Enabling Bengals’ Bad Behavior

Here’s a news flash to overpaid professional athletes and celebrities: Call a cab when you’re drunk. You can afford it.

With nine Bengals players arrested in the past 13 months, the team is now offering a 24-hour hotline for players to call if they’ve been drinking alcohol and are in danger of getting a DUI, according to an article posted today on The Cincinnati Enquirer’s Web site.

Get real.

These players aren’t middle school students experimenting with alcohol for the first time. They’re grown men who know the effects of a night out on the town. Instead of enabling their behavior or treating them like children, make them take some responsibility, dip into their wallets and fork over the cash to pay for a taxicab if they’re too buzzed to drive home. Better yet, hire a driver before the night’s festivities even begin. The players make millions of dollars per season, far more than the average working stiff, so chances are they won’t even flinch at the added cost.

Some people might reply that partiers often don’t know when they start drinking just how impaired they’ll become later. This argument rings hollow to me. If a gaggle of screaming women have the presence of mind beforehand to hire a limo when they’re planning a night out to attend a bachelorette party, then so can Chris Henry and Justin Smith.

Professional athletes aren’t unique in this regard.

It never ceases to amaze me when the latest news accounts emerge about a Hollywood celebrity having his or her car pulled over by police for drunken driving. From Paris Hilton to Nicole Ritchie to Mel Gibson to Prison Break actor Lane Garrison, you’d think these actors don’t have access to a cell phone and a phone book. The cost of springing for a ride home is a lot cheaper than hiring PR consultants to handle damage control or a trip to rehab. In Garrison’s case, it would’ve saved a life.

And while we’re in the advice-giving mood: Paris, for the love of God, stay away from any more video cameras.

— Kevin Osborne

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6 Comments on “Enabling Bengals’ Bad Behavior”

  1. Monica Says:

    Kevin,

    This behavior begins at an early age athletes are given preferential treatment from sometimes before high school. Case in point: somewhere in northern Ohio some high school football players thought that it would be a great idea to place a decoy deer in the middle of a lonely stretch of dark road. Their actions resulted in a near fatal accident involving some of their class mates. The players were somehow identified and instead of them facing their punishment, their trials were put off until after the football season, they were not removed from the team, the juvenile court judge delayed the hearings until after the playoffs. So what does that say??? Its says that the fault lies with our society that glorifies people who can carry a ball, or stop some one from carrying a ball or whatever. many of the NFL players have been treated like kings for years and while there are some with sense most have been allowed to slide for years and it is unreasonable for any of us to think that simply going professional and making millions of dollars will somehow disabuse what has become ingrained behavior.

  2. Natasha Says:

    Kevin, I agree with your assessment of the situation(s); the behavior on the part of celebs and jocks is plainly stupid and reckless. I agree with the tone of your piece, with the exception of the following:

    …”If a gaggle of screaming women have the presence of mind beforehand to hire a limo when they’re planning a night out to attend a bachelorette party, then so can Chris Henry and Justin Smith.”…

    Your statement makes sense, of course, but a certain amount of contempt can be found in your phrasing.

  3. Chris Anderson Says:

    Damn, Monica said exactly what I was going to.

    They don’t call a cab because the normal rules of society don’t apply to them (that is, until they do). They have learned this over and over again since high school or before.

  4. Kevin Osborne Says:

    Natasha,

    Although I didn’t mean to sound contemptous in that phrase, you make a good point.

    For the record, both women going to bachelorette parties and men going to bahelor parties tend to act obnoxiously, although women typically seem to have the foresight to hire a limo while men fend for themselves when it comes to driving, for some reason.

  5. Natasha Says:

    Thank you for your gracious response. And of course, these type of parties do bring out the insanity in us all. I’m remembering fondly one particular bachelorette party…

  6. Kevin Osborne Says:

    Yikes, I didn’t realize there were so many typos in my reply. This is what happens when I bang out something quickly while on the road and e-mail it in. Sorry.


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