What's even better is that any of our loyal JagNation members, or anyone living in or around the greater Jacksonville area can find one or more of our recipients passed out on your local freeway or drive-thru.
As stated earlier, this week we've broken the award down into gold, silver,
and bronze medalists, and we've even gone as far as giving out an honorable
Honorable mention- Khalif Barnes- Khalif narrowly missed out on being our
first multiple winner of this honor by his tardiness on Saturday morning
when the Jaguars team met at Jacksonville Municipal Stadium to gather before
their flight to New Orleans. Khalif's tardiness would have likely earned
him this award during almost any other week, especially being that he's had
a couple run-in's with the law, including a DUI a little over a year ago,
and more recently an incident in which he crashed his car, then threw the
keys on the ground and vacated. Unfortunately for Khalif, his competition
this week was just too stiff, not only from players around the league, but
on his own team. Khalif's punishment was that he didn't start in the game
at New Orleans, and likely wouldn't have played if the Jaguars didn't have
injuries on the offensive line in that game.
Head coach Jack Del Rio was asked about if he had concerns over Khalif
Barnes, the person--
"Absolutely, I do have that concern. I want to make sure that we do all we
can to help him be the person he needs to be because the player, there's no
question he can play football, but he needs to have some things resolved so
that he can be the person he is capable of being."
Bronze Medal- Marcus Stroud- Marcus Stroud was busted last week for failing
a performance enhancing substances test. Stroud claims that he took a bad
supplement and there's no way for us to know otherwise so we'll have to take
his word on it. Stroud has been in the NFL for seven seasons now, and this
is his first failed test. The only question we have to Stroud is--why did
you take something different? Stroud has been suspended by the NFL and will
miss the next four weeks in a time in which the Jaguars will need all the
help they can get, as they travel to 6-2 Tennessee, are at home against San
Diego, home against red hot Buffalo, then travel to face the defending
champion Indianapolis Colts. Stroud's positive test positively came at the
wrong time for the Jaguars.
Silver Medal- Justin Durant- Justin Durant went out last Friday night, less
than 12 hours prior to the team's flight out to New Orleans. Durant
apparently was either semi-intoxicated or extremely fatigued, as he was
found in his 2007 Cadillac Escalade (the vehicle of champions) passed out on
an exit ramp. Police on the scene apparently smelled some alcohol on
Durant's breath (when he finally awakened) and Durant allegedly refused to
exit his vehicle until the police pulled out a taser. Durant was arrested
and charged with resisting an officer without violence. Durant, the Jaguars
2007 second round pick has been suspended from the team without pay.
Gold Medal- Richard Collier- Richard Collier was apparently following in the
footsteps of his teammates and went out last Friday, also less than 12 hours
prior to the Jaguars team flight to New Orleans. Collier, the former
undrafted free agent reportedly passed out at a local drive-thru, and was
eventually charged with a DUI. What wins Collier the gold medal is the fact
that his charges are the most severe, and he wasn't smart enough to learn
from the mistakes of the numerous other Jaguars who have been in similar
trouble over the last 18 months. Collier has been suspended by the team
without pay, similar to Durant. Unfortunately for Collier, he doesn't have
second-round draft pick pedigree, like Khalif Barnes and Justin Durant, and
the margin for off the field error for a low-paid guy like him isn't
anywhere near as great as it is for those other players. This incident may
very well lead to the end of his pro football career in Jacksonville.
Jack Del Rio addressed the off the field issues--
"I think you all have heard me say on several occasions that I really
believe that coaching and playing in this league is an honor and a
privilege, and the other part to that is with that there is a
responsibility. Clearly we had a couple individuals that were way outside
the lines of what we think is acceptable in responsible behavior. So in
light of that, both Richard Collier and Justin Durant will be suspended for
two weeks, not allowed to play for two weeks. As the head coach obviously
the responsibility comes right to me, and I understand that. I'll make sure
again to reiterate exactly how important I believe these issues are. I think
it's very important that we be good citizens as well as good football
players and I believe very much in identifying and collecting as many good
people as we can to have here in Jacksonville. Clearly the situations that
came up this past weekend early Saturday morning leading up to our ballgame,
less than 36 hours away from our ballgame, was very disappointing to me to
learn of. Clearly not guys that are preparing to give their best for us on
the field, and beyond that there are other issues that have to be addressed,
so they will be addressed. We will have a team here with discipline. We're
going to have a good football team that's got to have discipline in order to
be a good football team."
Melancholy congratulations to Marcus Stroud, Justin Durant, and Richard
Collier, as well as Khalif Barnes for being mentioned once again for this
award that embodies all the stupidity associated with all that is wrong with
the NFL. It is a shame that all of the recipients had to be Jacksonville Jaguars, and it is an even bigger shame that two of these wealthy young men,
Durant and Collier, didn't seem to learn the mistakes of others around them,
and continued to make poor decisions. Everyone makes mistakes and nobody's
perfect, but these guys really need to think if they're going to go out and
drink. Let me give you a quick message that I'm sure you've heard a lot
lately--"Get a taxi or limo. You can afford it, and it will keep you from
possibly getting arrested, suspended, or killing someone or yourself.
Charlie Bernstein is the Editor-in-Chief of Jagnation.com, and a regular syndicated
contributor to FoxSports.com, Sirius NFL Radio, MySpace Sports and Sportsillustated.com.
Charlie is also a member of the Pro Football Writers Association, and is a columnist for
the New Smyrna Observer. Feel free to contact him -HERE- with questions or
For more, go to: JagNation.com
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