Does It Matter That Fred Davis Was Partying the Night Before a Game?

Brad Gagnon@Brad_Gagnon NFL National ColumnistJuly 3, 2012

LANDOVER, MD - SEPTEMBER 11:   Fred Davis #83 of the Washington Redskins at FedExField on September 11, 2011 in Landover, Maryland.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

It's July, and thus we don't have a lot of news stories to react to in the NFC East. On a day like today, for example, I'm half-wishing the Cowboys, Giants, Eagles or Redskins could've been involved in the bounty scandal. 

Yet this gives us a chance to take a closer-than-usual look at a potentially trivial yet fascinating and downright hilarious story involving Washington tight end Fred Davis.

See, Davis, who is slated to make $5.5 million in 2012, has rather inexplicably opted to defend himself without a lawyer in a civil case in which the plaintiff alleges he roughed her up.

Details from the Washingtonian's Luke Mullins:

For the past 18 months, Washington Redskins tight end Fred Davis has been quietly engaged in a legal soap opera with a woman he knows from the nightclub scene, according to court documents and courtroom testimony.

On January 10, 2011, Makini R. Chaka, 33, filed a civil complaint against Davis after he allegedly dumped juice on her head and busted her lip at a Washington, DC, nightclub. In court documents and testimony, Chaka accused Davis of assaulting, harassing, and threatening to kill her.

OK, not every part of the story is hilarious, but the fact that this has flown under the radar for a year-and-a-half is baffling. More baffling is Davis' decision to act as his own counsel. Expectedly, there's been some unintended comedy. Like when the 26-year-old tight end, who according to his former lawyer (via Mullins) has no legal training, noted in a closing argument in April that the accusations were, as reported by The Washington Post, "all made up and flagellant."

Yeah, I strongly recommend that you check out all of the golden exchanges between Chaka, who is also representing herself, and Davis, as highlighted here by Mullins.

But the development of the day came when Dan Steinberg of the D.C. Sports Bog stumbled upon evidence in the transcript that incriminated Davis, at least within an unwritten NFL rulebook. 

In the document, Davis writes that "on or around Saturday, December 3, 2012, I attended a party hosted by Promoter Eric Taylor at Cafe Asia located at 1720 I Street, NW, Washington, D.C., 20006."

Anyhow, you'll note that "December 3, 2012" is a date that hasn't technically occurred yet, a fact ably noted in court by Chaka, who like Davis is representing herself.

Chaka: What's the date of today?

Davis: I don't know what today is. All I know is I had court today.

Chaka: You don't know what today's date is? His document is not even valid.

Davis: What are you talking about? . . .

Chaka: Well, according to your statement, to bullet No. 5, it says that this event happened December 3rd, 2012.

Davis: Okay, and, what about it?

Chaka: Has December 3rd, 2012 even happened yet?

Davis: What?

Chaka: What? That's the same thing I'm saying, Mr. Davis.

Davis: It was a misprint. Okay, December 3rd, 2011, okay, great.

Compelling and rich. It's like they're playing a make-believe courtroom game, except in a real court of law and with taxpayer money.

Anyway, what really matters—well, not to me, but to somebody—is that Davis was partying the night before an afternoon game.

As Steinberg notes, Davis played the next day against the New York Jets, amassing 99 receiving yards (his second-highest output of 2011) on six catches (also his second-highest total of 2011).

The party that night was scheduled to run until 3:00 a.m., but there's no evidence that Davis was present until that time or that he was drinking. In fact, the document states that Davis left the venue when the plaintiff arrived.

Now I'm sure Mike Shanahan and I have different perspectives on this, and—for now, anyway—he's an NFL head coach and I'm sitting in my 500-square foot condo, typing feverishly about a silly civil trial while trying to decide which type of pizza to order for dinner. Still, I have two questions.

1. Do we really expect 25-year-old millionaires to spend their Saturday nights with Netflix? 

2. Do we really care?

These guys made it to the pros doing what they do. Some go out and party, others don't. Some might change, others won't. But the same rules that apply to the majority of American employees should apply to dudes like Fred Davis. If you're on time and you're sober and ready to produce, I couldn't care less what you do in your spare time. (So long as it's legal, which wasn't the case when Davis was suspended for drugs later that season.)

I'm curious to find out if this kind of stuff bothers Redskins fans, or if it only vexes you guys in a case such as this one because it further strengthens the notion that Davis is a problem child.