If the NFL was a game of Monopoly, yesterday Perrish Cox pulled the Go To Jail card.
Do not pass Dove Valley. Do not collect $405,000.
In this game, you can't roll doubles, nor can you purchase (for any amount of money) a Get Out Of Jail Free card from Demaryius Thomas or Cassius Vaughn. They are too busy looking for cover.
Cox is easy pickins, Broncos fans. You'll see dozens of columns over the next month criticizing his character and his integrity. Further, you'll hear a lot of pundits play the I told you so card. And that's just fine. Fans aren't required to withhold judgement until all the facts are in. While Cox is innocent until proven guilty in the court of law, as a member of the Denver Broncos, the story told in the arrest warrent is easily enough for the fans and the Broncos to run him out of town.
Roger Goodell won't be distracted by the law. If Cox is guilty, he's in jail; if he's not, Goodell is likely to suspend him for at least six games (Roethlisberger style).
I'm guessing that right now, John Elway could care less how well Perrish Cox plays man coverage.
He can't cover it as a member of the Denver Broncos.
Can Demaryius Thomas and Cassius Vaughn? I think it's a valid question after reading the report. Assuming the lockout is nearing an end, what do you think Roger Goodell is going to do when he reads this story? Is he going to see Thomas and Vaughn's behavior as simple frolic? No way, my orange and blue friends. At best, Thomas and Vaughn come across as hiding something from police and playing silly texting games with the accuser. At worst, Thomas and Vaughn were much more sinister. We'll likely never know. Either way, I'd bet Roger Goodell is going to bring a fastball high and tight; he's going to knock them off the plate for a game or two.
Perhaps I'm wrong, however. Perhaps Goodell will consider that Vaughn is such a steward of feminine hygiene, the first thing he thinks of in the morning is the shower habits of friends. Mighty thoughtful of him. Or perhaps, he'll see Thomas' absence from a scheduled meeting with police as Thomas' way of helping police hasten their investigation.
When the Broncos drafted Thomas with their first pick last year, Thomas was paraded in front of the media as the new face of so-called "character guys." Thomas was quoted as saying:
Basically, when I was coming up, my mother and my grandmother got put in prison and I always told myself that I didn't want to get into a position to get myself into no trouble. So, I've been around the right crowd... Once I did that, everything changed in my life. I always wanted to be around the right crowd and didn't want to get in no trouble. I didn't want to be that guy that is always talked about that he's a bad guy and so, I just put myself around the right crowd.
I guess there was a reason he used the past tense. Unless Tim Tebow is riding shotgun, Perrish Cox is not a good first choice for clubbing buddy.
Here was another epic quote from Thomas regarding Dez Bryant:
I know I am a better person than Dez.
Oh yeah? I guess I'll have to down some sedatives and hang out with Dez on an air mattress for awhile before I can make a firm judgement either way. Maybe Bryant and Thomas should compare who wears baggier pants.
Vaughn had this to say yesterday:
I cooperated with the police and I was cleared of everything.
It's true. Law and ethics are two different things.
Unfortunately, the Perrish Cox story has been written hundreds of times in the NFL and across college campuses in the last decade. Give single, twenty-something athletes - who have rarely had to learn impulse control - a lot of cash (or the promise of future cash), and you're going to get more than your typical after school special. Hide the children and women--especially if those women like going out to clubs.
I'll save the moralizing, grandstanding, and proselytizing to others. Frankly, it's not my skill set. Neither is acting like the fan who is so blinded by team colors, he blames the accuser for "putting herself into that situation." Watch, you'll be sure to see it. Someone will undoubtedly say the accuser is a "slut" because she went on to have sex multiple times with Wesley "wrap that Jimmy" Woodyard or because she kissed and allowed herself to be groped by Thomas before passing out.
Instead, it's time to say what everyone already knows:
As much as the Denver Broncos have become a joke on the field over the last two seasons, they've been a bigger punchline off it.
If it's not D.J. Williams, it's Laurence Maroney. If it's not Perrish Cox, it's Jason Hunter. Every team has its share of problems, but let's admit it--things are getting absolutely ridiculous, complete with Jerry Springer-like DNA testing.
How much of this goes back to Josh McDaniels? It's another question that will never have a good answer. I've defended McDaniels for so long, I feel like he ought to be sending me a Sam Bradford jersey. However, I have been asking myself today, "Can John Elway and John Fox do any worse?"
I shoud also spend some time chastising guys like Champ Bailey and Brian Dawkins, who we were told were going to be good for the younger players, both on and off the field. However, it's impossible to know what Dawkins and Bailey have or haven't done to guide them. I suppose I should just be happy Bailey remained with the Broncos during this entire circus.
So I'll leave you with this: Does it even matter if Tim Tebow can become an elite quarterback anymore?
Isn't an average Tebow good enough? At least once Tebow's leading this team, I won't have to read the phrase, "what do u kno about that night?"
TJ Johnson can be reached through telegraph, ESP, Spanish interpretor, or via email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Facebook and Twitter if you want to see him mock "the man." He assumes you are following It’s All Over Fat Man on Facebook and Twitter, but if you are not, that’s nihilistic, man.