So I had this great idea for an office pool, but it went up in smoke this week. The idea was to bet on the month that Adam Jones went back to being his old, lovable Pacman self.
Personally, I would have bet on November or December. The winter months can be harshly cold in Dallas, and the unforgiving winds can drive a man into the warm comfort of a strip club.
But October? I have to say I was a little surprised.
What doesn't surprise me is the fact that the Cowboys appear to be sweeping this latest little incident under the rug.
Details are still a little sketchy, but reports say that Pacman (I think it's okay to go back to calling him Pacman) had a fight with one of his own bodyguards in a Dallas hotel early Wednesday morning.
One report said that Jones followed the bodyguard into the bathroom, waited until the man was concentrating on the urinal, and jumped him from behind.
That's our boy! We knew he'd be back!
Pacman is a nasty guy. Everyone knows this, including Jerry Jones, who took the unprecedented risk of trading for a player who was still suspended. Jones (Jerry) did everything he could to create a positive environment for Jones (Adam), including hiring security to keep him out of trouble. A guy who attacks a member of his own security detail is truly a nasty guy.
But the truth is, every good football team has a few nasty guys on it. They are integral to a team's success.
Football, someone once said, is a violent sport, played by violent individuals, violently. Of the toughest, hardest-hitting football players in recent memory, how many of them were nice guys? When I played in high school, our best players were also some of the nastiest individuals you'd ever want to meet.
Everybody wants nice guys on their team. They make good teammates and promote team cohesiveness. Some of them are even fine athletes. But nasty guys are what give a team its identity. When a team gains a reputation for being physical, you can bet there are some nasty guys on the roster.
(Of course, there are exceptions to every rule. Walter Payton was one of the toughest runners in NFL history, and no one ever had a cross word to say about him. Conversely, the Cincinnati Bengals are full of nasty guys, and they stink.)
Scouting reports for college players will often comment on whether the player has a nasty streak. When a scout calls a player "nasty," it's meant as a compliment.
The problem with many of those guys is that they can't turn off the nastiness between games or in the offseason. So the attribute that serves them best on the field tends to get them in trouble in civilized society.
Civilized society tends to frown on folks who (allegedly) punch strippers in the face. In civilized society, (allegedly) attacking a man hired to protect you from yourself isn't just wrong, it's utterly ridiculous.
But Jerry Jones will hold on to Pacman if he can, because he prides himself on taking castoffs and weaving them into a winning team framework. And while he would probably never admit it, I suspect that Jerry Jones likes nasty guys. His Super Bowl-winning teams of the 1990s had more than one or two of them.
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