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Uneasy peace

NFL crime wave hit brief record-low at tracking site

Posted: Monday June 18, 2007 6:40PM; Updated: Wednesday June 20, 2007 8:43AM
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Just as things got quiet on the NFL police beat, Pacman's posse stirred the pot.
Just as things got quiet on the NFL police beat, Pacman's posse stirred the pot.
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If the NFL offseason feels a little too long and sleepy, well, that's because it has been of late, at least according to NFLCRIMES.COM.

A combination blog/blotter created in 2005 by David Coon of Alexandria, Va. out of his outrage at the league's ongoing crime epidemic, the site offers a running chronicle of incidents and arrests with links to news stories, commentary and assorted sites, including this one.

From the Michael Vick dog-fighting investigation to the ongoing adventures of Pacman Jones and Tank Johnson to freshly-cut Steelers scrub Richard Seigler's arrest warrant for allegedly pimping in Vegas to Vikings cornerback Cedric Griffin getting pinched for refusing to pull up his trousers to an appropriate height at a Minneapolis nightclub, when you see the sheer breathtaking variety of unlawful activity, you suspect that you've been staking out the San Quentin Football League each Sunday. The Longest Yard, indeed.

Perhaps most amusing is the link to Pro Football Talk's delicately-named Turd Watch, a division-by-division standings determined by players, coaches, front-office types, and even waterboys on a team getting hauled off to the hoosegow during the year. A felony arrest is worth seven points, a misdemeanor bust, three. One point is awarded for each conviction. If the playoffs started today, the Jaguars would have home field advantage throughout in the AFC by dint of their 41-24 lead over AFC North champion Steelers, with the Titans (30), Bengals (22), Broncos (20) and Dolphins (4) rounding out the lineup. In the NFC, the Buccaneers (30) are far ahead of a weak field. I guess the Super Bowl really does mirror life.

Actually, according to this piece from JagNation.com, all is not as dire as it seems:

According to the San Diego Union-Tribune, since the year 2000, an average of one in 45 NFL players gets arrested. Comparatively speaking, that number is one in 23 non-football playing citizens, according to the FBI. Approximately one third of those NFL arrests stem from some form of drunken driving. The drunken driving arrest rate of NFL players in one in 144, compared to a national rate of one in 135. Just because these guys make headlines when they screw up, doesn't mean that they're more dangerous.

Well, that's certainly comforting. According to the Union-Tibune, there have been more than 300 arrests since Rod Smith of the Broncos was popped with misdemeanor assault and harassment charges on January 24, 2000. May 24 of this year marked the beginning of an NFLCRIMES.com record-quiet period of 25 days without an arrest. Coon, who was struggling to find time to blog back on May 11, vows to shut down his site for good if the NFL's minions ever manage to go 100 days without being horse-collared by the long arm, the strong arm of the law.

Coon was a quarter of the way there by Monday June 18 when Pacman's entourage made headlines for exchanging lumps of lead with three other chaps at an Atlanta strip joint early Monday morning.

"So much for the 100 days idea..." Coon plaintively wrote.

Pacman reportedly wasn't present when the festivities started, but judging by his track record and the company he keeps, he'll likely keep Coon occupied for quite some time to come. Meanwhile, Packers linebacker Nick Barnett, Bengals running back Quincy Williams , and Browns receiver Mike Mason have started moving the balls and chains again with their reported involvement in assorted altercations.