Famer Mike Webster, who makes our list after being arrested for forging a Ritalin prescription.

The man is arguably the greatest center in NFL history, but anchoring the Steeler offensive line led to a number of head injuries that resulted in early onset dementia, amnesia and depression. He lived his entire post-football life disabled, forcing his children to take care of him, and died at the age of 50. Just six months before his death, his wife divorced him, and it was discovered during his autopsy that he also suffered from chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a neurodegenerative disease.

Needless to say, Webster has become one of the many poster boys for head injuries in the NFL.

Defensive Linemen

1. Bruce Smith: Buffalo Bills, Washington Redskins
2. Mark Gastineau: New York Jets
3. Warren Sapp: Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Oakland Raiders
4. Cortez Kennedy: Seattle Seahawks

This is by far the best position on the team, so there must be something about playing a spot where your entire motivation is "KILL! KILL! KILL!" that leads to people committing crimes.

Bruce Smith is the NFL's all time sack leader, but he also racked up three DUIs in his playing days. Gastineau held the single-season sack record for 17 years, but it was his 1983 arrest for assault at Studio 54 (With Jets rookie quarterback Ken O'Brien… I knew they should've drafted Marino!) that gets him on this team.

Sapp and Kennedy are two of the greatest defensive tackles in NFL history, and also two accused wife beaters. Of the above guys, only Gastineau isn't in the Hall of Fame.


1. Lawrence Taylor: New York Giants
2. Ray Lewis: Baltimore Ravens
3. Thomas "Hollywood" Henderson: Dallas Cowboys, Houston Oilers, San Francisco 49ers

Taylor and Lewis are arguably the two greatest linebackers of all time, and each of them have spent time behind bars. Taylor for his love of crack, and Lewis for allegedly murdering that dude and getting away with it (Steelers fan inside me speaking there).

But, Hollywood Henderson is just the best. Henderson was a member of the "America's Team" Cowboys in the 70s, and was arrested for smoking crack with a pair of underage girls.

Wait, it gets better.

One of those girls was a paraplegic.

Wait, it gets better.

Henderson openly told police he was exchanging crack for sex.


Defensive Backs

1. Deion Sanders: Atlanta Falcons, San Francisco 49ers, Dallas Cowboys, Washington Redskins, Baltimore Ravens
2. Adam "Pacman" Jones: Tennessee Titans, Dallas Cowboys, Cincinnati Bengals
3. Eugene Robinson: Seattle Seahawks, Green Bay Packers, Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers
4. Darryl Henley: Los Angeles Rams

"Prime Time" lands on our list after being arrested for trespassing in college. That's nothing you say? Well, Sanders is here to bring the talent, the other guys bring the rap sheets.

Pacman Jones has had too many run-ins with the law to count, and Eugene Robinson spent the night before Super Bowl XXXIII picking up prostitutes while his wife slept in their hotel room. He then spent Super Bowl XXXIII getting picked apart by John Elway.

But the headliner here is Henley. Despite being an average corner for the LA Rams, Henley was a big-time cocaine trafficker in Southern California. When he was arrested, he did the only logical thing he could do: Hire contract killers to kill the judge in his trial, duh!

Well, they never did kill that judge, but he was sentenced to 41 years in prison for all of his crimes.


1. Pat McAfee: Indianapolis Colts

The current Colts punter has one of the more amusing arrest stories in recent NFL history. McAfee was arrested and charged with public intoxication near Broad Ripple, a nightclub area in Indy. That's pretty mundane, but McAfee was soaking wet when police arrested him. He claimed he had gotten rained on, but it hadn't rained in days.

Turns out, he was swimming in a canal.


1. Sebastian Janikowski: Oakland Raiders

Lots of drugs and lots of bar fighting. Who says kickers are pussies?


Jerry Sandusky: Penn State

Ok, so he wasn't in the NFL, but can you think of a more despicable coach to lead this group?


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