Apr 182008
 
Authors: Joseph Haynie

What should have been the celebration of one of the best NBA seasons in Denver Nuggets history was sidelined Monday by the newest addition to star Carmelo Anthony’s already crowded resume of controversy.

On Monday morning, Denver Nuggets star Carmelo Anthony was arrested for suspicion of DUI. The police reported that Anthony was weaving in and out of lanes and failed to dim his lights.

He’s at least showing some maturity, though. At a press conference held this past Tuesday, Anthony said he was there to man up “to (his) mistake” and to apologize for the bad timing of the incident, especially with the playoffs looming.

The recent arrest surprised many, especially Nuggets coach George Karl.

When asked by reporters what he thought of the arrest, Karl said, “I thought we were past this point.”

But given Anthonyís history should we really be surprised?

Since entering the league, Anthony has been linked to several controversies. In 2004, he was stopped at Denver International Airport for possession of marijuana. Later on, one of his friends claimed it was his and Anthony got off.

In 2005, Anthony appeared in a Baltimore based video titled “Stop Snitchin” The video was part of a campaign that encouraged people to not participate with criminal investigations.

Anthony claimed his appearance was just a joke and that the message shouldnít be taken seriously. In hindsight, I don’t know if he was talking about the film or his career.

In 2007, Anthony was suspended for 15 games for his involvement in an on-court brawl.

At his first game back, after player introductions, Anthony apologized, expressed his gratitude for the fans’ support and said “We’re going to give y’all something to cheer for.”

Cheer for what? A first-round exit in the playoffs? Watching you play pathetic defense? Or how about more excuses? Hopefully you are seeing a theme developing.

Of course, what athletes do in their personal life is none of our business, but drinking and driving, especially when it involves public roads, is a big deal.

The St Louis Cardinals know what I’m talking about. At the beginning of last season, instead of celebrating a recent World Series championship, the Cardinals organization was mourning the death of pitcher Josh Hancock who died after his car crashed into a parked tow truck. An autopsy later showed that Hancock was highly intoxicated.

Furthermore, stupid antics off the court or field of play can have a detrimental effect on oneí’s career.

Just look at former Denver Bronco Brian Griese. Toward the end of his tenure, Griese was throwing down more shots than touchdowns.

The excessive consumption of alcohol, mixed with stupidity, resulted in not only an arrest for a DUI, but injuries as well. A drunk Griese, while attending a teammateís house party, stumbled down his driveway, ultimately injuring his shoulder. What used to be one of the most reliable arms in the league is now a second-string journeyman, playing for his fourth team in six years.

In light of Michael Vick’s dog fighting, Adam “Pacman” Jones’ affinity for mingling strippers with booze and firearms and numerous other examples of athletes gone wild, one thing is for sure: Dignity needs to return to sports.

One shouldn’t expect athletes to attend weekly team Bible studies like members of the Colorado Rockies, but we should expect them to clean up their act.

As athletes and superstars, these people, especially Anthony, have a strong youth following. They are role models and heroes. This may not have been in the job description, but it’s unavoidably part of the package.

If Anthony wants to give us something to really cheer for, maybe he should stay out of trouble for once.

Joseph Haynie is a senior political science major. His column appears Fridays in the Collegian. Letters and feedback can be sent to letters@collegian.com.

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