The [Wednesday] Papers
So I've learned something valuable from Lance Briggs this week:
If I'm ever driving while royally stinking drunk and I total my car on an expressway at three in the morning, my best strategy is to flee the scene and report the accident later - maybe even report my car stolen first - because apparently lying to and evading the authorities is just a measly misdemeanor unlikely to result in much more than community service and a fine of a couple thousand dollars. Who knew?
Not that I know Briggs was royally stinking drunk, but then we'll never know will we?
And that's the point of the lesson habitual drunk drivers, teenagers fearing their parents' wrath, and, well, the rest of us can take from this: Evade the police at all costs in the aftermath of a crackup. Sober up. Take your chances later. Briggs is free on a hundred-dollar bond and faces a maximum of one year in jail and a $2,500 fine. That's a much better proposition than the one he faced had he stuck around.
He will not spend a year in jail. He will likely not spend any time in jail. Either way, he's way better off than having to answer a bunch of questions and face a DUI charge. And you'll be better off too.
Who says athletes aren't role models?
So leaving the scene of your own accident doesn't violate team rules?
The Tribune's Rick Morrissey has it right:
"Some of us still are trying to figure out what Lovie Smith's threshold for poor behavior is when it comes to his players. Is there anything that makes him mad?
"Does it take a felony? Or would, say, four misdemeanors and a Denver boot do the trick? What about some combination of speeding tickets, court fines and a citizen's arrest? Would that bring a snarl to his lip?
"Tank Johnson's problems with guns, pit bulls and late-night carousing didn't seem to hack off the Bears coach publicly in any appreciable way. Smith acted more like a disappointed favorite uncle.
"Ricky Manning Jr.'s troubles with the law brought bouquets of forgiveness from Smith.
"Lance Briggs totals his car the other morning, abandons it, calls 911 to say it has been stolen, then calls back to say, no, it hasn't - and Smith doesn't blink, unless it's to wipe away a tear of thanksgiving that air-bag deployment wasn't necessary.
"But ask Smith if he had inquired of his linebacker whether alcohol might have been involved in the one-car accident in the wee hours, and the guy gets snippy and dismissive with reporters . . . Imagine the positive public response if, for once, Smith said he was getting sick of dealing with these problems."
Exactly. Instead, Smith has lost us.
"Hearsay," Smith said. "The facts haven't come to me that way."
Oh? Care to share?
"He got in a car wreck," Urlacher said. "I got in a car wreck two years ago too. Some lady ran into me. I'm just glad Lance talked to the fans and let them know he's OK. That's a good thing."
Yeah, that's pretty much the same thing. I hate how the media overblows spoiled multimillionaire athletes endangering innocent lives only to see teammates rally around like the insulated self-absorbed brats that they are. Wanna go electrocute some dogs?
Bonding Over Briggs
"It's all about finding the positive in professional sports, so there can be little surprise that Briggs' near-disaster left some Bears with a sense of euphoria," the Sun-Times's Mike Mulligan writes.
"The feeling was that Briggs got away with one by hightailing it out of the accident site before police had time to question him about drag-racing, drinking, speeding or just what the heck he was doing on the Edens just after 3 a.m. the morning of a practice."
The Trib's Haugh concurred.
""Monday, after learning Briggs was safe, many Bears even seemed to enjoy it."
Briggs was driving a $400,000 Lamborghini and just signed a $7.2 million contract.
Traffic fines are for the little people.
Then again, maybe it's always improper lane usage when you leave them.
God bless Wikipedia, which is already there.
The Beachwood Tip Line: Riding shotgun.
Posted on August 29, 2007
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