Nick Fairley's DUI Arrest Continues an Out-of-Control Offseason for the Lions

Andrew Garda@andrew_gardaFeatured ColumnistMay 27, 2012

"Million dollar talent, 10 cent head."

"First-round ability, fourth-round judgement."

"Stupid is as stupid does."

Any of the three could apply to Nick Fairley today, the day after he was reportedly arrested for DUI and evading police, according to Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press. The cops added tickets for reckless driving, no proof of insurance and having an open container as well.

We're not a week from me writing that Fairley could have a breakout season if, among other things, he can show better off-the-field judgement.

Apparently, that's beyond him.

It's complete and sheer idiocy for a man with a fully guaranteed four-year, $9.8 million contract to drive anywhere drunk. It's beyond stupid and endangers not just him but everyone around him. I don't care if it's 1 a.m. in Alabama. You never know who is on the road.

This is a guy who can afford a cab. This is a guy who can afford 50 cabs. If he's planning to go out and get hammered, he can hire a fleet of limos ahead of time.

I have no sympathy for anyone who has the money he has, and then gets themselves arrested for driving drunk.

OAKLAND, CA - DECEMBER 18:  Nick Fairley #98 of the Detroit Lions stands on the sidelines before their game against the Oakland Raiders at O.co Coliseum on December 18, 2011 in Oakland, California.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
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Much less evading police.

Even Mikel Leshoure thought that was dumb. I couldn't understand what he said really, because he had a mouth full of green stuff, but I assume that's what he said.

Stupid. Foolish. Selfish. Immature.

Right now, five arrests and a Titus Young suspension,—er, non-suspension, but enforced absence—and those words could represent the way the world is going to look at the Lions.

Especially after the Ndamukong Suh stomping* incident last year.

By the way, the five arrests and suspension all represent the 2011 draft class. Fairley, Leshoure and Johnny Culbreath. Add in Young, and that's one heck of a job drafting head cases.

The Lions appear to completely be out of control and nobody, anywhere, seems to be able to stop it.

Or even bothering. Where is the team leadership?

NEW ORLEANS, LA - JANUARY 07:  Head coach Jim Schwartz of the Detroit Lions shakes hands with head coach Sean Payton of the New Orleans Saints after their 2012 NFC Wild Card Playoff game at Mercedes-Benz Superdome on January 7, 2012 in New Orleans, Louisi
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Here's what head coach Jim Schwartz had to say about the issues, earlier this week.

"We're not playing any games right now," Schwartz said. "I think that a lot of times when people focus on some things about a team you can miss other things that a team does and we'll just keep working harder to do better next time."


And kicker Jason Hanson:

"I don't want to speak for the guys that got busted for their stuff, it's just too easy to be immature," Hanson said. "I'm sorry, but it's always been that problem. But it's just you're young and it's the NFL and it's big time and you've got money and it's just too easy to be stupid."


Hanson said he would talk to them but seems to think nobody will listen to the kicker:

"All those guys I know and they work hard, so hopefully the guys that have influence on them, cause the kicker can't slap them on the head, say, 'What are you doing? You don’t want to throw away your talent with your position,' and (this is) just some slight hiccups for them. But it's not a hiccup for the team. I know all the guys are just like, 'You guys are idiots, let's go.' Like I said, it's good. There haven't been distractions, but those are good players that are messing up and they just need to (straighten up)."

I get it, and sure, the kicker shouldn't be the one to talk to these knuckleheads, but it's starting to look as though the kicker has to.

Because it's not clear to me that anyone else is going to. Where's Nate Burleson, a supposed leader on this team? Calvin Johnson? Matt Stafford? Corey Williams? Hell, Cliff Avril is holding out, but couldn't he pick up the phone?

The team is out of control, and I get that no Lions fan wants to hear it. I watched it with Jets fans last year—all hell is breaking loose, and nobody wants to admit it.

The Lions are a talented team, and they could contend for a Super Bowl. I firmly believe they have the tools for it.

They can't do it with players suspended and in trouble both on and off the field.

Because right now we're looking at a possible suspension for Leshoure and a 100 percent guaranteed suspension for Fairley since he was driving drunk while in the substance abuse program.

Bad boys, bad boys, whatya gonna do, whatya gonna do when Goodell comes for you?
Bad boys, bad boys, whatya gonna do, whatya gonna do when Goodell comes for you?

I am baffled I just wrote that sentence. It's like someone flunking the drug test at the combine. How dumb is it?

The Lions have raised their hackles at the idea that they are undisciplined and out of control but they do nothing but prove otherwise on an almost weekly basis.

Someone on that team needs to step up. If it's the damned kicker, well, so be it.

This team is out of control, and it may not be a distraction right now, but it's going to be and will cost them wins and possibly a shot at the Super Bowl.

Aside to Nick Fairley—stay the heck out of Alabama, man. It's obviously a bad spot for you. Seriously.

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*I originally said foot to head but that was incorrect so I have changed it to be factually accurate!