Pros and Cons
One of my favorite movies is "The Longest Yard". It's a sports drama about a sadistic warden (Eddie Albert) who asks a former pro quarter back (Burt Reynolds) now serving time in his prison, to put together a team of inmates to take on (and get abused by) the guards. The cast is studded with ex-NFL players. The movie was made in 1974 when there was a difference between pro football players and prison inmates. If they made the movie today, it wouldn't be a drama.......it would be a reality show. There are plenty of ex-NFL players in prison, and plenty more that should be.
It's no longer a surprise to open the newspaper and find that an NFL player has been arrested, charged or convicted of a crime. While the Raiders and the Cowboys have a well deserved reputation of recruiting and developing criminals, the Dolphins are also well represented in local, state and federal prisons. Recently, I opened the paper to find that fan favorite, Oronde Gadsden has been arrested for DUI. This arrest came on the heels of the arrest of Eddie Moore, Miami's 2nd round pick from the 2003 draft.
It's unlikely that these arrests will have a significant impact on the Dolphins in 2004, but you have to wonder what will happen if more players end up in the slammer. Will we have to request a weekend work release program in order to field a team? I thought it would be fun to take a look at putting together a full team using only present or former Dolphins that have criminal records, have been charged with a crime, or been suspended by the NFL for substance abuse. Would it be possible and how good a team would you have?
Despite my exhaustive research into the criminal history of Dolphin players, I was unable to put together a full roster of 11 offensive players, 11 defensive players, a punter and a kicker. It was necessary to draft a couple of players from other teams. I identify these "incarcerated agents" in orange.
We will need a warden/head coach to watch over our criminal dolphin team, and who better than the man who brought the bulk of them in, Jimmy Johnson. While it's true that Jimmy was never charged with a crime, his association with "known convicted felons" is well documented.
There is a theory in the NFL that offensive linemen are the smartest guys on the field, and the make up of our team would tend to support that. I couldn't find a single offensive lineman with the Dolphins that has had a serious legal problem, other than Searcy who was signed by Miami, but never played due to injury. No problem with the skill positions, we are solid (with plenty of depth) at both wide receiver and running back.
- Wide Receiver - David Boston
- (2002 Drug Possession and DUI, pleaded no contest)
- Wide Receiver - Mark Duper
- (1989 Accused of Rape, charges eventually dropped, 1994 charged with buying cocaine with intent to sell)
- Wide Receiver - Mark Clayton
- (1993 Dead Beat Dad)
- Tight End - Eric Green
- (1992 Substance Abuse)
- Quarterback - Brian Griese
- (2001 DUI)
- Running Back- Eugene "Mercury" Morris
- (1982 cocaine trafficking, got 20 years)
- Right Tackle - Leon Searcy
- (2001, spousal abuse, battery)
- Right Guard - Carlton Haselrig [from the Steelers]
- (1993, 1994, 1995 DUI, Substance abuse, parole violation)
- Center - Mike Webster [from the Steelers]
- (1999 forging prescriptions)
- Left Tackle - Levi Jones [from the Bengals]
- (2004, interfering with a police officer, assault)
- Left Guard - Keno Hills [from the Saints]
- (1998 Heroine possession, weapons charge)
I almost put together a complete defense from Dolphin's with arrest records, but I couldn't come up a strong safety and ended up having to pick up Darius Johnson from the Broncos. I picked Johnson, not because of his talent on the field, but because of his classy crime - slapping a topless dancer.
- Corner - Patrick Surtain
- (2000 DUI)
- Corner - Fulton Walker
- (1989 second degree sexual assault, 2002 convicted of possession)
- Left End - Demetrius Underwood
- (2003 robbed man in wheelchair - found incompetent to stand trial)
- Defensive Tackle - Jermaine Haley
- (2003 DUI)
- Defensive Tackle - Shane Burton
- (2nd DUI)
- Right End - Jim Dunaway
- (2002, charged with murdering ex-wife, lost civil suit when children sued him for wrongful death)
- Linebacker - Derrick Rodgers
- (1998 DUI; 2002 battery, aggravated battery, resisting arrest with violence)
- Middle Linebacker - Eddie Moore
- (2004 disorderly conduct)
- Linebacker - Aubrey Beavers
- (2003, felony marijuana possession)
- Free Safety - Gene Atkins
- (1989 arson, 2nd degree attempted murder, conspiracy to commit battery)
- Strong Safety - Darius Johnson [from the Broncos]
- (1999 assault)
I have always been impressed with the quality of Miami's special teams, but we fall short when it comes to convicted felons.....in fact, with the exception of Janikowski, I am not aware of a single NFL punter or kicker with a police record. It was necessary to bring up a kid from college to complete the team.
- Kicker - Sebastian Janikowski [from the Raiders]
- (2000, 2001, 2002 bribery, possession, DUI)
- Punter - Jimmy Kibble [from Virginia Tech, tried out with Pats and Skins]
- (4 counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor...banging high school girls)
If any of our convicts get tired late in the game, have no fear - we have a pretty strong bench. Here is a partial list of available substitutes. My apologies if your favorite dolphin is missing.
- WR Oronde Gadsden
- (2004 DUI)
- WR Charles Jordon
- (car theft, felony theft, reckless driving, charged with murder)
- WR - Tony Martin
- (1999 drug money laundering)
- WR - Lamar Thomas
- (battery on his fiancee, parole violation)
- WR Mark Ingram
- (holding counterfeit currency, dead beat dad, car theft)
- WR Robert Baker
- (1998 drug trafficking)
- WR Lamar Thomas
- (battery on his fiancee, parole violation)
- WR Dedric Ward
- (2001 accused of drugging and raping a woman, charges dropped)
- RB - Sammy Smith
- (drug trafficking)
- RB - Lawrence Phillips
- (1996 domestic assault, 2003 sexual assault)
- RB - Cecil Collins
- (2001 sexual assault, breaking and entering, burglary, serving 15 years )
- RB - Fulton Walker
- (1989 second degree sexual assault)
- RB - Lamar Smith
- (2003 tried for vehicular assault and DUI)
- RB - Stacey Spikes
- (1995 domestic abuse, assault)
- RB - Jack Harper
- (2001 illegal alligator harvesting, identity theft)
- CB - Ben Kelly
- (2003 DUI)
What's so impressive about the list is the variety of crimes. You kind of expect assault and drugs to show up on the rap sheets, and yes, even murder.....but illegal alligator harvesting? Running a prostitution ring? That really caught me off guard. Well done boys.
Now that we have our roster filled out, it's time to consider just how competitive this team would be. Offensively, I think we are solid. If we had these players in their prime, this would be an offense to be reckoned with. Defensively, the team falls short. With the exception of Surtain, the players are average at best. Hopefully, Warden Jimmy will be able to put up a lot of points.
And there you have it. Close your eyes and imagine how it would be...........sitting in Joe Robme Stadium.........the announcer's voice booms on the stadium PA system as the players (dressed in aqua and orange prison stripes) take the field.........
"Here are yoooouuurrrr Miami Dolphinssssss!!!!!!! At wide receiver, he could elude the defensive backs, but he couldn't elude the DEA......MARK DUPER!!!!! At running back, when he isn't through opposing defenses, he's running cocaine, MERCURY MORRIS........."
Disclaimer - in fairness, I have to point out that I have listed the charges filed against players. In some cases, these charges were reduced or dropped. Some charges are still pending, and we all know that you are innocent until proven guilty.