You know I sat here for a few minutes, sipping my coffee while watching the United States women's team pull out an exciting win over Brazil during the FIFA Woman's World Cup, wondering if we shouldn't revert our reference of Adam Jones back to Pacman; the name he tried so hard to kill while trying to redefine his imagine after a history of conduct that turned Jones into a laughable caricature. Jones' off-the-field conduct was so bad, NFL Commissioner offered Jones a letter during his suspension in 2008, partially writing that his conduct showed "a disturbing pattern of behavior and clearly inconsistent with the conditions I set for your continued participation in the NFL."
Jones was briefly arrested in mid-October last year regarding a case of mistaken identity after driving on the sidewalk in front of Great American Ballpark. Witnesses supported Jones' claim that he was merely avoiding a collision. However after running a "routine check" on Jones, police discovered "some type of open warrant" and arrested him. Jones was reportedly "combative and belligerent during the arrest." A history of behavior, even with a case of mistaken identity, doesn't favor Jones considering that same behavior showed up early Sunday morning.
That being said, this is the point in time we have to offer caution, even though Jones history suggests he shouldn't be granted as much.
A reminder of this is the case of Cedric Benson.
Last year, the Bengals running back was arrested in late June for an assault at a Texas nightclub. The incident reportedly took place over Memorial weekend, nearly a full month earlier. The affidavit of Benson's arrest clearly showed him as an aggressive lunatic.
The 27-year-old current running back for the Cincinnati Bengals had been involved in an altercation at the establishment and was being escorted out when he punched an employee, according to an arrest affidavit.
The affidavit said the May 30 incident began at 1:50 a.m. when a fight began between Benson and an unknown person inside the bar. Club staff separated them, at which time Benson shoved a manager “in an attempt to continue the fight he was previously engaged in,” the affidavit said.
The affidavit said Benson spit blood from his injured lip at a bar employee.
Guilty, guilty, guilty, the court of public opinion shouts. Then suspicion arose. Benson's attorney described the night's events in a released statement:
"Late last month at a nightclub, Cedric Benson was asked to take pictures with some female fans," Cornwell says. "A man approached Cedric and objected to him posing for pictures with the women. Cedric explained that he had been asked to pose with the women and the man punched Cedric.
"An altercation followed and while Cedric was leaving the club, he was approached by another man aggressively. Believing this man was a friend of the man who had punched him; Cedric attempted to protect himself and continued out of the club. Immediately upon leaving the club, Cedric called the police. He was interviewed by the police and left the area.
Even the league, heavy-handed with personal conduct to clean up their image, considered the incident as a "very minor" case. Marvin Lewis supported Benson, saying he was sucker-punched (something Lewis doesn't offer with active legal cases). NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell met with Benson in late July, calling it a productive meeting that resulted in Benson avoiding any disciplinary action (at least for the time being). The trial, still ongoing, was recently postponed for late August.
Now there's the obvious here, a variable to consider that largely incorporates the behavior of the two. Even though Benson still faces assault charges in Texas, we're largely led to believe that Benson was defending himself leaving the building. Most of Benson's previous issues before the alleged assault are primarily from the love of drinking. Bad choices. But not a history of violence. Jones is a completely different matter. The Las Vegas incident that most remember led to Jones pleading no contest to one charge of conspiracy to commit disorderly conduct and given 200 hours of community service, narrowly avoiding two felony charges due to a plea deal. Jones was accused of hitting a woman at a strip club in 2008, but the woman later withdrew the warrant. Jones also had an "altercation" with his bodyguard in Dallas. Even though no arrests were made, the league still suspended Jones four games for the incident.
Before the 2006 preseason, Bengals defensive lineman Matthis Askew was arrested and tasered after struggling with police officers. Askew reportedly decided to ignore an officers warning to move his illegally parked car. The Bengals released him soon after. Askew sued the city of Cincinnati for $50 million, accusing Cincinnati police of excessive force. Charges were later dropped.
All of that being said, the one thing we've learned since running this blog is that we need to remain cautiously patient to allow this stuff to work itself out. Even with Pacman's history.