Antonio Cromartie: Seven Things You Should Know (Besides His Kid Count)
Antonio Cromartie sent bloggers running to their computers and fathers running to their daughters after Wednesday night's Hard Knocks episode in which the sometimes troubled cornerback struggled to quickly recite the names and ages of all eight of his children.
In fairness, I'd struggle keeping track of that many names too.
The San Diego Chargers let the talented cornerback go only two years after a Pro Bowl season in 2007.
Rumors swirled that his off-the-field "transgressions" were taking away from his on-field performance.
He has found a new home in New York and, with Darrelle Revis potentially lost for the year, Cromartie may be the Jets number one CB.
But who is Antonio Cromartie? Who is the man behind the paternity suits and interceptions?
Here are seven quick facts to help better understand him, both on and off the field.
He Owns the Record for the Longest Play in NFL History
In a 2007 game against the Minnesota Vikings, Cromartie fielded a long field goal attempt by Ryan Longwell in the back of the end zone and raced it 109 yards for a score.
Of course, this is a record that can only be tied and never be broken.
Cromartie has a piece of football history that can never be taken from him (even if his baby mamas are trying to take everything else.)
He Missed His Entire Junior Season Before Turning Pro
After freshman and sophomore campaigns where Cromartie moonlighted as a nickel back and kick returner at Florida State, Cromartie tore his ACL during summer workouts.
After a year of rehabbing, the young cornerback decided to skip his remaining years of eligibility and enter into the 2006 NFL Draft, a risky move to be sure.
The gamble paid off, as the San Diego Chargers were enticed by his size (6'2") and his speed (4.38 40 at the Combine) and selected him with the 19th overall pick.
His Nickname is "AlCroTraz"
Ironic that Cromartie's nickname would be a play on words about one of the U.S.'s most famous islands.
Why you ask?
Darrelle Revis, the Jets' number one CB who is currently deadlocked in contract negotiations, carries the nickname "Revis Island."
If Revis comes back for the 2010 season, safety Jim Leonhard has to be dubbed the "Bermuda Triangle," right?
He Had One of the Best INTs You'll Ever See
Peyton Manning is so good, it usually takes an effort like this to pick him off.
He Owns the Single Season Chargers INT Record
As I was saying, Peyton Manning is undoubtedly one of the NFL's all-time greats.
That didn't seem to concern Cromartie during a 2007 game when he picked off the Colts QB three times, including the aforementioned ridiculous one hander.
That game wasn't an aberration of an otherwise ordinary season, either. Cromartie set a Chargers franchise record with 10 interceptions.
He Has Two Cousins Currently in the NFL
Apparently someone in the Cromartie family has some athletic genes, as two of Antonio's cousins are currently in the NFL.
Dominique Rogers-Cromartie made the Pro Bowl for the first time in 2009 and is one of most exciting up-and-coming corners in the NFC.
Da'Mon Cromartie-Smith, another member of the Cromartie clan, was recently signed by the Pittsburgh Steelers as an undrafted free agent out of UTEP.
In a Cromartie-family defensive back fantasy draft, I'm going Antonio, Dominique, Da'mon.
Paternity Suits Haven't Been His Only Legal Trouble
Five paternity suits were allegedly part of the reason the San Diego Chargers were willing to part ways with Cromartie.
Unfortunately, that hasn't been his only legal trouble.
According to court records, Cromartie has had some trouble with transportation, twice failing to appear in court for moving violations, as well as driving with a suspended license.
I know money must be tight with all the child-support your paying, but hire a driver Antonio!