Now, I know that there are plenty of dumbasses at any given moment, but occasionally, one stands out from the rest. Today's is good ol' Maurice Clarett. Those of you who don't regularly follow sports and sports news might be glancing around, wondering "Who the hell is 'Maurice Clarett'?" The short of version of his bio might read, "Maurice Clarett showed great potential and tremendous ability as a freshman running back at Ohio State during 2002 season, but in the years since, his life has slowly crumbled to the point he is now facing robbery and gun charges." Fun, huh?
OK, so lets take a look at Clarett's timeline and we'll see just how big a dumbass he has been:
Jan. 2003: Scores the winning touchdown to give Ohio State the win over Miami in the National Championship game. So far, so good.
July 2003: Is accused of getting preferential treatment by a teacher at Ohio State. No so good, but it's not like this is the first time star athletes have been given a break. He was just stupid to place himself in a situation where the accusation could even come up. Dumbass move #1
Sept. 2003: Is charged with falsifying a police report for reporting $10,000 worth of property stolen from a car he had rented. Now we're getting into really bad things. Can you say "misdemeanor"? Dumbass move #2
Sept. 2003: Is suspended for the season by Ohio State for receiving thousands of dollars worth of "special" benefits. Everyone who goes through NCAA sports knows this is a violation of policies - hell, even most people who watch NCAA sports know this! Dumbass move #3
Sept. 2003: Sues the NFL, challenging a policy which states that players have to have been out of high school at least 3 years to be eligible for the draft. OK, now he has angered football personnel at both the college and pro levels. BIG Dumbass move #4
Jan. 2004: Pleads guilty of "failure to aid law enforcement" (a reduced charge from the falsified report in Sept. 2003). Still a dumbass for doing it in the first place, but at least he is taking some responsibility. No additional dumbass charges here.
Feb.-April 2004: Court rules in favor of Clarett over the NFL. The ruling in over turned by a federal court. Clarett files an emergency appeal with the Supreme Court, who refuse to even hear the case. Clarett is forced to wait until the 2005 draft to be eligible. Now he just looks like a REALLY BIG dumbass. Dumbass move #5
April 2005: Is drafted in the third round by my Denver Broncos. This is a real surprise that he went this early, as most were predicting a sixth or seventh round pick, but Mike Shanahan has been know do make some bold moves in the draft. Clarett makes the statement that he is happy to just have a chance and won't squander the opportunity. Maybe he is finally growing up some. No dumbass move here.
Aug. 2005: Complains that he is not getting enough reps in practice, is injured, calls for the dismissal of a Broncos assistant coach for yelling at him, and is repeatedly heard before practices to say something to effect of "I have to get my 'goose' on" (keep this in mind for later!). Predictably, he is cut by the Broncos. So, you don't want to squander your opportunity, huh? Dumbass moves #6, #7, and #8
Jan. 2006: Is accused of robbing two people at gunpoint in a Columbus, OH, alley. Turns himself in. The turning himself in is a very good thing, but it does not out weigh the VERY bad thing of armed robbery. Dumbass move #9
Aug. 2006: Is pulled over (for reckless driving) after a short chase. Police order him out of the car. They are forced to try and physically remove him when he won't comply, and when that fails, they hit with a taser to no effect. Clarett is finally removed after being maced, which is when police discover the taser had no effect because Clarett was wearing a bullet-proof vest. In the car they discover a hatchet, an AK-47 assault rifle (loaded), three handguns (also loaded) one of which was found to have been under his leg before the police pulled him out of the driver's seat, and a bottle of Grey Goose vodka (getting his "goose on" I guess). It has also been reported by ESPN that he was within blocks of the home of a woman who was scheduled to testify against him in the armed robbery case. Dumbass moves #10 through #19
Really, how can a person make so many completely dumbass moves in such a short span of time? And I acknowledge that he has not been convicted of anything yet, but you have to admit that it doesn't look good. My roommate commented that this is probably just an example of a star athlete who had become accustomed to having everyone kiss their ass all the time and now thinks that they can get away with anything they want. Possibly so. But there have been other athletes who started out this way and managed to learn the truth pretty quick. No, my guess is that it is a combination of things. Yes, the star athlete treatment thing is a big part of it. But there is also the suspected alcohol abuse, a very clear sense of entitlement, the possibility of being a habitual liar (there were other reported instances of him lying to people when he thought it would benefit him), and a profound sense of paranoia (he has claimed to have received death threats and that his telephone was bugged - I have no idea if this is all true or not, but he clearly believes it to be). And biggest of all, I think, HE'S A DUMBASS! Regardless of what comes of these latest troubles, I get the feeling this is not the last we've heard of Maurice Clarett. I don't know, but maybe at this he'll actually be able to turn his life around. We'll just have to wait and see.
Thursday, Aug. 10, 2006, 1:30 PM (AZ Time)
According to SI.com, Clarett's bail for this latest charge has been set to $5 MILLION! Citing Clarett as "a threat to the community," assistant prosecutor Chris Brown, originally had asked Judge Andrea Peeples to set bail at a minimum of $1 million. She decided that $1 was nowhere near enough. Clarett's attorney, Nick Mango, called the amount excessive - No. Shit. Sherlock. That's kind of the point - you want the judge to set a low bail for someone who was carrying four loaded guns, wearing a bullet-proof vest, was in the area of the home of a potential witness against them, and tried to run from the cops? Ladies and gentlemen, I present, for your amusement, another DUMBASS!