Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Christmas Past visits Mr. Irvin

Yeah, I'm feeling lazy and un-blog-like, so here's the column I did for this week. I wound up feeling pretty pleased for the Ted Nugent simile.

Christmas Past
visits Mr. Irvin

Turret Sports Editor

Christmas season is here. You can tell because people have been standing in line outside Wal-Mart, trampling old ladies on their way to the sales.

Friday afternoon I was listening to the radio, and based on the hourly news reports it seemed like anarchy had broken out at department store franchises across the country. At one southern Circuit City, for example, police were called in for "crowd control."

Indeed, the ghosts of Christmases Past, Present, and Future will soon be here - although they might be a few hours late since they'll likely be stuck in traffic near the mall.

One of these ghosts - Past - managed to catch up with former Dallas wide receiver Michael Irvin this week. The retired player was pulled over doing 78 mph in a 60 mph zone, but was booked on a misdemeanor charge for possession of drug paraphernalia. Arresting officers found a marijuana pipe in a Versace sunglasses case in Irvin's car.

Bear with me now as I take you, gentle readers, down a rather convoluted rabbit hole. Irvin said the pipe (and the plastic baggies containing marijuana residue, which were also found in the sunglasses case) belonged to a friend of his who was battling drug addiction.

This friend apparently came over to the Irvins' place for Thanksgiving dinner, where the normal custom, it seems, is to pat down guests before letting them in for turkey. This search allegedly turned up the pipe and baggies, which subsequently found their way into Irvin's car.

Instead of, say, the trash.

After that, it just sort of slipped his mind to get rid of the pipe.

Okay, so maybe I'm being a little too Ebeneezer-like for the holiday season. It would certainly be in the spirit of Christmas to extend the benefit of the doubt to poor Irvin, right?

Unfortunately, Irvin doesn't exactly have a great track record to fall back on as far as drugs are concerned. He was arrested in 1996 and pled no contest to a felony cocaine possession charge, and again for drugs in 2000.

Besides, "benefit of the doubt" is leaving the vocabulary of sports fans faster than animal rights activists fleeing Ted Nugent's private property.

Rafael "Never, Ever, Ever Done Steroids" Palmeiro already left us a huge lump of coal this year after testing positive for the very substance about which he testified before Congress, essentially saying that he hadn't even heard of it.

I'm really not all that worked up about Irvin's drug possession charge. He's paid the fine and will go back to work. I just think it's hilarious that he came up with such a weird story to go along with it.

It's not as if he's helping to ruin America's pastime, unlike certain Viagra spokespersons I could name.

The happiest people to hear the news, though, must have assuredly been the good people at the Bay Area Laboratory Cooperative in San Francisco. Yes, on hearing about Irvin's arrest, BALCO could finally cheer, saying, "Finally! A professional sports-related drug charge, and it doesn't involve us!"


UPDATE: Open Post at Mudville!