Life with a chihuahua
You gotta love Bill Belichick. Just when you thought the brainiac coach had finally lost his touch, perhaps succumbing to the relentless abuse sent his way all off-season by terminal penis envy–sufferer/Boston Globe scribe Ron Borges, Mr. Andover rights the ship with a masterstroke free-agency signing — bolstering the Patriot backfield with one of the all-time greats of sports-crime lore, former Kansas City Chiefs cornerback Eric Warfield.
Unlike football-crime legends such as Lawrence Phillips, Cecil “The Diesel” Collins, and Sebastian Janikowski, Eric Warfield has never been distinguished by the length of his rap sheet. Instead, Warfield’s fame arises from the fact of his being the subject of one of the greatest pieces of sportswriting this generation has seen: a May 2005 Kansas City Star piece called “Long Way Home” by Elizabeth Merrill.
In that piece, Merrill shared some very hard time with Warfield in his luxury “prison” — actually his sweeping 5000-square-foot manse/estate in Lee’s Summit, Missouri — on day 47 of the big cornerback’s house arrest following his third DUI conviction. The article contains numerous delicious scenes of gritty pro-sports realism, including one in which Warfield is forced to clean up the mess left on a rug by Nelly, his new Chihuahua — a dog for which he has just bought a $6000 gold necklace. Warfield, the reporter explains, is known for carrying Nelly to Chiefs practice in a $1500 Louis Vuitton bag. During a heartfelt moment in the garage, he confesses, “I love Range Rovers. Of all the cars I’ve driven, that’s probably the most luxurious.” The five books on Warfield’s nightstand: two copies of the Bible, Bill Clinton’s My Life, an Alcoholics Anonymous manual, and Living With a Chihuahua. All in all, the Merrill piece was one of the most hilarious portraits of a modern pro athlete yet captured by an American sportswriter — a sort of Notes From the Underground meets The White Shadow meets Paris Hilton.
Now Warfield — who has been busted for X-treme DUIs three times, including once when he had a Sabonis-esque 0.189 blood-alcohol reading — is in Foxboro to play for the Patriots, a team that traditionally has had very little patience with this kind of athlete. If Belichick couldn’t take Terry Glenn, Kenyatta Jones, or Hakim (Escalade) Akbar, how’s he going to like Warfield and his 400 pairs of shoes? This whole situation reeks of Vin Baker. Stay tuned ... It’s not easy being greene
Speaking of DUI ...
In the second Boston Celtics arrest of the year, offensively challenged backup point guard Orien Greene got rung up last week for driving 90 on the back streets of Waltham, complicating matters by making what police described as “evasive movements” after the pursuing officers turned on their sirens.
Waltham has been bad news for numerous Celtics in the past. Cup-of-coffee sodomite Marcus Webb was arrested following an incident with an unnamed woman in a Waltham apartment. The notorious Dee Brown mistaken-identity arrest — in which the gregarious Floridian was busted in his rookie season by overzealous white cops for being black and in a car at the time of a nearby bank robbery — took place not far from where Greene was arrested, although the Brown arrest was technically in Wellesley.
Greene was not the only rookie athlete to get hit with a DUI bust last week. Highly touted Minnesota Twins left-handed pitching prospect Francisco Liriano was busted in the waning days of spring training for driving 56 in a 35 mph zone in Cape Coral, Florida. Unlike Greene, however, police in Cape Coral said there was “no attempt to flee or anything like that.”
Speaking of house arrest, here’s a heartwarming tale with which to end this week’s installment. Onetime performance-enhancing-drug king Victor Conte was released from the Taft Correctional Institution last week after serving four months for supplying athletes with illegal drugs. Conte, whom one athlete once called “the smartest son of a bitch I ever met,” will now serve a four-month house arrest in, of all places, San Mateo, California. New England sports junkies will recognize San Mateo as the hometown of Tom Brady; it’s also the hometown of one Barry Bonds. How will Conte pass the time? Perhaps by playing with his golden retriever. The dog’s name? Balco.
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Matt Taibbi: email@example.com